Carrot Cake with Candied Walnut and Walnut Crumb

2 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups grated carrot
1 tbsp molasses
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp bicarb soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground ginger
pinch salt

2 oranges, zested and juiced
2 carrots, finely grated
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp verjuice
2 star anise
1 cinnamon quill
1 tsp lemon juice

Cream Cheese Icing
375g cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup icing sugar
2 lemons, juiced

Walnut Crumble
25g walnuts, toasted
50g sugar
25g plain flour
25g butter

Candied Walnuts
25g walnuts, toasted
110g caster sugar

Preheat over to 170C.  Grease and line two 20cm round tins (please measure the diametre of your tins, I didn't and took a guess and mucked it up a bit, but it still tasted yum) 

For the carrot cake, combine eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla, brown sugar, grated carrot and molasses in a bowl and whisk to combine.  Sift remaining ingredients into a large bowl and stir to combine.  Add the wet ingredients and mix well to combine.  Divide the cake batter between the two cake tins and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for 18 - 20 minutes in the pre-heated oven until cakes are light golden and a skewer comes out clean.  Once cooked, remove cakes from oven and cool in tins for 10 minutes.  Once cooled, invert onto wire racks and set aside to cool.

For the marmalade, place orange juice and zest, carrot and sugar into a medium saucepan and cook over a medium heat until carrot has softened.  Add the remaining ingredients and cook over a medium heat until the mixture has thickened.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

For the cream cheese icing, beat cream cheese in a stand mixer until smooth.  Sift in icing sugar and add lemon juice and beat until smooth and fluffy.  Set aside until needed.

For the walnut crumb, increase oven to 180C. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz to a course crumb.  Transfer mixture to a lined baking tray and bake for 10 - 12 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool until needed.

For the candied walnuts, spread walnuts onto a lined baking tray.  Place sugar and water in a small frypan and simmer until sugar is dissolved and a dark golden caramel. Pour over walnuts and set aside to cool and harden.

Recipe: Matt Sinclair from Master Chef