Carrot Cake

I very rarely make carrot cakes, which is strange because I really love them. There were a few carrots knocking about the fridge and thought using them for a cake would be rather lovely. Carrot cakes come in all varieties.  I found a particularly good recipe by Ottolenghi and made a few minor adjustments. His recipe calls for coconut which I substituted with grated apple for added moisture and flavour. I used golden caster sugar and instead of cloves, which I often find too overpowering, replaced with a bit of mixed spice. I also added grated orange zest to the icing and topped it with a mixture of toasted walnuts and coconut. The batter will seem incredibly sweet, but it turns out perfectly. This cake is absolutely delicious! It's much lighter than most recipes and the icing is beyond description.

Recipe (adapted from Ottolenghi)

160g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp mixed spice
270g golden caster sugar
1 large organic egg
1 organic egg yolk
2 organic egg whites
200ml sunflower oil
50g grated apple
135g grated carrot
50g chopped walnuts
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 170C. Grease and line a 20cm springform tin.
Sift together flour, raising agents, salt and spices. Whisk the whole egg and yolk together. Beat oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl for about a minute on high speed. Gradually add the egg mix beating slowly. Mix in grated carrot, apple and chopped walnuts and then sifted dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated. In a separate clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Gently fold into the cake batter in thirds. Be careful not to over mix. Pour into the prepared tin. Bake for about an hour, maybe a bit longer, until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. If the cake is browning too quickly, cover with foil. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin.

Cream Cheese Icing

175g cream cheese, at room temperature
70g unsalted butter
35g icing sugar
25g honey
zest of an orange

Beat cream cheese until light and smooth. In another bowl, beat butter, icing sugar and honey until light and fluffy. Fold together cheese and butter mixes. Fold in orange zest. Spread waves of icing over the cake and top with toasted chopped walnuts and sliced coconut.

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