52 Cookbooks #35: Carrot Cake

This week I'm back on cake - carrot cake - which is MOH's favourite (apart from Coffee & Walnut cake which I made a while back - see 52 Cookbooks #17: Coffee & Walnut layer cake) and it's from a slightly unusual cookbook. It's a Harry Eastwood book titled Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache, which is a great name for a cookbook!

   52 Cookbooks: the challenge is to cook a new recipe from one of my (many) cookbooks each week for a year...

 52 Cookbooks: the challenge is to cook a new recipe from one of my (many) cookbooks each week for a year...


Underneath the title it says "the ultimate feel-good book of natural cakes that taste naughty" - the difference with this book is the recipes use rice flour and all contain vegetables. So we're pretty used to carrot cake, and even courgette and beetroot in cakes.  Potato too isn't unheard of and nor is pumpkin so butternut squash is only a step away... but there's also recipes which include turnip, parsnip and swede - yes, I'm working up to those!

My carrot cake has 280g of finely grated carrot in, which is about 4 medium sized carrots. But first I started by whisking the eggs and muscovado sugar for 5 minutes - definitely one for the food processor then! 

To that I added the carrots and some orange zest and mixed those in.  Then it was in with the rice flour, baking powder, ground almonds and cinnamon. A splash of vanilla extract and it's almost ready to put into the sandwich tins, all that's left is to stir through sultanas soaked in orange juice and some walnuts (as I didn't have any pecans).

As they went into the oven, they were a pale orange as you'd expect. They cooked for just under an hour at 180 degrees, which seems a long time - but I guess that's the difference with this more unusual cake without butter. 

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When they came out, they were quite golden. But they came out of the tin easily enough.

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They needed to cool completely before I could go anywhere near them with icing. The icing has butter, icing sugar, lime juice and cream cheese - it's still relatively low in fat with only 35g each of butter and cream cheese. So with that made it was time to sandwich and decorate the cake. 

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It didn't turn out too bad!  

The verdict:

  • This was never going to be a light and fluffy cake, I'm not sure carrot cake ever really is...
  • The walnut/pecan swap worked well
  • I'd cook this again and would try other recipes from the book - especially those with beetroot (I've some growing in the garden), pumpkin and courgette. 
  • Unfortunately it's not really a cake for licking the mixing bowl out! I guess that's the lack of butter in the sponge, I guess you can't have everything!
  • The good thing is that's not the case with the icing - the bowl was definitely worth licking out this time. Happy days.