Spiced carrot, date and pecan cake
Makes 1 x 23cm (9 inch) cake
1 x 23cm AGA Spring Form Tin
Little butter for greasing
100g dates, chopped
75g boiling water
125g self raising flour
125g wholemeal flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground mixed spice
2 tsp ground ginger
60g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
3 large eggs
100ml sunflower or rape seed oil
3 tbsp milk
1 blood orange, zest and juice
1 ripe banana, mashed
300g grated carrots
50g butter, softened
180g full-fat soft cheese
1 blood orange, zest and 1 tbsp juice
Runny honey, optional
Put a small piece of butter into the tin and place the tin at the back of the AGA top plate (on a piece of kitchen paper to protect the enamel) or the Warming Plate to melt. Brush the melted butter around the tin and line the base with a circle of baking parchment.
Place the dates in a basin and pour over the boiling water, stir and allow to cool, then crush to a smooth paste with a potato masher.
Put the flours, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, mixed spice, ground ginger and pecan nuts into a large bowl and thoroughly mix together, make a well in the centre. Add the eggs, oil, milk, orange zest and juice (about 2-3 tablespoons), mashed banana and grated carrots. Mix together and pour into the prepared tin.
3, 4 and 5 oven AGA: Place the tin on the oven grid shelf set on the floor of the Baking Oven and cook for about 55 minutes, until risen and cooked through.
2 oven AGA: Place the tin on the oven grid shelf set on the floor of the Roasting Oven, with the cold plain shelf slid above on the second set of runners down. Cook for 30 minutes then replace the cold plain shelf with the large AGA roasting tin (to keep the heat reduced) and bake for about 45-55 minutes until risen and cooked through.
Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes then remove the spring form tin collar and place the cake on a cooling rack, when completely cold remove the base and lining paper.
To make the frosting beat the softened butter and cream cheese together with the orange zest – saving a little zest for decoration. Add enough orange juice to make the frosting spreadable. Spread the frosting evenly over the cake and decorate with the remaining orange zest. Place in the refrigerator to firm up the frosting, about an hour. Drizzle with runny honey before serving, if liked.