A holiday and a carrot cake.


(Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting)

The boy and I are both on holidays this week. It’s one of those unusual occurances normally reserved for a handful of days over the Christmas period. A rarity, in other words. Which also meant that I had really been looking forward to this week.

Unfortunately, I have not been feeling well – one blood test and a CT scan later, and it still remains a mystery. Due to the visits to the doctor etc, we had to shelve plans to do a bit of travelling. This was disappointing not only because I love road trips, but also because I was harbouring daydreams of the two of us renting a little cottage somewhere, walking around in our jammies all day and eating steak with our fingers. Not that we couldn’t have done that at home, but like they say, it’s all about location, location, location!

Still, we are having a ball, lazing around at home. Yesterday we spent the evening watching old episodes of 30 Rock, eating large slices of mince tart and talking general rubbish, as we’re prone to do. All washed down with hot cups of bancha. The mince tart was inspired by the cold weather and some dried fruit marinated in leftover Guinness. The general rubbish was inspired by non-leftover Guinness. Or perhaps not.

This had been a vacation not just from work, but from the things I normally bake too. I’ve been embracing more time-consuming recipes such as puff pastry and breads which we’ve been enjoying for breakfast. Maybe more on those, in a future post. I also took a holiday from my favourite carrot cake recipe, to make Claire Clark’s very carroty and very delicious carrot cake. Worth going on holiday for!

Carrot Cake :
(from Indulge by Claire Clark)

250g wholemeal flour
25g baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
125g dessicated coconut
5 medium eggs
250g muscovado sugar
185ml vegetable oil
500g carrots, grated
125g Californian raisins

For the cream cheese frosting :
125g cream cheese
375g icing sugar, sifted
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
a capful of vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180’C. Grease a 25cm deep, round springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg together, then stir in the coconut so it does not clump together. Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs, sugar and oil together until the mixture becomes pale and has doubled in volume. Gently fold in the dry ingredients, being careful not to overmix and lose volume. Finally fold in the carrots and raisins. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for about 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.

To make the frosting, simply beat all the ingredients together until pale and fluffy.

Turn the cooled cake out of the tin and using a long serrated knife, slice it into 3 layers. Sandwich them together with the cream cheese frosting and spread a third of it over the top.

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42 Comments »

  1. Brittany said,

    August 11, 2010 @ 9:29 pm

    Sounds like a lovely little break for you. I too am enjoying my pause from study and filling my spare time with more time consuming recipes πŸ™‚ So exciting. This carrot cake looks SO good, the layers are divine. I love carrot cake, particularly ones that incorporate oil. I’ve never tried a carrot cake baked with muscovado sugar…does it make it denser?

  2. Rosa said,

    August 11, 2010 @ 9:49 pm

    That cake must be delicious! I cannot resist a good carrot cake.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. shaz said,

    August 11, 2010 @ 9:57 pm

    Oh dear, hope you’re feeling better. You do sound like you’ve managed to have a relaxing time, not to mention a delcious time! Wanna know something? I only really eat carrot cake for the frosting ;P Hope you manage to get that road trip soon.

  4. Christy said,

    August 11, 2010 @ 10:14 pm

    Heh, so u posted something on the blog while i was gone…i suppose this doesn’t require u to step away from the computer or the couch. Never actually tried her carrot cake recipe before…I have one which has always been perfect for me, so never bothered looking for another one. But the wholemean flour is very interesting…maybe i’ll try this out after all.

    PS> I KNEW someone was drinking all those Guinness you used to make ‘cakes’ with.

  5. Olivia said,

    August 11, 2010 @ 11:19 pm

    Wonderful recipe…

  6. Xiaolu said,

    August 11, 2010 @ 11:34 pm

    Mm this cake looks delicious and carrot is one of my favs. Sorry you’re not feeling well, though and hope you figure it out soon!

  7. Caitlin said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 12:04 am

    Wait, I *own* this book. And have been hunting for a carrot cake recipe for the wedding. Minus the coconut, this might be just right.

    Also, boo for not feeling well and not being able to travel πŸ™ I hope you get everything figured out soon!

  8. Wei-Wei said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 12:05 am

    This cake looks lovely. I hope you’re feeling better though… I bet carrot cake made you feel better πŸ™‚

    Wei-Wei

  9. steph (whisk/spoon) said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 12:16 am

    sorry to hear that you are feeling under the weather, but glad you are still able to enjoy your “staycation.” this looks like a big, delicious cake–and hope you got to eat some steak, too!

  10. Lucie said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 12:46 am

    Sorry to hear you’re not feeling well πŸ™ On the plus size, you got to indulge in one delicious-looking cake!

  11. heather said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 2:44 am

    staycations are sometimes better than vacations. especially when THAT carrot cake is involved!

    cheers and be well,

    *heather*

  12. Swee San said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 4:51 am

    Get well soon !! πŸ™‚

  13. S @ extremebalance.net/blog said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 5:00 am

    I know an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but it works with carrot (cake) too, right? πŸ™‚
    Get well soon!

  14. anna said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 8:15 am

    That cake looks so comforting! Mmmm, carrot cake. Hope you feel better soon! Mystery ailments suck πŸ™

  15. shez said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 9:06 am

    oh how disappointing at not being able to holiday-cottage and road-trip. but think of the wonder that is not having to pack, pack, pack (and then unpack, unpack, unpack and do laundry on your return)!

    the laundry on return always takes away a little bit of that post-holiday glow.

    hope the mystery ailment is identified soon, and that recovery is imminent.

  16. Trissa said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 9:55 am

    Sorry to hear about this Y. When I’m sick the hardest part is always waiting to find out what’s wrong. Have you tried getting a second opinion? Anyway your carrot cake is worthy to brighten anyone’s day. Hope it brightened yours too!

