CARROT CAKE – Adapted from Coconuts and Cardamom I looked and tried many a recipe and the top contenders had similarities like coconut and pineapple. Still, I find the magic of the Coconuts and Cardamom recipe is in the mixture of nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon with pineapple to balance things out. The coconut adds texture and sweetness that I like because I don’t make my cake batter so sweet. Carrot cakes are pretty ‘wet’ because of the pineapple and carrots. I realized that if I you grate the carrot in larger pieces I needn’t worry as much. And if the batter is too runny I simply add more rice flour. This is the one gluten free recipe where rice flour shines in it’s ability to absorb so much water. I have a friend with a nut allergy and I took out the walnuts and almond milk and it still worked fine. It’s that spice mixture that makes it happen!
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CAKE
- 2 cups grated carrots (large not fine grate)
- ½ cup crushed pineapple
- ½ cup desiccated tender coconut pieces
- ¼ cup currants
- ½ cup chopped walnuts optional
- ½ cup buckwheat flour
- 2 ½ cups rice flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 eggs
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
- ½ – ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/8 cup cognac
- A pinch of salt
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup milk/almond milk/kefir yogurt – I’ve made the recipe with all three and don’t have a preference.
- 1/8 stick of butter to oil pans
- 1 teaspoon cream of tarter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Cognac optional but I live by this in my cakes
INGREDIENTS FOR THE ICING
- 16 ounces mascarpone cheese – I tried cream cheese but prefer mascarpone
- ½ cup (1 stick) soft butter
- 1-2 cups powder sugar
- 1 cup tender coconut
- Two large, two medium and two small sized bowls
- Electric mixer
- An egg white whisker
- ½ and ¼ and 1 cup measuring cups
- Teaspoon measures
- Two 8 inch round pans – buttered
- Two spatulas
- One thin knife or long toothpick to test cake is finished cooking
- Parchment paper for lining cake pans
TIME 2.5 hrs
- 45 min prep
- 45 min bake
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CAKE
- Soak the currants in cognac in a small bowl or use warm water.
- Grate the carrots in a medium sized bowl and add a splash (do not drown the carrots) in cognac before placing in the fridge.
- Grate the ginger and set aside in a small bowl.
- Prep 8 inch cake pans by lining the bottom with parchment paper and rubbing sides and top of parchment with butter or coconut oil and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Use two large bowls separate the egg yolks from the whites.
- Beat the yolks until thick with electric mixer.
- Slowly incorporate the ¾ cup brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt and beat yolks until fluffy
- While mixing, gently incorporate all of the coconut oil until smooth.
- Add rice flour to the mixture and continue to beat with hand mixer.
- Add ½ cup almond milk or plain yogurt.
- Add ¼ tsp of xanthan gum.
- Add buckwheat flour to the egg yolks mixture; if mixture is crumbly or stiff and not smooth add the rest of the almond milk then water in ¼ cup increments till thick and smooth.
- With spatula, one at a time, integrate the ginger, currants, walnuts and carrots.
- Finally mix in your cinnamon, nutmeg and baking powder.
- Your final batter should be smooth, glossy and gloppy.
- With a clean, oil free whisk, beat the egg whites till foamy, add ½ cup confectioners sugar and 1 tsp. cream of tartar and beat on high until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold the egg white mixture into the cake batter mixture.
- Divide batter between the two oiled 8-inch pans and bake for 35 – 45 minutes depending on your oven and altitude. You know it’s done when your room smells like cake, the sides separate from the pan, the center is firm and a knife in the center comes out clean and not gummy. If your room smells like toast you have gone too far.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans, on a rack, for at least 15 minutes. Remove and let them finish cooling out of the pan on the racks. Frost when completely cooled.
TO MAKE THE FROSTING:
- In a medium bowl beat together the mascarpone cheese and butter for 3-5 minutes, until it lightens up.
- Add 1 cup confectioners sugar. Add more sugar if you like things sweet.
- Beat icing until light and fluffy.
- Ice your cooled cake and sprinkle with desiccated coconut.
Check out the original recipe at Coconuts and Cardamom