Carrot Cake

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

PhotobucketCan a cake be moist yet light at the same time? Isn't that like asking a woman to be skinny and curvy? Yes, ideal women do exist, and so do ideal cakes.

I'm not that into cakes and neither is the rest of my extended clan. We find most cakes too rich and filling, especially after a heavy meal. And our meals are always heavy when we get together!

But there's one cake that has everyone's approval: Angela Nilsen's Carrot Cake, from The Ultimate Recipe Book. We love it 'cause it's really moist yet really light. No one needs any strong Chinese tea to wash down this yummy babe!

Before I found Angela Nilsen's recipe, we always had lots of leftover cake whenever we had a birthday Photobucketdo. To cut down on the wastage, we even tried having a small little cake once. But a crowd of 20 people singing happy birthday around a tiny six-incher was so miserable it was funny. That has become one of our most memorable birthday parties 'cause we laughed so hard we were bent double.

Now, we don't have a wastage problem anymore. We take turns to bake Angela Nilsen's Carrot Cake, and it's beautifully done every single time. It's so easy it doesn't matter who's baking it, and there's never any leftover. If there were, it keeps really well apparently and is even better after a day or two.

Source: The Ultimate Recipe Book, Angela Nilsen
(Cuts into 16 pieces)

85 g Brazil nuts, toasted and fairly finely chopped
finely grated zest of 1 medium orange
2 tbsp orange juice
115 g raisins
225 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 rounded tsp ground cinnamon
175 g dark muscovado sugar
175 g sunflower oil
3 eggs
280 g finely grated carrot (2-3 carrots)
50 g icing sugar, sifted if very lumpy
50 g butter, at room temperature
100 g full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 tsp lemon juice

PhotobucketPreheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Place rack in the middle of the oven. Oil and line a deep 20-cm square cake tin with parchment paper. Soak raisins in orange juice. Mix flour, baking soda and cinnamon.

Put sugar in a large bowl. Rub with fingers to break up lumps. Add oil and beat till smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and gently stir till evenly mixed. Fold in carrots, nuts, raisins (and any liquid) and orange zest. Pour batter into cake tin. Bake for 1 hour until risen, firm on top, and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Let cake cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack, peel off the paper and let it cool down completely.

Beat butter with icing sugar till smooth. Add cheese, orange zest and lemon juice. Beat till smooth again. Spread over completely cold cake. Chill to firm up icing. Serve.


Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for sharing this recipe! It looks really yummy. May I just find out where do you get the dark muscovado sugar from? Any idea if it can be replaced by brown sugar?

KT said...

Hi, Billington's dark muscovado sugar is available at some NTUC and Cold Storage outlets. More common at CS, I think. Can be replaced with dark brown sugar (*not* the Chinese type, though).

Chris said...

Hi! Greetings from Stockholm! Stumbled upon your blog while looking for a carrot cake recipe. Just want to say a big THANK YOU. The cake was worth the time on the treadmill on another day. LOL... I am happy to have found such a wonderful collection of chinese/singaporean food and all the wit in your entries! Such a life saver in a city where there is no Chinatown! Will definitely try out your recipes to satisfy any craving while I am so far from home. Keep up the great writing!

KT said...

Hi Chris, thank you for your nice comment. I hope you can at least get instant noodles (of a decent quality) in Stockholm. That's always my lifesaver when I'm overseas.

KT said...

Hi again, were you looking for the Singaporean type of 'carrot cake' that's not a cake and doesn't have carrots? There's a recipe here:

Chris said...

Hi hi! I was actually looking for the "ang moh" carrot cake and followed your recipe. But now that u mentioned it and I had a look, the carrot cake "that is not a cake and without the carrot" (LOL) is also a favourite and it seems easy to follow. So I will try it over the weekend! :) I just need to scour the Asian shops for 菜脯. Yes there are instant noodles here though I would much prefer to follow your recipes! Just sent your blog link to the Singaporeans I know here. I can envision lunch/dinner based on your recipes! Huge thanks for satisfying the Singaporean craving in Scandinavia!

KT said...

菜脯's good to have but not critical to the recipe because there are loads of other 'good stuff'. This is not the 'black or white' type of chai tow kueh. 菜脯 would be critical for that dish. You may need a bit more salt if you don't use 菜脯.

Don't know if you're familiar with cooking with rice and glutinous rice flours. Please note that the water's temperature, when it's added to the flours, affects the consistency of the batter. It's not just the quantity of water.

If you're not confident whether the batter's ok, don't mix everything in one go. Fry a bit of plain batter and make sure the consistency is what you want, then add in the other ingredients. Fry another small bit of batter, taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. That way, you won't waste any dried mushrooms, etc, which must be very precious in Stockholm.

Blur Ting said...

Hey thanks! I'm gonna use your recipe this weekend. Cheers!

KT said...

*mumbling to self: hope she uses dark muscovado sugar*

Pixie said...

Made this cake tonight ..very good. What I like about it most is that it is not too sweet ( i didnt use any raisins though which, if added, might make it just a little sweeter) and it's texture is just right - not too dense and not too light. I am the type that scrapes off the icing before I eat any cake as the whole thing ( cake plus icing)is usually too sweet to my liking. That's the reason I didnt the icing in this recipe. However, I am gonna make an exception here since the level of sweetness is just right and a lemony cream cheese icing would take it up another notch...will buy cream cheese and make the icing tomorrow :)

KT said...

Thanks for your feedback, Pixie. How about trying the butter cake recipe? That's my latest love.

kt said...

Self-raising flour may rise better than plain flour plus baking powder because the latter may not be evenly mixed, and the baking powder may be less potent than what's used by SRF manufacturers.

J said...

Tks KT. No wonder. Tried using both the SRF and plain flour ( with BP) and there was noticeable difference. Does it mean it is generally preferable to use SRF if at all possible to achieve a softer texture?

Also tried your pandan cake but mine sinked slightly from the centre while the edge managed to hold up. It resembled the shape of a quiche (admittedly exaggerating) after the suggested (upside down) cool down but definitely unlike yours which stood admirably tall. What could have gone wrong?

kt said...

Baking soda isn't salty at all.

wanna said...

is there a video for this?..

Anne Liew said...

Hi ! KT can i replace dark muscovado sugar with brown sugar for the carrot cakes .

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