I have returned safe and rejuvenated from my girls' weekend in Albuquerque with two of my sisters-in-law to be! Sadly, Carrie could not fly in for the occasion, but she was truly missed. To celebrate the occasion, we decided to make dessert for dinner!
My lovely cousin Jennifer sent us this recipe for carrot cake last Tuesday and this weekend provided the perfect opportunity to test it out! I have never been able to follow a recipe, and I may or may not have forgotten a few things. I don't remember adding any baking soda, we used all purpose instead of self rising flour, and Jane negelected to read the frosting recipe and added a full cup of cream cheese instead of a quarter.
Jennifer informed me that this is one of the few recipes with a serious amount of carrots and shredding those carrots can provide a serious arm work out. What's the reward? A fabulous and healthy carrot cake!
For the cake:
3/4 cup golden raisins
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
2 1/2 cups carrots, finely grated
1 cup self-rising flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
For the icing
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup full-fat cream cheese
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line the base of an 8-inch-square pan with parchment paper. Lightly brush a little vegetable oil over the base and sides.
3. Grate the zest of the orange and set aside. Squeeze the orange juice into a bowl and add the golden raisins to the juice. Set aside.
4. Using a handheld or standing mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar with the orange zest for five minutes until pale and full of air. Add the grated carrot and beat to incorporate.
5. Slowly add in the spices, salt, ground almonds, baking soda and flour, then quickly mix until all the ingredients are combined.
6. Using a spatula, mix in the raisins and walnuts, along with any orange juice left in the bowl, until they are evenly distributed.
7. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake and removed comes out clean.
8. Remove from the oven. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, and then remove from the pan. Chill in refrigerator for an hour once cooled.
9. To make the icing: In a large bowl, beat the first cup of sugar with the cream cheese, using a wooden spoon. Once you reach a paste, add the remaining sugar along with the lemon juice and zest. Beat vigorously to combine. Refrigerate at least a half hour. Ice all over the top of the cold cake, slice into 9 portions and serve.