I love fruit and vegetables, so naturally my favourite cakes are ones that contain some kind of fruit or veg (although chocolate often features too!). My mum makes a mean banana cake which is a firm family favourite that I’ve blogged about here and is a great way to use up overripe bananas. She made a banana cake for the long Easter weekend but by Saturday evening it was all gone! Being surrounded by vintage tea china all weekend (we were sorting through our stock!), afternoon tea was at the forefront of my mind so on Sunday morning, I decided to bake a carrot cake.
I’d not made a carrot cake for a long time but a quick internet search brought up a recipe on House and Garden website which sounded interesting. My mum and I decided to reduce the amount of caster sugar (from 250g to 150g) and to give the cake some added texture we added a sprinkling of flaked almonds, pecan pieces and sultanas. We also mixed in a teaspoon of cinnamon to add a bit of spice to the mixture!
We had a round baking tin instead of a square one so increased the cooking time to about 50 minutes because our cake tin was smaller but deeper than the one used in the recipe. All of the ingredients had been in the house already apart from a vital ingredient for the topping…cream cheese. While the cake was baking, I popped out to the local shop, which didn’t have cream cheese but it did have mascarpone, phew! I used 250g of mascarpone with 50g icing sugar and the juice of a satsuma to make the topping and it was delicious!
The cake was remarkably moist and had a resounding thumbs-up from everyone. We kept it in the fridge because of the mascarpone topping and I really liked eating it slightly chilled, which seemed to make it taste like a cross between a cake and a dessert.
The cake even made our long journey back to London more bearable as we had saved two pieces to have with some much-needed coffee part way through the journey.
Do you have a favourite carrot cake recipe? I’m keen to make some carrot cake that has a slightly darker flavour as the one we made (although delicious) was lighter in colour and flavour than some I’ve tasted before. I wonder whether using demerara sugar instead of caster sugar might help, as well as adding some mixed spice? Suggestions welcome!