Wayne and I really enjoy watching cooking shows on the telly. He particularly loves Nigella (!) and it was on an episode of Nigella’s Kitchen that she made this carrot cake … it’s quite possible that only Nigella could make one yearn for a piece of healthy cake! Not only did it look jolly easy, but it was Gluten Free and Dairy Free … I was SO excited!
I’ve never had a failure with any of Nigella’s recipes … and this one is no exception! I’ve made it into cupcakes, I’ve accidentally added an extra carrot … and it has been scrummy every time. It’s not your usual sort of carrot cake – it doesn’t have cream cheese frosting, it’s super moist and is laced with rum … yum!
… having said that the CAKE is dairy free …
… it’s utterly amazing served with mascarpone cream …
My favourite Carrot Cake … from Kitchen: Recipes from the heart of the home
3 tablespoons pine nuts –
2 medium carrots – grated (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons rum
150g caster sugar
½ cup regular olive oil (extra virgin has too strong a flavour)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250g almond meal (ground almonds_
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ lemon – finely grated zest and juice
- Preheat oven to 180ºC
Grease a 23cm round cake tin and line the bottom with baking paper.
- Gently toast the pine nuts by browning in a dry pan over a low heat. Set aside.
- Grate the carrots in the food processor or with a course grater. Wrap them in a double layer of paper towel to soak up the liquid (I put handfuls in a piece of paper towel and give it a gentle squeeze).
- Put the sultanas and rum in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and gently simmer for 3 minutes. Set aside.
- Whisk the sugar and oil until creamy and full of air.
- Whisk in the vanilla and eggs.
- Fold in the ground almonds, nutmeg, grated carrots, sultanas (and any rum that’s left), lemon zest and juice. (I have to admit I just leave my mixer on low and spoon it all in).
- Pour into the cake tin and smooth the surface. It won’t be very deep.
(Cupcakes: Spoon into cupcake cases – filling most of the case as they don’t rise very much)
- Sprinkle the pine nuts over the top.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes (Cupcakes: 15-20 minutes) – until the top is risen and golden, and a skewer comes out of the centre sticky, but ‘clean’.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing.
- When cool, serve with mascarpone cream if you dare!
Mascarpone Cream – mix together:
1 cup (small tub) mascarpone
2 teaspoons icing sugar
2 teaspoons rum