We are in the middle of the carrot cake season. Many bloggers have already written about this cold-weather dessert and, as it often happens with such popular sweets, there are myriads of versions. I have been faithful to exactly the same recipe for the last fifteen years, so you will be surprised if I say this is the best one I know. Obviously, this is a matter of personal preferences, but if I tell you that the moisture is what I appreciate the most in a carrot cake and that mine is, undeniably the moistest of all the carrot cakes I have ever tasted, you will understand why I dare calling it superior.
Nowadays, with internet and the world seeming smaller and smaller, the carrot cake is no longer a novelty. When I baked it for the first time it was a big adventure because using a vegetable in a dessert seemed highly exotic, if not extravagant. I quickly learnt I should never reveal the carrot’s presence before people tasted it because some were so disgusted by this unusual ingredient, they refused to taste it, inventing different false reasons, such as diets or a copious main meal. Since then I tell the truth (especially to picky eaters) only after they have finished their first slice. I have read somewhere that in Europe carrots have been used in sweets since Middle Ages, so it’s surprising this use has been abandoned in so many countries.
With the dozens of times I served it, I can affirm that this is a totally foolproof, particularly easy cake and, apart from the batter ingredients which guarantee the moisture and stickiness I am fond of, such items as nuts, raisins or spices can easily be exchanged with other ingredients. Unfortunately, at the time I wrote this recipe down I didn’t care much for the sources, so unfortunately I cannot thank the person who has invented it. I also don’t remember if I had modified the original amounts.
TIPS: Exceptionally, I have always measured most of the ingredients of this cake in cups. My cup = 250 ml
This cake is moderately sweet, but if you prefer “standard” sweetness in desserts, double the sugar amount.
I prefer this cake served very cold, straight from the fridge (this is the way I prefer most moist or/and sticky cakes).
Preparation: 1 hour 20 min
Ingredients (fills a 10 cm x 30 cm baking tin):
1 cup (250 ml) flour
1/2 cup (125 ml) sugar (unrefined cane sugar tastes better here, but is not obligatory)
1 1/2 cup (375 ml) finely grated carrots (5-6 medium carrots)
60 g (about 2 oz) melted butter
a handful of raisins (I prefer sultanas)
a handful of chopped nuts
50 ml (1,7 oz) milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (if not freshly grated, put the double amount)
1 teaspoon (flat) dried ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Combine everything in a big bowl stirring with a spoon.
Grease the baking tin or (like I do) line it with baking paper.
Pour the batter into the baking tin and bake for 45 minutes to one hour depending on the oven (a skewer put into the cake should come out moist and sticky but without traces of raw batter).
Since this cake is very moist, I prefer it served cold, straight from the fridge.