- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup each: brown sugar, white sugar
- 1 cup canola oil or similar
- 225g tin crushed pineapple, well drained
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups grated carrot
- 70g packet pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped
- ½ cup sugar
- Cream Cheese Icing
- 1½ tsp vanilla essence
- 375 g cream cheese, softened
- 150 g butter, softened
- 4½ cups icing sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line the bases of two 20cm baking pans with baking paper and spray the sides with oil.
2. Place the eggs and the brown and white sugar in the bowl of an electric beater. Beat for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is pale and thick. At a low speed, beat in the oil, pineapple and vanilla essence. Sift over the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and gently fold together until the ingredients are well combined. Fold through the grated carrot and nuts.
3. Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared pans, smoothing the tops. Bake the cakes in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of each comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring them to cooling racks.
4. To make the cream cheese icing, cream the cream cheese and butter with an electric beater until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and vanilla essence and beat well.
5. To make the caramel for the praline, place the sugar and ¼ cup water in a small pan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, then simmer without stirring until the mixture turns a dark golden colour.
6. Place the nuts on a baking paper-lined oven tray. Pour over the hot caramel and leave it to set. Roughly chop the praline, then put it in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the praline until you have a mixture of crumbs and larger pieces. Store in an airtight container until you are ready to use it (leftovers can be used as an ice cream topping).
7. To assemble the cake, spread a layer of cream cheese icing on top of one of the cakes (trim the top of the cake if necessary).
8. Top with the second cake, face down so the top is as flat as possible. Cover the whole cake with a layer of cream cheese icing. Use a round piping nozzle with a 12mm opening to pipe peaks. Hold the nozzle at a 90-degree angle, straight up and down, close to the cake surface. For each peak, squeeze then stop and lift the nozzle. Sprinkle the top of the cake with praline. Keep the cake refrigerated until serving.
By Food Mag