A lovely moist and delicious carrot cake
Oil or low-cal spray for the cake tin plus greaseproof paper
100g/3 1/2 oz vegan margarine
200g/7oz light brown sugar or caster sugar
4 1/ 2 medium carrots, grated on very small holes
1 1⁄2 cup raisins – crunched up in the food processor or blender for a few minutes
1 1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
1 1⁄2 tsp allspice
1⁄4 tsp ground nutmeg
1⁄2 tsp salt
375g/13oz fine wholemeal self-raising flour*
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200ml/7fl oz soya milk
115g/4oz vegan margarine
170g/6oz icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
*If you can't obtain it, use fine plain wholemeal flour with 1/2 tsp baking powder added
1. Oil or spray a 20cm/8 inch loose-bottomed or spring-form cake tin.
2. Cover the base of the tin with greaseproof paper.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4 - no hotter because the cake needs to cook quite slowly so the middle cooks but it doesn’t get burned on the top. If you have a fan-assisted oven, reduce this temperature by about 10 degrees.
4. In a saucepan, melt the margarine and then add the sugar. Stir around until it has all melted.
5. Add the grated carrot, raisins and spices. Let the mixture cook gently for a couple of minutes, but keep stirring with a wooden spoon.
6. Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl.
7. Add the mixture from the pan, plus soya milk. Beat thoroughly with a wooden spoon until everything is mixed in well.
8. Pour cake batter into the tin and place on top shelf of oven.
9. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Test after 35 minutes by sticking a toothpick into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done! Otherwise, put the cake back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes or so, testing again. Leave the cake to cool properly before placing on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. (a clean rack from a grill pan will do nicely!).
10. Meanwhile, make the icing.
11. Cream the margarine with a fork and mix in the icing sugar until smooth. Stir in the vanilla essence. Chill, covered, in the fridge until needed. Make sure the cake is completely cooled before icing the cake. Use a rubber spatula to smooth on the icing - or else use a fork to make patterns.
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