Stacie Stewart's skinny carrot meringue cake
If, like us, you're a fan of foodie programmes, you'll have come across Stacie Stewart, the hottest new thing on the bakery scene. If her name's not ringing a bell, the hairdo should do it – her enormous beehive is pretty hard to miss. She's even named her bakery – The Beehive Bakery – after it.
Even more impressive than her hair is her baking, which we spent the evening scoffing last week at the launch party for her new book, Stacie Bakes (Pavilion, £18.99). Moist banana bread, red velvet cake, zingy lemon tart... I took it upon myself to sample them all and, boy, were they tasty.
Her skinny carrot meringue cake, below, is really light and tasty – guaranteed to bring a little sunshine to a dreary day. What do you like to bake on a grey day? Tell us in the comments box below.
SKINNY CARROT MERINGUE CAKE
- 200ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
- 3 medium eggs
- 300g light brown soft sugar
- 600g carrots, scrubbed and grated
- 280g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 150g dried fruits, such as cherries, sultanas and raisins
- 150g nuts, such as pecans or walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- orange-blossom honey, to serve
- FOR THE MERINGUE FROSTING:
- 6 medium egg whites
- 300g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Grease 2 x 20cm round cake tins and line with baking paper.
- Beat the oil, eggs and sugar together in a bowl. Add the carrots and beat again to combine.
- Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices into a separate large bowl. Add the orange zest, dried fruit and nuts and stir to coat them in the flour; this will prevent them from sinking in the cake.
- Add the flour mixture to the carrot mixture in 3 batches, stirring gently after each addition.
- Divide the cake mixture between the prepared tins and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn them out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, place a large heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
- Add the egg whites and sugar and beat with an electric hand whisk until stiff peaks form; this should take about 6 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, add the vanilla and beat for a few more seconds. The frosting should be thick and shiny and will need to be used straight away.
- Place one of the cakes on a stand or plate and spread over some of the meringue frosting.
- Top with the second cake and cover the top and sides with the remaining frosting using a palette knife. Drizzle with honey to serve. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Blast the meringue with a blowtorch for a toasted marshmallow effect