Monday, February 14, 2011
Egg-free spicy carrot cake
Continuing with my egg-free baking recipes, this time I have carrot cake to share with you...
My first memories of carrot cake are of my mum buying it at the local health food shop in my home town in the 80's. I remember thinking it was unlike anything I'd tasted before with it's delicious flavour and wholesome overtones. It was in the time of the aerobics revolution and I'm sure I was wearing leg warmers and fluoro t-shirts at the time and listening to Madonna, Bananarama and Duran Duran :-)
My mum was later very generously given the recipe for the carrot cake by the lady at the health food shop and we made it many times over the years.
I'm sure my mum still has the recipe but I use a different one these days because of my egg and nut allergic girl. Gone are the tasty walnuts, which I would surely have put in, being vegetarian and a nut lover, but in their place are some lovely spices and still that beautifully moist texture and wholesome flavour. Almost 30 years on my kids love carrot cake too.
I made this one as a quick lunch box filler last week, and I was reminded again of what a forgiving recipe it is: only have plain flour available? No problem, use that. No sultanas in the house? No problem, leave them out. Can't be bothered finding cardamom and nutmeg? No problem, just used mixed spice. Can't be bothered softening the butter? No problem, just use vegetable oil.
One thing I do think is mandatory though is the fresh ginger as it gives a beautifully warm flavour. If you can find the very tender young ginger that grates very easily that's ideal, but even the stringy old one works fine too.
Spicy egg-free carrot cake
1 heaped cup wholemeal flour (or plain)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bi-carb soda
4 tblsp butter softened (or vegetable oil)
1 1/2 cups grated carrot
1/2 cup raw sugar
3/4 cup natural yoghurt
1/4 cup sultanas
1 tsp fresh ginger grated or chopped finely
1/4 tsp nutmeg
large pinch cardamon powder (or replace nutmeg & cardamon with 1/2 tsp mixed spice)
Grease a 6" square pan. Preheat oven to 180c.
Sift flour, powder and soda into a big bowl. Add butter/oil, then yoghurt and sugar and mix. Batter will be very thick.
Add carrots, ginger, spices and sultanas and mix well. The moisture from the carrots should loosen the mixture but if it still feels too stiff add a little more yoghurt. Scrape into pan and smooth top.
Cook for about 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let sit in tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire rack. When cool cut into squares.
* If you want to make this cake a bit more special it's good with a cream cheese frosting like this one.