  17. penny aka jeroxie said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

    It’s been awhile since I made a carrot cake.
    Take care babe!

  18. Inner Pickle said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

    I’d go a long way for a good carrot cake – this one looks delicious! Sorry to hear you’re not feeling on form, that sucks. Also that it coincides with a well earned week off – boo! Hope tests are all negligible and the good old bancha does it’s job and you’re feeling fabulous soon. xxx

  19. Cakelaw said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

    Get well soon Lemonpi. Love your carrot cake – sky high layers melded together with cream cheese frosting is my idea of heaven.

  20. Steph said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

    That really sucks about your mystery illness cancelling your road trip, I hope you recover soon. I was the sickest I’ve been for a while recently and it’s so frustrating when you are just not getting better. Loving the ratio of icing to cake there by the way!

  21. Anh said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

    Hope you are okay, Y!

  22. InTolerantChef said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 4:21 pm

    My surgeon told me this bit of wisdom earlier in the year “the practice of medicine is the art of keeping the patient amused, while searching for results.” It sounds like you’re doing a great job of amusing yourself with your baking adventures.

  23. Honey @ honeyandsoy said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 5:19 pm

    Oh no… Sorry to hear you haven’t been feeling well! But glad you’ve been having some time off to get a bit of ‘me’ time. Carrot cake is one of my all-time favourites! And love the presentation of your cake too… you can give DH a run for her money πŸ™‚ Hope you feel better soon!

  24. mademoiselle dΓ©licieuse said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 6:11 pm

    Sometimes a holiday away from your normal routine is holiday enough. Sorry to hear about your unexplained unwell-ness and hope that you’re feeling better soon, whether or not a reason is found.

  25. faithy said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 6:55 pm

    Hope you’re feeling better now! πŸ˜€

  26. Reemski said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 8:41 pm

    yum, very yum. Want to eat more. Of everything. Hope you’re feeling better soon

  27. Amanda said,

    August 12, 2010 @ 11:08 pm

    Sorry to hear you are not feeling well and didn’t get the holiday you hoped for. It sounds like you have been making good use of your time though – that cake looks great and the sitting around talking rubbish ideal. I hope you get a chance to blog about your breakfast breads – breakfast and bread are two of my most favourite things!

  28. grace said,

    August 13, 2010 @ 7:23 am

    so sorry that you’re not feeling up to par! my advice: eat more cake. πŸ™‚

  29. Betty @ The Hungry Girl said,

    August 13, 2010 @ 8:46 am

    This looks absolutely beautiful! Nothing beats the combination of carrot cake and cream cheese frosting πŸ˜€ Hope you feel better soon and that you enjoy the rest of your holidays!

  30. cakebrain said,

    August 13, 2010 @ 11:50 am

    Hope you’re feeling better and you get a chance to do the cottage thing soon. Nice looking carrot cake!

  31. Darina said,

    August 13, 2010 @ 3:45 pm

    I’m sorry you’re not feeling well. I hope you feel better soon.

  32. Spencer @ Moo-Lolly-Bar said,

    August 13, 2010 @ 11:34 pm

    Yep I could really get into that cake. It looks a ripper!

  33. [email protected] said,

    August 13, 2010 @ 11:42 pm

    This is one fantastic looking carrot cake. And it makes me happy that you paired the cake with cream cheese frosting. They play so well together don’t they?

  34. Y said,

    August 14, 2010 @ 2:07 pm

    Thanks very much for all the comments. I think I’m making some sort of headway as far as health goes. Thanks also for all the advice, especially Grace’s “eat more cake” ;P

    Ps, Caitlin : It’s a rather nice cake and quite sturdy (for your purposes). You could try substituting the coconut with almond meal.

  35. Aparna said,

    August 14, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

    I like the look of your carrot cake mostly because the frosting is minimal. Next time I make this, that’s what I’m doing.

    Hope your illness gets diagnosed quickly and you get better soon. Then you can go on that lovely vacation. Take care.

  36. cathy x. said,

    August 14, 2010 @ 9:17 pm

    aww sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. i feel sad about your holidays too; i was looking forward to lots of photos! :”( get well soon! x

  37. Laetitia said,

    August 15, 2010 @ 6:14 pm

    Hope you feel better πŸ™‚
    Anyway, your meal was a delicious way of cocooning at home. I love your carrot cake : I always find that there isn’t enought cream frosting and you just solved my problem!

  38. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said,

    August 15, 2010 @ 7:33 pm

    Oh no, I hope things are ok. Health worries are awful! And I hear you old eps of 30 Rock are a good way to pass the time indeed πŸ˜€ And carrot cake.

  39. Forager @ The Gourmet Forager said,

    August 18, 2010 @ 1:50 pm

    Sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. Hopefully it’s just a case of mental health need and everything resolves itself. Sad to miss out on walking around in your jammies eating steak with your fingers though. Seriously? Who does that exact combination? Like what – whole steak? πŸ™‚

  40. Yue Edwards said,

    September 6, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

    this looks so good! my hubby’s favorite cake~

  41. Sophia said,

    September 8, 2010 @ 5:37 am

    I’ve seen so many recipes lately for carrot cake! So far, I think yours must be the best! The other one I really like is Scott’s Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting -http://www.recipe4living.com/recipes/scott_s_carrot_cake_with_cream_cheese_frosting.htm – What do you think? Happy Baking!

  42. Shelby said,

    January 5, 2011 @ 5:04 am

    Oh how I love Carrot Cake! Absolutely perfect and equally as enticing at anytime of the year… This made me reflect on a certain post that I thought I would share with you…http://tutusandtea.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/swan-lake-carrot-cake/
    another lovely recipe for this classic! ( for recipe, see http://tutusandtea.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/carrot-ginger-layer-cake/)

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