Wednesday, February 8, 2012

And the Winner of the Ultimate Bake-Off is...

Drum roll please! Having baked both Mary Berry's very best chocolate and orange cake and Paul Hollywood's ultimate carrot cake, the verdict's in. The cakes have been ‘deliberated, cogitated and digested’ by a select panel of experts...which didn't include Lloyd Grossman as it happens and a decision has been reached.

The winner of Delicious Magazine's 'Ultimate Bake-Off' is...

Paul Hollywood's Ultimate Carrot Cake

Check out the cakes on my first Ultimate Bake-Off post here. So what did the taste testers have to say?

Well the votes were 8 for the carrot cake and 3 for the chocolate cake, so the carrot was a clear winner. Blog voters you went for chocolate, 4 to 3!

Most of the taste testers liked the chunky pecans in the carrot cake, although one said it put them off. The main selling point of the carrot was the interesting textures, it was also moist and full of different flavours. Most but not all were also partial to the cream chesse frosting!

For the chocolate cake, it was seen as a good all round cake with a faint taste of orange. The frosting was described as finger-licking good and the taste tester also felt that it wasn't over rich.

Overall, everybody enjoyed both and it was a tough was actually closer than the votes suggest. My personal favourite was the carrot...mainly because I didn't try the chocolate as I don't eat there was really only ever going to be one winner! I would say however, that it's rather difficult to compare carrot and chocolate cake, it is also down to people's personal tastes.

Fancy making the carrot cake yourself, here's the recipe! After all two tasters even said it was the best carrot cake they'd ever tasted!

155ml sunflower oil,
230g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
230g light brown muscovado sugar
1 satsuma - zest finely grated
100g pecans, halved
260g carrots, grated
3 medium eggs, beaten

For the icing

50g butter
200g full-fat cream cheese
150g icing sugar
2tsp orange juice

Heat your oven to 180c/160c fan/gas 4 and then grease and line the bottom of an 18cm round tin, preferable it should be loose-bottomed. It really is an easy recipe, place the baking powder, flour (sifted), cinnamon, ginger and mixed spice in a bowl before adding the sugar, zest, grated carrots and pecans. Mix until combined and then add in the eggs, which should be beaten first, and the oil.

Once it is all well combined pour it into the tin and bake for 1 hour. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before cooling on a rack. For the icing, put the butter in a bowl and beat it with a mixer and then add the cream cheese and mix. Finally add the icing sugar and orange juice and beat until smooth.

The suggested icing method is to use a piping bag and pipe lines back and forth before scattering with satsuma zest. Alternatively, if you'd prefer not to pipe just apply in the usual way. You might also want to consider making double and splitting your cake in two and filling it as well, to make it double delicious!!!

* Adapted from the March 2012 edition of Delicious Magazine.


  1. Love a good carrot cake! Next time you need a taste tester.... :)

  2. Hey there, just found your blog through Baking Addict. Was deliberating over which recipe to try in the challenge. "A faint taste" of orange isn't good enough for a Chocolate Orange cake so it's definitely Pauls carrot cake that I'll try.

  3. Baking're definitely welcome as a taster tester!!

    Rolling Pin Claire... you won't be sorry with the Carrot Cake!! :-)

  4. The recipe looks very good! I like the fact that you used oil instead of butter.

  5. It had ginger in too - how interesting. Hubby adores carrot cake so now I know which recipe to use. I tried a Peggy Porshen variation and that was horrid.

  6. Oooh, I did this at work too. I halved the carrot cake and sandwiched it with the icing as well as topping it. The winner was definitely Paul's carrot cake - rich and moist. Opinion was divided in the choc cake, some loved it, others didn't like the apricot jam. I wouldn't know as I didn't get to taste either of the cakes in their finished state (except for the licking the bowls of course)


Your comments are greatly appreciated!