Yummy (and quite easy) Carrot Cake

by - May 22, 2010

Almost everyday I wonder what my life would be like, if I didn't have access to Discovery's Travel and Living Channel. The TV Channel that introduced me to the likes of Nigella Feasts, Jamie Oliver, Kylie Kwong, Anthony Bourdain and most recently Rachel Allen. Honestly, my life would suck as I would still be toiling in my kitchen trying to cook delicious food with recipes from black and white recipebooks that has no pictures or any charm!

Few days back, while lazily switching from one channel to the other, I came across Rachel Allen's show called 'Bake'. She was baking 'Iced Orange Cake' with a zesty icing spooned over... yumm! I felt the recipe was quite easy even for an amateur like me. So I decided to try it. I googled for the recipe (I never write down the recipes while watching it on TV as I am pretty sure most of them are available online :D) and while browsing through other recipes from Rachel, I stumbled on her carrot cake recipe. Thankfully the website had a video too. I am more of a visual learner and I find it pretty hard to follow recipe from written media.

A day or two later I baked the iced orange cake which was a big disaster. Why? I didn't have the baking tin mentioned in her recipe and kind of got the baking time and temperature all mixed up. I overbaked the cake and instead of getting a soft spongy orange cake, I got a piece of rock! The parts that were edible were quite yummy and tasty. Though I was disappointed, I told myself 'I tried' which was more important :).

The next day, I woke up early morning all fired up to bake a carrot cake. I told myself to be patient this time and not to be in a hurry. I didn't have a train to catch or a contest to win. I was baking it for myself. While baking orange cake I was in a hurry, God only knows why. I had learnt from my mistake. I watched the video once more, wrote down the recipe, went to my kitchen and neatly lined up all the ingredients required as they do in TV shows. And slowly and steadily without anyone to bother me I followed the recipe and double checked everything over and over. I kept saying 'bismillah' and all chotee chotee dua I knew. Lolz! 

Once the batter was ready, I filled my loaf tin with it and said one more Bismillah and kept it in the oven. My job was almost done. All left to do was wait... And I waited for almost fifty minutes with bated breath. I knew if this cake didn't come out well, it would shake my 'baking' confidence and I may never turn to baking ever again...

I must say, God heard this poor baker's prayers and in fifty - fifty five minutes I had a great looking carrot cake out of the oven waiting to be cooled. When I touched it, it felt light. I waited for over an hour more until it cooled completely and cut my son and myself a slice... For one morning, I experienced heaven!

Without further ado, here's the recipe - (It's Rachel Allen's Carrot Cake Recipe)

Group 1
2 Eggs
100 gm light brown sugar
140 ml vegetable oil (please do not use olive oil as it changes the flavour)

Group 2
250 gm grated carrot
100 gm raisins
75 gm chopped walnuts/pecans

Group 3
175gm self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp mixed spice
A pinch or two of grated nutmeg
Pinch of Salt

1. Preheat your oven to 150C and grease (with the same vegetable oil you are using for the cake) and line a 13 x 23cm loaf tin with baking paper.
2. Beat all the Group 1 ingredients until light and fluffy and pale in colour.
3. Stir in the Group 2 ingredients to the beated mixture.
4. Sift in the Group 3 ingredients to the above, one at a time. Fold until the whole mixture is uniformly mixed.
5. Transfer it to the greased loaf tin and bake for 50-60 minutes or until cooked completely.
6. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes and after taking it out of tin cool for an hour or until cooled completely.

Following is the recipe for the cream cheese frosting that Rachel showed in her video. I couldn't prepare the frosting since I couldn't get cream cheese from the supermarkets I visited. Next time I'am definitely going to prepare the frosting too...

Cream Cheese Frosting
250 gm cream cheese
  50 gm butter
275 gm icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 finely grated orange zest

1. Beat the cream cheese and butter together in a bowl until well combined.
2. Add the vanilla, icing sugar and orange zest. Mix until the icing is smooth and thick.
3. Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cake.

P.S. By the time the cake cooled and I started slicing it, I had completely forgotten to take more pictures... Next time Insha Allah :)

To watch Rachel Allen in action, please visit http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/607032/displayVideo/hi

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  1. Hi neelu...i have seen her baking this cake and was on my list ever since...and it has always been on try to list, never baked...

    Now wait, are u from payangadi, kannur?...Cos i also belong to the same place....and i know one niloufer, who resides near bus stand, who studied in wadihuda, anyway is that u?....

  2. Hey for cream cheese u can use the puck cream we get in all super markets, and there is aalmarai cream as well...these both comes in clear glass with a lid...or philadelphia cream cheese u can find in emirates general market or lulu hyper market or emke.

  3. hey shabs
    i'am from payangadi, kannur... i studied at montessori payyamblam not wadihuda... where are you from? I had a feeling you were from the 'malabar' part of kerala from your blog :)

    thank you for the tip about puck cream... will try that :)


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