Carrot-mantic

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Today we want to share with you our tested recipe for a delicious carrot cake, a classic in north of europe and very popular also in the US and Australia, that comes originally from Switzerland.

Carrots are rather easy to find and have a quite sweet taste. For this reason during the Middle age they were used as substitute of the very expensive sugar in pudding. Same happened in more recent times of strained circumstances, such as during the WWII, when carrots were the base for different sweet treats. This recipe comes from Switzerland specifically, where you can easily find it among the big selection of delicacies.

If you have never tried a carrot cake (we doubt it), this is your moment! You’ll see how carrots add softness to the cake and give it a light golden color that perfectly balances chromatically the white cream cheese icing. The spicy hint of nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger makes this cake special and perfect for afternoon tea times. If you are looking for a lighter version, forget about the icing! The cake is so good by itself or with a spoon of jam.

Go dunk your fork then, and find out how a simple ingredient, if smartly matched, turns out to be innovative and interesting. Almost as an unexpected romantic encounter.

Serves 8 -Medium difficulty-  Prep time: 2:30 h (25 minuts for the batter + cooking/cooling times)

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You will need:

-for the cake:

  • 150 ml sunflower oil
  • 200 gr brown sugar
  • 4 grated carrots
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoon milk
  • 50 gr walnuts
  • 200 gr flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt

-for the icing:

  • 300 gr cream cheese
  • 100 gr butter
  • orange zest
  • sugar to taste (1/2 cup)

How to:

the cake:

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180 C;
  2. beat the eggs with the sugar, then add the oil and the milk;
  3. if you want mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, otherwise add them one by one to the wet ingredients mix;
  4. add the grated carrots and mix well;
  5. chop the walnuts in small pieces (but don’t reduce them to powder!) and add them to the mix. You’ll end up with a rather dense batter, but that’s fine;
  6. butter a round cake pan and then dust with flour. Pour the batter in and let cook in the oven for about 50′-1h, until a skewer comes out clean;
  7. wait 10′ before taking the cake out of the tin, then let cool well before decorating with the icing.

the icing:

  1. Let the butter and the cream cheese at room temperature for at least one hour;
  2. beat the cream cheese with a spoon to soften it up;
  3. beat the butter with the sugar until smooth and combined, then incorporate the cream cheese;
  4. grate the orange zest, and add it to the icing;
  5. let cool in the fridge.
  6. when the cake is well cold, lay the icing on top and if you want decorate it with some walnuts or caramelized orange zest.

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