After ballet this week, my three girls and I popped into a local cafe for coffee, milkshakes and a slice of carrot cake. It was good, and today when my lovely friend Sophia came by to babysit, I was inspired to bake her one. This is from the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook. It's a beautiful read and the few recipes I've tried out so far have been delicious. It's got a long list of ingredients and there are quite a few steps in the process, but the result is completely worth it. This is a seriously good cake.
Here's the recipe with my variations:
70g walnuts (I used pecans)
1 cup self-raising flour (Oops! Just realised I used plain - I didn't even notice!)
1/8 teaspoon each of baking powder, bicarb soda, ground cloves, ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, salt
1/4 cup of sugar for eggwhites
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup sugar for egg yolks
2/3 cup light olive oil
125g carrots, peeled and grated (about one big one)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Grease and line an 18cm round tin.
Place nuts on a tray and bake for 4-5 minutes. Chop roughly. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl.
Beat eggwhites in electric mixer until soft peaks begin to form. Slowly pour in 1/4 cup of sugar and beat until soft peak stage - being careful not to overmix. Transfer mixture to a bowl.
Put the egg and yolk in the bowl of the electric mixer with the 3/4 cup of sugar and beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes or until mixture doubles in volume. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil. Careful it doesn't split.
With a spatula, carefully fold in the flour mixture, then the carrots and nuts. Finally, very lightly fold through the meringue. Don't mix it too thoroughly - you should see streaks of meringue through the mix. Pour into the tin and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Make a cream cheese frosting by beating 2 tablespoons icing sugar and 1 tablespoon of softened butter until pale and smooth. Add 150g cream cheese and mix until spreadable.
Allow cake to cool. Slice horizontally through the centre and fill with the frosting. Dust the top with icing sugar and eat.
Three people sampled this cake today. This much is left. Those are some big servings.