Carrot cake that isn’t carrot cake

Carrot cake is carrot cake is carrot cake, isn’t it? The sweetness of the carrots, the tooth-aching sugariness of the buttercream on top. bowlful 17-11-13This carrot cake is not like that, that’s why I decided to make it after seeing Nigella Lawson make it on television. She calls it Venetian Carrot Cake, I don’t know the logic behind the name, but it is certainly different from any other carrot cake I have eaten. Less cakey, more fudgy I think because of the presence of ground almonds, crunchy rather than silky carrot, and accompanied by the supposedly-optional mascarpone cream but which you would be a fool to ignore.

For the cake:-
½ cup regular olive oil [not extra virgin]
3 tbsp pine nuts
2 medium carrots
½ cup sultanas
¼ cup rum
¾ cup sugar [she specifies caster sugar but I didn’t have any so used ordinary granulated]
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
2½ cups ground almonds
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg [below]
½ lemon, zest and juicegrated nutmeg 17-11-13For the mascarpone cream:-
1 cup mascarpone
2 tsp icing sugar
2 tbsp rum grated carrots 17-11-13Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line the base of a 9 inch springform, or other round cake tin, with a non-stick silicone layer or baking parchment. Grease the sides of the tin with a little oil.

Heat a small frying pan without oil, and dry toast the pine nuts very lightly [do not let them darken, as they will cook again on top of the cake in the oven].

Grate the carrots in a food processor, then leave them to rest on kitchen towel [above] to soak up any excess juice. sultanas and rum 17-11-13Put the sultanas in a small saucepan with the rum, bring to the boil over a medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Leave to stand off the heat.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and ½ cup of olive oil until creamily mixed together.whisking the oil and sugar 17-11-13In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla essence until lightly combined.beating the eggs and vanilla essence 17-11-13Add the eggs to the sugar and oil mixture. Fold in the ground almonds. Nutmeg, carrots, sultanas and any remaining rum, lemon zest and juice. Fold gently together.lemon zest 17-11-13ingredients in the bowl 17-11-13Scrape the mixture into the cake tin and level the surface. Bang the tin on the worktop to eliminate any large bubbles. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the top.cake tin goes into the oven 17-11-13Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until a skewer comes out sticky but more or less clean. This is a dense, fudgy cake and will not rise high in the tin. Remove the cake from the oven and let it sit on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before removing from the tin. Cool before serving.cake on cooling rack 17-11-13To make the mascarpone cream, simply combine all ingredients together in a bowl, and serve with the cake.

5 to remember
veneciano/a – Venetian
la lógica – logic
crujiente – crunchy
sedoso/a – silky
el ron – rum

4 thoughts on “Carrot cake that isn’t carrot cake

  1. susanissima

    Wow! Love this wonderful, and gluten free!, recipe. Timely sharing around the holidays. Thanks so much! (Do you think extra-virgin olive oil might work? It’s all I have/can find here in the Pacific Northwest.)



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