The flavours of this cake work well together but all remain identifiable because they hit your palate at different times. The initial hit is the chocolate sweetness; this is cleaned away by the sharp cream cheese frosting and you are left with a fruit orange spice flavour. It comes in three distinct waves. Once I spotted this I took my time over each mouthful (unlike me) and ticked the stages of flavour off each time...this is how I entertain myself!
Mr CC was very sceptical about this cake initially. When I said to him I was making a chocolate orange carrot cake he gave me a look which I can only describe as a ‘what you talking bout Willis?’ look (a reference that you will need to be a certain age to get!) but, when he tasted it, he really liked it!
200g self raising flour
80g cocoa powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Optional: 50g sultanas
zest of 1 orange (save the rest of the orange for the buttercream)
200ml sunflower oil – or any flavourless oil, I used light olive oil suitable for baking
200g carrots, grated – this equates to approx 3 medium carrots
350g cream cheese – I used Philadelphia
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
160g icing sugar
1 -2 tablespoons orange juice