This is the most incredible carrot cake. It's the thing to choose whenever you visit Ottolenghi and is also a really easy recipe to follow. I ended up cooking it for nearer to 2 hours than 1 (I don't think the oven liked me very much that day!) but it was so worth the wait. Its very rustic and not the prettiest of cakes but wow does it taste good! - And don't do what I did and forget you don't have any carrots half way through the baking process and have to pop to the shop at 4pm in your pjs; ahh countryside living!!
For the cake
- 160g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1 large free-range egg
- 1 free-range egg yolk
- 200g sunflower oil
- 270g caster sugar
- 50g walnuts, chopped
- 50g desiccated coconut
- 135g carrot, roughly grated
- 2 free-range egg whites
- a pinch of salt
- 175g cream cheese,
- at room temperature
- 70g unsalted butter
- 35g icing sugar
- 25g honey
- 30g walnuts, chopped
- and lightly toasted
1 Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas Mark 3. Grease a 20cm springform
cake tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment.
2 Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices.
Lightly whisk the whole egg with the egg yolk.
3 Put the sunflower oil and caster sugar in the bowl of an electric
mixer fitted with the beater attachment and beat for about a minute
on a medium speed. On a low speed, slowly add the beaten egg.
Mix in the walnuts, coconut and carrot and then the sifted dry
ingredients. Don’t over mix.
4 Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Wash and dry the mixer bowl,
making sure it is totally clean, then put the egg whites and salt in
it and whisk on a high speed until firm peaks form. Gently fold the
egg whites into the carrot mixture in 3 additions, being careful not
to over mix. Streaks of white in the mixture are okay.
5 Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for approximately
1 hour; it could take longer. A skewer inserted in the centre should
come out dry. If the cake starts getting dark before the centre is
cooked through, cover it with foil. Let the cake cool completely and
then remove from the tin.
6 To make the icing, beat the cream cheese in a mixer until light and
smooth. Remove from the mixer. Beat the butter, icing sugar and
honey in the mixer until light and airy. Fold together the cheese and
butter mixes. Spread waves of icing on top of the cake and sprinkle
with the nuts.