I made this enormous cake to be shared between my colleagues on the last few days of work before Christmas. But, as I mentioned before, the weather turned bitterly cold that week and the snow came down so heavily that we got not one, not two but three whole days off school. That left just me and the carrot cake snowed in and staring at each other. Only one of us came out of it alive. :)
My version of carrot is adapted from Nigel Slater’s ever popular recipe (most recently published in Tender). I’ve given it a creamier frosting though and some Christmassy twists. Think the ruby cranberrys and green pisachios make it look as lovely as it tastes.
Festive Carrot Cake
200ml ground nut oil
250g musavado sugar
150g finely grated carrots
Juice of half a lemon
100g shelled, unsalted pisachio nuts
100g dried cranberries
250g self raising flour
1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda
1 tspn baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 tspn ground nutmeg
1 tspn ground cinnamon
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites
- In a large bowl, beat the oil and sugar until well combined. Add the egg yolks gradually followed by the carrot, pistachios (reserve a few for the top of cake), cranberries (reserve a few of these too) and lemon juice. Ensure these ingredients are well combined.
- Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff. Set aside.
- Sift the flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt into the wet mixture. Mix until the flour is no longer visible.
- Use a metal spoon to fold the egg whites into the mixture gently.
- Divide the mixture between two buttered 22cm cake tins lined with baking paper.
- Bake in a 180 oC oven for 40 minutes.
- Remove from oven and leave to cool slightly before removing from tins and cooling completely. While waiting, make the frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
400g cream cheese
200g mascapone cheese
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
150g icing sugar
- Combine all the ingredients until smooth.
- Use 1/4 of the frosting between the two cake layers and roughly splat the rest all over the outside of the cake.
- Sprinkle with the remaining pistachios and cranberries.