I am a big fan of carrot cake, which is a little ironic as I am not overly in love with the root vegetable which plays a key role in this cake! I adore the moist spiced cake with the light cream cheese topping, scrummy! I was very happy when I saw that this particular version of carrot cake did not contain bananas. I personally think that they overwhelm the subtle flavour of the carrots.
As I had the loud whirring of the washing machine to put up with, it wasn't the most relaxing environment to bake in. Oh for a utility room! I tried to ignore the persistent banging and whooshing and started off by greasing and lining my traybake tin. I weighed out some flour and then a rather alarming amount of sugar, always a worry when you have more sugar than flour in the bowl! I was also worried by how many teaspoons of ground cinnamon were required. I am not too keen on this particular spice, so I admit to finding this a little off-putting. I hoped the ground ginger also used would help to balance out the flavours. I took another look at my list of ingredients and noticed with horror that I needed a mixture of chopped nuts. How could I possibly have missed this, especially as Mary mentions the nuts in her recipe header? A trip to the shop was needed; I had to abandon my baking until I had my nuts! The choice at the shop was limited to say the least, but I had to settle for what was available. It also meant that I got to pick out and enjoy the raisins! A little bit of nut chopping later and I could then add them to the bowlful of dry ingredients. I moved on to the most crucial ingredient, carrots. I was quite frankly amazed by how many carrots I needed. Usually I only need two or three but on this occasion I required six in total. As I am sure you can imagine, I had terrible arm ache by the time all six had been grated – ouch! I added the mountain of grated carrot to the mixing bowl and made a silent prayer that this was the correct amount and that I hadn't weighed it wrong. Another shocker was the quantity of sunflower oil I poured into the bowl, but at least it made a nice change from using butter! Last of all, I beat in four eggs. This made the mixture very runny; I poured it into the tin. My fingers and toes were firmly crossed when I put the cake mixture into the oven. The cake cooked for almost an hour and I was delighted when I took the golden cake out of the oven, and it smelt wonderful. I could really smell the spices.
I made up the topping whilst the cake cooled on a wire rack. To my bowl of cream cheese I added a tiny amount of honey and lemon juice and mixed thoroughly. It seemed odd to flavour with honey; I don't think I have ever tried this combination before. Normally it is vanilla extract that is added, or so I believe. However, I am all for trying something new! Once the cake was cold, I could generously spread the cream cheese topping on top and then sprinkle with some more chopped nuts. I was so pleased with the finished cake. I loved the taste, so much better without bananas. The spices in the cake balanced beautifully; I needn't have worried that the cinnamon would be overwhelming. The cake was so moist. The topping was a bit of a surprise to Neil; he hadn't expected the honey! I think we prefer the vanilla flavour but, other than that personal preference, we really couldn’t fault it. It was so delicious and the best carrot cake I have made so far!
|Didn't last long!|