My claim to domestic goddessness is hindered somewhat by a number of things, one of them being my ineptitude with baking and desserts. A couple of days ago, I experimented with a recipe for low-fat blueberry muffins. They turned out slightly sour (I suspect that was the yoghurt that the recipe called for) and so dry that I’m fairly certain every mouthful brought me closer to death by choking. And let’s not get into one of my first ever attempts at dessert: lumpy, vomit-resembling trifle.
Today, however, I’m proud to say that I’ve managed to bake something that’s not just merely edible but quite pleasantly so, according to my ever-honest taste tester mother. All credit goes to the author of this recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/carrot-cake-iii/ and all the reviewers who added their own comments and suggestions; I simply read, compiled and followed.
There were a few minor changes that I decided to make, though. The following is for about 9 servings (21cm x 5cm square cake tin):
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar – the recipe uses all white sugar but some reviewers suggested using half brown and half white. I opted for a loosely packed 1/2 cup rather than firmly packed since I didn’t want it to be too sweet
- 1/2 cup grated palm sugar (Note: NOT coconut palm sugar) – in place of white sugar. Palm sugar is generally sold in discs so I grated using the smallest sized grater. I personally find it sweeter than white sugar so similarly to the brown sugar, I only used a very loose 1/2 cup. Just a general note, palm sugar is a great alternative to white sugar due to it being completely unrefined, thus still possessing most of its nutrients. It tastes a bit like butterscotch and gives your baking or cooking a slightly different, but lovely, flavour. You can buy it at any good Asian supermarket.
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 110g crushed pineapple, with juice tipped out
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- A pinch of nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts – instead of pecans
I followed the method as described via the link. The total cooking time for my cake was about 30-35 minutes.
For the frosting, I used:
- 55g unsalted butter
- 135g cream cheese
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar – I personally dislike overly sweet frosting and icing so even this amount was a bit too much for me but this is, of course, personal preference!
- A drop of vanilla essence
As with the cake, I followed the instructions for the frosting as per the recipe.
The cake turned out super moist and light with the perfect level of sweetness. Disbelief was my first reaction upon tasting it for the first time; after my deadly low fat muffins and countless other forgettable baking experiences, could I have possibly gone any further in the opposite direction with this cake? If I can make this work, then anyone can; this is one recipe I can highly recommend.