Carrot, lemon and almond cake

I have this habit of tearing interesting looking recipes out of magazines and newspapers, and stacking them up in a corner. Every now and again, I will sit in one spot and then glue my stash into the recipe book, rediscovering them into the process.

I found this recipe in the SMH, but could only find the digital version in its sister paper, the age. I think that this is from Jill Dupliex.

I baulked at the thought of 3 eggs, so I used 2 plus yoghourt; and then combining 75g butter and 150mL oil? Ouch! My substitutions from the original recipe are marked with an asterix*.

Carrot, lemon and almond cake
This super-moist loaf is not too sweet. Baked in large muffin moulds (30 minutes at 180C) instead of a loaf tin, you can devour the results for breakfast.

Read more:
2 eggs*
150ml milk*
2 heaped tablespoons plain yoghourt* (I used easiyo homemade greek)
75g melted butter
125g castor sugar
150g self-raising flour*
50g wholemeal flour*
200g coarsely grated carrot
100g ish (Handful) of slivered almonds*, to taste.
2 small sprigs mint*, scissor cut
1 tbsp lemon* zest
2 baby carrots* for garnish
Slivered almonds* for decoration

Heat oven to 180C. Cream the butter and sugar, add eggs and mix until smooth*. Sift in flour, and fold together lightly until just mixed. Add milk and yoghourt*. Add the grated carrot squeezed of excess moisture (I didn’t bother squeezing, my cake needed the moisture), almonds, mint and zest and lightly mix.

Pile batter into a lightly greased 22 x 10-centimetre loaf cake tin.

Trim and peel baby carrots [I used the ungrated wobbly stalks of my carrots], cut in half lengthwise if large, and arrange on top. Baked for 40 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Icing
150g cream cheese
1 Tablespoon of plain yoghourt
60g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice

Whiz or beat cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla and lemon juice until smooth and serve in a pot alongside for spreading

I was out of oranges, so I used a scrubbed eureka lemon for zest in the cake mix; and then used its juice in the icing.

I reduced the amount of mint because I didn’t want it to overpower the flavour of the cake.

I made the carrot cake mixture at night, and put it in for the oven for about 5 minutes. I was then I was asked if/when I was going to bed.

So I pulled the cake out, stored it in the fridge overnight, and baked it the next morning. I think this may have contributed to the stickiness of the cake in the pan, it just refused to come out. The oil from the greasing of the pan probably merged with the cake mixture.

I made a half-quantity of icing on the side, but had a lot of trouble with the cream cheese.

It refused to combine and remained lumpy. I was hand mixing it with a fork, but I suspect it was more due to the fact that the cheese was a no-name brand that had been in the fridge at the supermarket since the dawn of time. I added in a tablespoon of the yoghourt to try and loosen up the mixture, but it was still lumpy. If I had used a stick blender, it may have helped, but I had made up such a small quantity of icing that I don’t think it would have made enough of a difference.

Result?
Carrot, lemon and almond cake

Very tasty! The edges were brown with burnt crunchy bits or BCBs. The whole thing deflated when I pulled it out of the over at the 45 minute mark. I could have left it a bit longer, but I had to get to work, and I think it would have made it very dry. There was a slight mint note here and there, but it didn’t overpower the cake. It remained quite moist. The “icing”, although it looked very ugly, tasted very nice with the cake. Not one to lick the bowl, I licked the icing bowl. Well, half of it anyway.

Next time?
This time, I grated my carrot with a potato peeler. Next time, I would try a mixture of coarse and finely grated carrot. What about some carrot juice?

I would also get a non ‘no-name’ branded cream cheese, or even try using goats chevre instead.

If I had to get to bed, let’s put the mixture as-is in the fridge overnight, and then fill the baking pan the next day.

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