Salamanca has been experiencing some really odd weather today. This morning it was dull and cloudy, followed by bright sunshine and clear skies, followed by rain and dull skies, followed by bright sunshine and clear skies…you get the idea. Lately I’ve been on this fridge invaders mindset, where when I see something I can make into something else, I start baking/cooking immediately. I feel so proud that I haven’t thrown away or wasted anything in a pretty long time. Whatever it is, I’m finding a use for it.
As the weather is so changeable, I decided fairly promptly that I wasn’t going to set foot outside the apartment today. I took a look in the fridge and found three very lonely carrots, the only vegetable remaining after the great chop/sautée/roasting/sandwich attack. Not only were these carrots lonely, but chances are, they’re insulted. I don’t like carrots very much and I voice my distaste for them (the devil’s vegetable) quite openly in the kitchen. Yes, I am mean.
But I need to eat more vegetables, that aren’t always in the form of a salad. Even if that means the devil’s vegetable. They say to keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. What is it about carrots? Babies eat carrots, children eat carrots…tiny rabbits eat carrots, for God’s sake. All these are more than enough reasons for me to join the club…and I’m convinced I’m losing my sight. I squint a lot these days. I hear carrots help with those kinds of ailments.
So these days, carrots find their way into my diet in three ways – in juice, like this with dinner, or in the form of a cake. Carrot cake. A timeless classic, in my opinion.
For the cake:
100ml olive or vegetable oil
3 medium carrots, peeled and grated
150g brown sugar
175g plain flour
1.5 teaspoons of baking powder
If you want to add chopped walnuts, add 75g to the cake, or if for decoration, 50g. I like it plain.
For the cream cheese icing (double the amounts below if you are using a larger tin/dish):
100g cream cheese
50g icing sugar
Preheat your oven to 150C, and line a loaf tin with baking parchment, or use butter to grease.
Start with peeling and grating your carrots. I peeled mine, chopped them and put them in a small food processor. It takes a while to grate carrots. If you have the time and patience, go ahead. If you don’t, follow my lead.
Whisk two eggs in a large mixing bowl.
Add the sugar, grated carrot and oil and whisk together.
Add the flower, baking powder and ground cinnamon and whisk until everything has binded.
It will look totally unappetising – thick brown goo with orange flecks is what you’re going for. It will be appetising, really.
Pour into your loaf tin using a spatula. Mine looks pretty messy, I was never too good with parchment paper! Leaving long bits of paper at the side makes it easier to remove after cooking. Bake for 1 hour, using a knife at this time to ensure it comes out dry when you insert into the cake. Let the cake cool for a further 5-10 minutes in the tray before removing.
It should look a little something like this. Allow to cool for 30 minutes, so it’s ready for the icing.
For the icing, use a fork to mix the cream cheese and icing sugar together. It won’t take more than 30 seconds stirring until you have a smooth consistency. Use a spatula to spread evenly along the top of the cooled carrot cake…and you’re done! I have adapted this recipe from trial and error and various different methods over the years. I hope you like it.
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