For the cake
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3 cups caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essense
- 3 1/2 cups plain flour
- 3 teaspoons baking soda
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 8 carrots, grated
For the frosting:
- 200 grams unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup (60 grams) cream cheese
- 2 cups (250 grams) icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons glucose (if you don’t have glucose on hand you can omit this, the glucose just helps to achieve a nice shiny finish to the icing)
For the walnut crumb:
- 125 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup (55 grams) caster sugar
- 1 cup (150 grams) plain flour, sifted
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) rice flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup (50 grams) walnuts, shelled
For the honeycomb:
- ¼ cup (50 grams) honey
- ¼ cup (60 millilitres) glucose
- 1 cup (220 grams) caster sugar
- ¼ cup (60 millilitres) water
- 1 tablespoon bicarb soda, sifted
1*10cm high strip of acetate, optional but helps achieve a much nicer result
To make the cake
Preheat the oven to 180℃. Grease and line 2* 30 x 20-centimetre baking tin with butter and baking paper. In the bowl of a KitchenAid fitted with a paddle attachment, mix eggs, oil and milk until combined. Sift in all the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed for 1 minute or until combined. Add the carrot and stir in by hand. Pour the cake batter evenly into the 2 tins and bake for 30–35 minutes or until the cakes are spongy and bounce back you press them lightly with your fingers. Set aside to cool completely.
To make the honeycomb
Line a baking tray with baking paper. In a small saucepan, combine the honey, glucose, caster sugar and water. Stir with a wooden spoon over a low heat until it comes to a boil, then continue to cook, stirring, for a further 1–2 minutes or until it reaches a caramel colour. Working quickly, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the bicarb soda, being careful because the mixture will foam up. Transfer the mixture to a baking tray, and set it aside to cool for at least 1 hour. Once cooled, break the honeycomb into small pieces.
To make the walnut shortbread crumb
Preheat the oven to 160℃. Line a 20–30-centimetre baking tray with baking paper. In the bowl of a KitchenAid fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar, and mix for 4–5 minutes or until the mixture is pale and creamy. Gradually add the flours and walnuts on low speed and mix until everything is just combined. Sprinkle plain flour on a clean, dry surface, then transfer your dough, and knead gently until smooth. Push the dough onto your baking tray, using your spoon to spread it evenly and press down into the corners to ensure the whole tray is covered, then bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove the shortbread crumb from the oven and allow it to cool completely. When it is cool, add the shortbread in batches to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a coarse crumb forms.
To make the frosting
In the bowl of a KitchenAid fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and cream cheese, and mix on medium speed for 1–2 minutes or until the mixture is smooth. Add the icing sugar and glucose, and mix on high speed for a further 4–5 minutes or until the mixture becomes a stark white fluffy frosting.
Carefully flip the cakes out of the tin onto a clean chopping board, and peel off the baking paper. Using a 15-centimetre cake tin to guide you, use a sharp knife to cut out three rounds. Clean the cake tin and place it in the centre of your serving platter (trust me, you won’t want to move this cake once it’s assembled), use the strip of acetate to line the inside of the tin Add the first layer of cake. Top with the frosting, then a generous sprinkling of the shortbread crumbs. Top with the middle layer of cake, then repeat the process with the frosting and the crumbs. Finally, top with the top layer of cake, and top with the frosting, ensuring this layer is perfectly smooth because it will be the main layer on show, then top with another generous sprinkling of crumb. Carefully transfer the cake to the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours or up until overnight. Remove from the fridge and remove tin and the acetate,1 hour prior to serving. Top with large honeycomb shards.