This post is dedicated to my puuuffff (honestly, I have NO idea when and how we came up with this name but it somehow stuck:-) ) and to her better half.
Our friendship goes way back, originally having started on the golf course and possibly even the ski slopes. All those summers bbq’ing on random hills, gazing at stars, drunken winter teenage nights clubbing, free room service in random boys’ hotel rooms, dancing on tables in the tiniest skirts, my first (and last!) absinth buddy:-), AUSTRALIA, annoying one specific waitress on a daily basis for a summer, hungover golf success with sir albert mulligan, dog walks, the list could go on and on … a true friendship keeps on growing and lasts for a lifetime.
I cannot believe you are getting married!! CRAZY! But kind of great! You have no idea how happy I am for you to have found your soulmate. You have officially restored my hope that one day I might find mine too. If that never happens by the time I’m 50, I shall be moving in with you guys, so make sure you have a spare room pour moi! HA! Single-for-life problem solved :-P. I wish you both the best of luck for your future, lots of adventures, happiness and success. Please take good care of my twin, Mister ;-).
Oh and be sure to keep your future children far away from me, as they will probably end up with high cholesterol and diabetes 😉
I made this cake (and the cupcakes) for the hens’ night, as I thought a room full of estrogen would appreciate some sweet goodness, especially after some rounds of quite competitive karaoke.
But, there is a little bit more to this cake: Last year, while spending some time in Cape Town, Wednesday evenings were our official braai times (Braai meaning bbq in Afrikaans ). I don’t think I have ever braaied so much in such a short period of time, but I must admit, nothing beats a juicy ostrich steak straight from the braai. Anyways, one Wednesday it was someone’s birthday. What is a birthday without cake?? NON EXISTENT! So Laura made this carrot cake (I think she got the recipe from another roommate, but it has been etched into my memory as Laura’s carrot cake) It was AMAZING! Perfect for my puuufs hens’ do.
Before you go shopping, beware that the amount of ingredients listed here make a 3-layer 20 cm cake and 11 cupcakes, so half/third/adjust the amounts as desired.
2 cups of caster sugar
1 cup and 1/4 of a cup of sunflower oil
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons of cinnamon (not Swiss cinnamon…because that just really isn’t true cinnamon)
3 cups of grated carrots (make sure the carrots are tightly pressed into the cups when measuring; you’ll need to buy about 600-700g)
1 bag of chopped almonds (200-250g, if you like you may whizz them in a food processor for a few seconds to make the pieces smaller)
For the frosting (this makes enough frosting for the cake, I made 1.25 times (yes I am a tad anal when it comes to measurements and baking) this much so it’d be enough for the cupcakes as well):
62.5g butter at room temperature
250g Philadelphia cream cheese
2 tsp vanilla extract
500g + icing sugar
2 tsp lemon juice (I added a bit more because I like it really lemony…)
zest of one lemon (again, the same applies for the zest depending on your taste)
- Preheat the oven to 170 °C. Grease your 20cm cake tins with butter and dust with flour. Keep cool in the fridge until needed.
- If you have not already grated your carrots, grate them now. It takes AGES. I was sneaky and used my delegating skills I learned in med school: I used my doggy eyes and asked my dad to grate them :-).
- Mix the sunflower oil together with the sugar. Once combined, add the eggs one at a time while stirring continuously until well incorporated.
- Add the flour, salt, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda. Make sure it is mixed well.
- Using a spatula, stir in the grated carrots until even dispersed into your mixture and finally add the chopped almonds.
- If you have used the full amount of ingredients (i.e. you want to please many people’s little cute LDL cholesterols) get your scales out before dividing the mixture into the cake tins.
- I poured about 400g of the dough into each tin. Use the remaining dough to make some cupcakes.
- Bake for about 22-25 minutes (about 15-20 mins for the cupcakes). Let the cakes cool completely before assembling.
- In the meantime you may devote your full concentration to making the frosting. Simply mix all ingredients mentioned together, using an electric mixer. Taste and add more lemon zest or juice if your taste buds are not satisfied yet. If you add more juice you will probably have to add more icing sugar as well, otherwise you will end up with a runny sirup instead of a nomnomnomnom.. creamy frosting. Cover the frosting and set it aside in the fridge until needed.
- To assemble: Very easy: One cake, layer of frosting, second cake, layer of frosting, last prettiest cake on top, layer of frosting and finally frosting around the outside of all layers and then a little bit more on top. Decorate with little marzipan carrots or almond splinters or whatever you find in your baking cupboard. I was actually going to write on my cake, but turns out the city (ok, who am I kidding, as much as I adore this place, it does not qualify as a city, there are just about more cows living here than people) does not have green sugar/icing pens. Sad times.
- For the cupcakes: just frost them generously and decorate as wished.
One two three four – SCORE
[Numerical ratings are out of four, where four is best/healthiest/hardest.]
Taste: 4.0. All Cape-Towners and all estrogen-loaded attendants of ze hens’ night adored it and asked for the recipe. That just automatically gives it a 4.
Difficulty: 2… super easy to make, but minus points for the time consuming grating of the carrots and general process of making a 3 layered cake.
Healthiness: It’s cake….with carrots!! And cream cheese…. and butter…. damnit….
Cost: Accessible and not too pricey but please do invest in good quality NON SWISS cinnamon. Makes a huge difference.
Overall: 4. This applies for the cake and of course for the newly wed couple as well !!