I like the humble carrot. I wouldn’t say that it’s my favourite vegetable, but it’s certainly one of the most useful. I put it in almost everything – pasta sauces, soups, stews, stir fry, sandwiches, roasts and salads as well as eating it raw by itself or with dips.
Carrot juice is probably my favourite juice, although I don’t drink it often due to the amount of carrots needed to make a cup (plus I don’t have a juicer). And carrot cake? Carrot cake has got to be one of the best cakes ever. Foodtimeline says that carrot cake was most likely descended from Medieval carrot puddings, where they were used due to the natural sweetness (because sweetners were expensive). Carrot cake was around here and there since that time, and recipes for cakes with a cream cheese icing started to appear in the 1960s.
This recipe was adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion. The original recipe called for plain white flour and walnuts. I used wholemeal flour instead, because one of my favourite things about carrot cake is the nuttiness. Because I don’t like walnuts and therefore never have any in the pantry, I substituted pepitas.
I made muffins instead of a big cake and ate them over a few days – they were a great mid-morning snack.
Simple carrot cake
Adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion
125 g self-raising wholemeal flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2/3 cup olive oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups finely grated carrot
60 g roughly chopped walnuts or pepitas
Preheat oven to 180 degree C and grese an 18 cm springform tin or 6 cup muffin tin. Mix flour, sugar and spices. Add oil and eggs and beat in a food processor or an electric mixer for 1 minute. Stir in carrot and walnuts/pepitas. Spoon into prepared tin and bake for about 1 hour (less if making muffins). Cool in tin before turning out.
When cold, dust with icing sugar mixed with ground cinnamon or ice with cream cheese mixed with a touch of icing sugar and lemon juice.