Yes, it is a well known fact that carrots do not let you see in the dark but rather that they strengthen your carbon rods and therefore allow your eyes to see more clearly and with most focus…this is why you should always eat your carrot cake and never moan when your mother tells you to finish your veggies.
I have found possibly one of the best carrot cake recipes ever. It comes from the Great British Book of Baking which I talked about in my previous post and enjoyed you to snap up immediately. However, the recipe I share with you today is a slightly modified version and one that I think makes the cake just a little more special…if there is even such a thing to behold. Once again, I must stress that I use a Kenwood Chef Mixer in my kitchen but if you have a handheld whisk then you just whisk your heart out and don’t let anything anyone says stop you. Also, the following (ON) stands for Or Not so if you see that then it means you are more than welcome to ommit that ingredient from your cake if you do not like it or simply do not have it in your kitchen. Totally up to you.
- 225g Self Raising Flour
- 1tsp Baking Powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp Ground Mixed Spice
- 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 225g Soft Light Brown Sugar
- Grated Zest of a Lemon
- Grated Zest of an Orange
- Walnut or Pecan Pieces (ON)
- 3 Eggs
- 150ml Sunflower Oil
- 150g Carrots
- 1 TB Sunflower, Seseme, Poppy or Pumpkin Seeds (ON)
- Sift the flour, baking powder and all of your spices into a large bowl. Mix in the seeds if you’re using any or all of the seeds mentioned above and add the sugar and nuts. You can also add the zest of the orange and lemon at this point. I like to mix the dry ingredients around so that they are evenly dispersed into the flour.
- Beat the eggs and add them to the dry ingredients.
- Add the sunflower oil and the carrots. You can either grate the carrots or food process them if you want them to be like a pulp, but this can cause the cake to become mushy in the middle so grating is the best option, even if it is a pain in the ass and makes your arms bulge like PopEye.
- You will need to mix and combine all of the ingredients well. Make sure you cannot see any flour and that the mixture is sort of sticky and stretches when you lift the spoon out of the bowl. Then you’ll know it’s ready.
- Bake the cake for about 25 minutes at 180 degrees C. I tend to use 2 x 23cm cake pans that have baking parchment fitted into the bottom and that I have greased the sides of. This makes it easier for the cake to be lifted out at the end.
There are a few tips you’ll need for this recipe. Firstly, let’s talk zest – you do not want to zest all the way down to the white of the peel because that stuff is nasty so just avoid it if you can. Also, rolling your fruit is the best way to get the zest to release all of the oils and juices that it contains. Just roll it gently between your palm and the counter top, it’s nothing too complicated so try not to mess it up. Also, I want to talk moisture. Carrot cakes are known to be moist and lovely and if a carrot cake is dry then you should throw it out because it will do nothing but cement up your mouth and cause you to choke – don’t do it to yourself. However, do not under any circumstances, think it’s ok to make the cake so moist that it turns to slush in your mouth. That’s not cool either. Let’s aim for a middle ground shall we? Good good.
Now, I generally take my two cakes and stick ‘em together with either lemon buttercream or cream cheese frosting or with the cheesecake topping that you can find here. As Alexander would say: “Simples”. But you always want to make it look a bit decorative so don’t forget that! I normall
y had a few pieces of pineapple or some peach slices or even some of the seeds on top of the cake. It makes it look pretty. My own version was not looking so wonderful when I took these pictures but the cake is resting upon a beautiful Nigella Lawson Cake Stand that I indulged in and had to share with you. So enjoy!