Carrot cake

I think carrot cake is pretty much universally loved.  Or maybe it’s universally loved because it always comes with cream cheese icing.  Everyone secretly loves cream cheese icing, but everyone is too self-conscious to admit that what they really want is just a big spoonful of it.  However, no one has a qualm with eating a scoop of cream cheese ice cream!  Pair it with some carrot cake that is good enough to eat without cream cheese icing and some seasonal fruit compote and you’ve got a dessert to replace your figgy dessert when the figgies go south for the winter.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake slightly altered from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics 2
makes a 9” cake
1 - 1/2 cup flour
1 - 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground clove
1 - 1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
Zest of an orange
2 - 1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup raisins
Optional 1/2 cup nuts

Sift the dry ingredients and set aside.  In a mixer or by hand, beat the brown sugar and oil, and then add the eggs and orange zest and beat until smooth.  Mix in the dry ingredients and then mix in the carrots, raisins and nuts (if using).  Pour into a greased and parchment-lined 9” round cake pan and bake at 350º until done (up to an hour).

Cream Cheese Ice Cream from Epicurious.com
makes about a quart
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
Good pinch of salt
1/4 cup heavy cream

Whizz it all but the cream in a blender until smooth.  Stir in the cream, then churn and freeze.  So easy!!

Having made this carrot cake many times, it can trick you into thinking it is done.  You will go to give it the tap test or toothpick test only to discover it really isn’t done and then you will end up with a dramatically fallen cake.  So be very gentle with it and just know that the cake will get quite dark and really bakes for a long time.  Lower the oven if you are getting nervous.