Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Carrot Cake...but not as you know it.

Friends gather in.
This is carrot cake, but not as you know it. I recently ate a rather questionable amount of carrot cake at the amazing Rosendahl CafĂ© in Stockholm and for a cake that never excited me, I’ve been hooked on it ever since. While most people seem to like the idea because carrot insinuates health motivated consumption, I tend to know where my lines are drawn; carrot and cake were, until my recent conversion, on separate paths that never the twain shall meet. But convert I did and preachy I am.  So I’ve adapted your bog standard carrot cake recipe here to include the lighter floral flavours of orange and violet to make it the perfect cake for summer.  The flavours are a little more complex, layered like. It’s the sort of cake you could be friends with. It will surprise you and annoy you and inspire you and make you laugh and be there for you to eat in copious amounts if you are going through a rough patch. Basically, it’s a really nice damn cake.

3 eggs
3 teaspoons orange blossom water
250ml canola oil
300g caster sugar
400g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
3 tsp cardamom, ground
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
400g carrots, peeled, finely grated

200g soft unsalted butter
200g cream cheese
2tsp orange blossom
3dl (300g) icing sugar
Rind and juice of 1 lemon

Crystallised violets and edible flowers to serve

Preheat the oven to 200C.
Butter and flour two 20cm-diameter cake pans with high sides. Line bases with baking paper.
Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs, orange blossom water, oil and sugar until thick and smooth.
Sift the dry ingredients into a separate bowl and stir gently to combine. Add to the egg mixture with the carrot and stir the batter gently until just combined. Divide between the two baking trays. Bake the cakes until a tester inserted into the centre comes out clean, between 40 and 60 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks. Peel off the baking paper and allow to cool completely before icing. To make the icing, beat the cream cheese, butter and orange blossom in a large bowl until smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in the icing sugar and lemon zest.
Place one cake on a platter. Spread the icing evenly over. Top with the second cake. Spread the remaining icing over the top and sides if desired. Top with edible flowers and crystalised violets.

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