THE best carrot cake ever

This is MY all time favourite cake in the entire world. It’s made of carrots, so definitely counts towards your 5 a day.

As my favourite cake, I have been through most recipes in pursuit of the perfect version. Some are too sweet, some not sweet enough, some not fluffy enough (I totally sound like Goldilocks…) You get the picture.

I eventually discovered my absolute *favourite* carrot cake recipe. I love it so much, that I don’t change a thing about it (rare occurrence). It’s light, fluffy, smells amazing, tastes even better, and as if it couldn’t get any better – it contains NO butter (= totally healthy).

OK – I will stop banging on about my adoration for this cake and give you the recipe.

I urge you to make this cake.

It will change your life.

CAKE

  • 160g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 1 free-range egg yolk
  • 200g sunflower oil
  • 270g caster sugar
  • 50g walnuts, chopped
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 135g carrot, roughly grated
  • 2 free-range egg whites
  • a pinch of salt

ICING

  • 175g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 35g icing sugar
  • 25g honey
  • 30g walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease a 20cm springform cake tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices. Lightly whisk the whole egg with the egg yolk.
  3. Put the sunflower oil and caster sugar in a bowl. Use an electric mixer (if you have one) and beat for about a minute on a medium speed. On a low speed, slowly add the beaten egg. Mix in the walnuts, coconut and carrot and then the sifted dry ingredients. Don’t over mix.
    (Science bit: the more you mix the batter, the more gluten is released – which makes the cupcakes chewy. BAD. So try to mix it as little as possible.)
  4. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Wash and dry the mixer bowl, making sure it is totally clean, then put the egg whites and salt in it and whisk on a high speed until firm peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the carrot mixture in 3 additions, being careful not to over mix. Streaks of white in the mixture are okay.
  5. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 1 hour; it could take longer. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out dry. If the cake starts to turn dark before the centre is cooked through, cover it with foil. Let the cake cool completely and then remove from the tin.
  6. To make the icing, beat the cream cheese in a mixer until light and smooth. Remove from the mixer. Beat the butter, icing sugar and honey in the mixer until light and airy. Fold together the cheese and butter mixes. Spread waves of icing on top of the cake and sprinkle with the nuts. Don’t make it neat, because it ought to be devoured instantly.

Don’t take too much time to make this cake neat, because it ought to be devoured instantly.

Not adapted at all from Ottolenghi – my official favourite chefs of all time – Thanks Y & S!
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