The Double JJ Carrot Cake

Carrot cake (1)

Carrot cake.
Is there any other cake like it?
Like seriously. A CAKE crammed with carrots. And nuts. And sultanas. And spice.
Frosted with tangy cream cheese.
Moist, flavoursome, delicious, carroty-ness.

I think you get the picture. I like love carrot cake.
It is my favourite cake.
In my humble opinion, every occasion is made better with carrot cake.
Sorry all the nut-free folks out there, but I want carrot cake for my wedding cake.
My future husband will have to be okay with this, other-wise we have a deal-breaker. ;-).
No seriously.

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Anyway, it was a workmate’s birthday last week. And we have this thing with my work buddies – lunch and cake.
I know you all want to work with us, right. (We are a nice bunch, so I totally get why ya’ll want to work with us!).

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And so, I decided I like carrot cake. I haven’t had carrot cake since my birthday earlier in the year. So this would be the perfect reason to have carrot cake. While I’m not vegan, and my work-mate is not vegan, we have a few other work mates who are vegetarians/vegans. So what does Anneline do in a situation like this? Throw my hands up in dismay and sob into a pillow? Read 3 dozen cookbooks or stalk all the vegan bloggers online?

Neither. And this is where my NPD (new product developer) food scientist kicks in. Flavours and flavour combinations have been a huge part of my job. And so I embarked on making a carrot cake from scratch with only a digital scale, a blank notebook, my technical eye, and well-developed palate to guide me. There were a few times when this recipe just didn’t “look right”. And so I sat with a notebook and trouble-shot what could be going wrong and why from a food chemistry perspective. 2 hours later, the most delicious wafting scents were permeating my apartment flowing out into the foyer. All thumbs up from all 15+ taste-testers to had a decent slice.

This cake is quite moist and somewhat heavy hence you don’t need a majorly thick piece for it to be satisfying. To make it completely vegan, use cashew nut cream instead of cream cheese. I named this cake the JJ carrot cake. Two-J’s because it scores 10/10 twice over, and J is the 10th letter of the alphabet. It’s that good. Also JJ are the initials of the guy I made this cake for, so that may/may not be a contributing factor.

Either way enjoy. And remember to share. You can make your cake and eat it to. But sharing is so much more fun. And click on the pictures to see the pictures in drool-worth detail :-). It’ll make you want to lick your computer/device screen.

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The JJ Carrot Cake

1). In a large bowl mix together the following ingredients:
– 1.5 cups wholemeal flour (225g) + 3 tsp baking powder (9g) (sifted)
– 1.5 cup plain flour (200g) + 3 tsp baking powder (9g) (sifted)
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp cardamom
– 2 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated)
– zest 1/2 large orange
– 2 medium-large carrots coarsely grated (220g)
– 1 cup sultanas (190g)
– 1 cup chopped raw walnuts (160g)
– 1/4 cup naked ginger finely diced (45g)

2. In a high speed blender, blend the following:
– 1 cup oil (rice bran oil)
– 3/4 cup water
– 1/2 cup honey
– 1/4 cup pitted dates
– juice and pulp of 1 large orange
– 1 tblsp vanilla extract

3. Make a well in the dry mix. Add the wet mixture, gently mix until combined.

4. Pour batter into a greased bundt tin (25cm diameter), and bake for 50 mins in a pre-heated over at 160 deg C. Cover with foil and bake for a further 10mins @ 130 deg C.

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5. Allow to cool for 20 mins in tin before turning out onto cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before topping with frosting. However as this cake is so rich and moist, it could be served plain or with warm, thin custard.

I don’t like normal cream cheese frosting as it loaded with icing sugar and also butter. Not that I have issues with butter, it just changes the texture of the cream cheese. But if you do want to top this cake with cream cheese frosting, here is my version.

Mix together with a whisk:
– 125g low fat cream cheese
– 2 tblsp honey
– zest of half an orange.
Allow to cool in refrigerator for 30mins before topping cake.

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Yum yum. Enjoy.


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