Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Making Nigella's Carrot Cake

Few weeks back, I gave my husband a short list of cakes that I planned to make in the coming weekends and asked him which cake I should bake first. He said Carrot Cake. I obliged.

After browsing some Carrot Cake recipes online, I picked a recipe that I wanted to use for making my Carrot Cake and shopped for some missing ingredients for the cake. While I already had everything prepared for my weekend baking session, I fell sick for about two weeks so my baking plan was halted.

Last Saturday morning, I finally spared some time to make my first Carrot Cake from scratch using Nigella's recipe. Nigella's Carrot Cake was great and moist, even when eaten 2-3 days later, and I had stamp of approval from my husband and MIL on its overall taste. However, I cut the amount of sugar used for making the cake as stated in her original recipe because we don't really like overly sweet cakes that much.

Here's my version of Carrot Cake recipe, adapted from Nigella's Carrot Cake recipe (I further cut the amount of sugar here because my Carrot Cake last week still tasted rather sweet despite the reduced sugar used). This recipe makes a 2 tier 7" cake - so it's pretty tall cake for a home made standard.

My first Carrot Cake.

Nigella's Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

For the Carrot Cake:

300gr Cake flour
1 tbsp Milk powder
1/4 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground cloves (I skipped this because I didn't have any)
1/4 tsp Nutmeg, grated or powdered
A pinch of salt
4 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla extract
335ml Sunflower Oil
300gr Sugar
125 gr Carrot, grated
100gr Walnuts, chopped
50gr, Raisins, optional
2 tbs Boiling water

For the Icing:

175gr Unsalted butter, at room temperature
200gr Cream cheese, softened
200gr Icing sugar, sifted

Yum! Sweet-spicy and nutty tastes - all in one cake.

Tutorial:

  1. To make the cake: Grease and line two spring form tins (about 7") with baking paper and set aside.
  2. Sift together flour, milk powder, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Set aside.
  3. Separate 2 of the 4 eggs.
  4. In a bowl, beat the 2 egg whites until they form soft peak. Set aside.
  5. In a separate large bowl, beat the oil, vanilla extract and sugar using electric mixer. Add the whole eggs one at a time. Beat the mixture well before adding the egg yolks. Stir in the grated carrots, raisins and walnuts until well combined. Fold in the flour then add the boiling water.
  6. Fold the egg whites to the cake batter.
  7. Divide the cake batter between two tins and bake the cakes in a preheated oven (170 degree Celcius) for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Once baked, let the cakes cool completely before icing them.
  8. To make the icing: Mix butter, cream cheese and icing sugar until well incorporated.
  9. To assemble the cake: Sandwich some icing between the two tiers of cake then cover the rest of the cake with the icing. Put the whole cake in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving as the cream cheese icing fares better if the cake remains in the fridge.

This cake is not difficult to make but admittedly, making this cake involves quite a bit of steps, hence takes longer time to prepare, and it uses more bowls/plates and baking utensils for preparation as well - so more baking stuff to wash afterwards. 

Also, I think I made a mistake in frosting the cake with icing that just came out from the fridge. I made the icing before my cakes cooled down and kept the icing in the fridge before using, as such icing the whole cake was such a challenge process I almost cried. I just could not produce that nice and smooth finish on my cake. Nevertheless, when the cake was sliced, the messy icing was not that obvious and the cake still tasted delightful. One more note, I kept my carrot cake in the fridge all the time when not serving it as the cream cheese icing melts quite fast and loses its nice and firm texture if kept at room temperature for too long.

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