Me, birthday cakes and icing have a mottled history – there was the time I made a cake for a colleague... Schlepping through the December snow: I’d fallen over on ice patches twice before even getting to the end of my road. Needless to say some serious structural realignment was needed when my dishevelled contribution finally arrived at work...
Then there was the notoriously poor offering for a friend’s 30th... My first ever foray into cream cheese frosting. The icing was lumpy and dripping before it even got to the hour-long, un-airconditioned, summer, train ride. Unfortunately, this particular offering appears to have grown into something of an urban legend... “ohhhhh... so you’re the one who made the mashed potato cake!”.
(Personally I fear it resembled scrambled egg more)
The result was well... hilarious! That is, until it was put next to a second perfect cake, when it just became down-right embarrassing (no... mine isn’t the lovely, red velvet, three-layered beauty in the picture and yes... I am the one hiding from the camera – can you honestly blame me?).
In my (meagre) defence, it was a darned sight tastier than it looked and I have since discovered the key to cream cheese icing is COLD ingredients... not room temperature!
But, I’m nothing if not stubborn and so, as promised, here’s the goat cheese frosted apple and carrot cake... Before I carry on, (for anyone who hasn’t already stopped reading in disgust) bear with me... It's like cream cheese frosting with any strong goaty flavours are relegated to intriguing undertones, I promise! And it pairs up really nicely with a moist carrot and apple cake...
I found this idea after much aimless browsing of goat cheese recipes. It’s definitely not something I would have considered without guidance, but in for a penny in for a pound... While I'm experimenting with frosting I might as well really experiment!
I’m afraid as ever I didn’t follow the recipe. Even worse than usual this time because I forgot to take it home with me. So I tried to replicate this from memory of the title and picture mixed with a fair sized portion of imagination. The results were (suprisingly) highly enjoyable.
I also ended up making two cakes so if you only want one, halve the quantities:
Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
Mix the oil, sugar and eggs until smooth and glossy.
Add the grated apple and carrot and mix again.
Add the sieved dry ingredients, then the walnuts and mix until fully incorporated.
Divide the mixture between 2x30cm, lined cake tins and bake for 1 hour. (If your oven is like mine you will probably need to rotate the tins in the oven half way through baking.)
Keep an eye on how brown the cakes are turning and if necessary cover loosely with foil towards the end of cooking.
Check with a skewer after an hour, it may need longer depending upon the oven.
Cook on a wire rack.
Once cool make the frosting: beat the chilled goat cheese in a bowl until smooth. Add the chilled cream cheese and beat again until smooth. Stir in the sieved icing sugar until fully incorporated.
This makes enough for cutting the cakes in half and icing the middle, the tops and sides of both cakes.
Then cover the tops with two cups of chopped walnuts.
Apple and Carrot Cake (makes 2):
2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups demerera sugar
2 cups apple, grated – firmly packed
3 cups carrot, grated – firmly packed
5 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp mixed spice
2 cups of walnuts, chopped
Goats Cheese Frosting (ices 2):
600g cream cheese, chilled
250g goat cheese, chilled
icing sugar to taste (I used approximately 300g)
2 cups chopped walnuts, decoration