In case anyone was wondering about my exile and the painfully invisible void I’d left in the world of food blogs, then let me tell you, it was only temporary..and though I might not be back with a bang, I am back with a gluten free (gasp) venetian carrot cake, the credit for which as much as I’d like to take isn’t mine to take at all but Nigella Lawson’s, and it’s her recipe I’ve adapted to make this unbelievable sphere (albeit sort of flat) of damp richness.
This is a carrot cake and it’s unapologetically..umm carroty? and absolutely gluten free, which is to say it does not require any flour, and as hipster as it sounds, we can take some solace in that it’s not vegan..though I promise nothing. On days of rage, I’ve been known to torture myself with vegan food stuff. But that’s another story for another torture chamber, because right now let’s marvel in the blistering warmth of this buff coloured cake, which sings to your soul and pleases your senses with such luxurious notes, that you’re left wondering whether you should eat this cake or marry it.
So without further ado, we’ve the ingredients. Sugar, olive oil, vanilla extract, beaten eggs, almond meal, shredded carrots, pine nuts, lemon, lemon zest, raisins and rum (not pictured)
Just because a cake’s got almond meal which sometimes you don’t readily get at your grocery store, does not mean you put off baking this amber coloured love disc. You’ve only to blitz almonds to get almond meal you know. It’s rocket science, but you can get around to it.
before we get started, put the raisins in with the rum and bring to a boil and let simmer gently for 3 minutes, after which turn off your heat and let the raisins plump up and cool.
into a bowl of choice, add olive oil and sugar
and beat it for at least a couple of minutes. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable activity, I assure you.
beat until you’ve incorporated the sugar with the oil
followed closely by vanilla extract
mix well, until you’ve a summery ripple of golden ooze that speaks radiance in shiny ribbons.
tip in the now cooled swollen raisins along with any rum that’s it’s been standing in.
mix well, until everything’s incorporated and there’re no dry pockets.
scrape the mixture into a prepared cake tin. This is a springform pan
prepared simply means you’ve oiled the sides and the bottom and stuck a wax/butter/parchment paper on the base and oiled it as well.
now, with the careless abandon of abundance, strew the top with pine nuts
liberally or not..entirely up to you and bake at 180°C for 40 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out almost clean. As long as it’s sticky and not runny, you’re good.
once done, let it cool before you devour..always a good practice.
and behold! the answer to dreary winter months, the saviour of one too many dinnerless nights..or just a sponge to wipe your tears, while you wallow in the dull ache of loneliness in your bed. A cake of such splendour and sumptuous depths that you’d kick yourself for sharing it. It’ll light you up on the inside, and how can it not?
carrots-2 medium (about 200g)
- pine nuts -3 tbsp
raisins-75g (1/2 cup)
sugar- 150g (3/4cup)
olive oil (regular)- 125ml (1/2 cup)
vanilla extract- 1 tsp
almond meal- 250g (2.5 cup)
- lemon- 1/2 (zest and juice)
In a saucepan bring to a boil the rum and raisins and let simmer gently. Turn off the heat and let them stand and cool. Grate the carrots and absorb any excess liquid with a kitchen towel.
Into a bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until well mixed. add in the eggs, vanilla, lemon zest and juice and the now cooled rum and raisins, and mix well. Finally fold in the almond meal and grated carrots.
Scrape into a prepared cake tin, and cover the top with pine nuts. Bake 180°C for 40 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out almost clean. As long as it’s sticky and not runny, you’re good. Let it rest for at lest ten minutes before removing it from its cake pan. Let it cool completely and enjoy