Sunday, September 11, 2011

Spiced Chocolate Carrot Cake – Worth The Calories

Pin It Chocolate cake is one of the most deceitful desserts you are likely to come across in your foodie life.  Here’s how dastardly a chocolate cake can be...

I'm nuts about carrot cake...

... you are in a restaurant or café. You’ve eaten your meal and it was rather delicious and filling. You don’t really want dessert but the waitress thoughtfully brings the menu, just in case...
Sophisticated it ain't!

You hear a little voice... “Pssst! Hey you... yes you... over here!”

There, just past the apple pie, is a chocolate cake. It is calling to you. Hmmmm. You crane your neck – it can’t hurt just to have a little look. It does give the impression of being rather delicious. Is that fudge icing on top? Your eyes ignore the protests of your belly and you find yourself ordering.

It arrives, a swirl of cream on the side. You sigh in anticipation and sink your fork into the dark layers. Ack! It is dry as dust and certainly NOT WTC* (Worth the Calories). Another “all style, no substance chocolate cake” gets pushed around the plate while you wait for the bill.
Waiter! Waiter! My cake is on fire!

One cake that is unfailingly luscious is carrot cake so I have combined my usual recipe with my favourite spiced hot chocolate recipe. Sophisticated it ain’t! Worth The Calories, definitely!

For 12-14 servings you will need...
Cake Batter
350g plain flour
60g dark cocoa powder (such as Bourneville), sifted to remove any lumps
350g caster sugar
14g baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
100g chopped nuts (I use a mixture of almonds and walnuts)
50g raisins (or sultanas or currents)
50g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
300g finely grated carrot
4 large eggs, beaten
300mls peanut oil (or sunflower oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1                 Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.  Rub a 26cm (10 inch) round cake tin lightly with butter and line the base with a circle of baking parchment.
2                 Place the first 9 ingredients in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer.  Add the grated carrot and mix well. Add the egg and mix until combined. Finally add the oil and vanilla extract and mix well until combined into a batter.
3                 Transfer the batter to the prepared cake tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for 60 minutes or until well risen. A toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean.
4                 Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes in the tin. Then remove the tin and allow cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

Does spiced chocolate carrot cake count towards my five a day?

Cream Cheese Frosting
200g full fat cream cheese
100g butter, softened
700g icing sugar, sifted to remove any lumps
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

50g walnuts, chopped

1                In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until combined.
2                Add the sifted icing sugar in about 4 stages, mixing well between additions. An electric whisk is best for this task.
3                Finally add the vanilla extract and beat until the icing is thick and smooth.
4                 Spread over the cooled cake and sprinkle with the chopped walnuts.
5                 Pour yourself a mug of tea and find a quiet place where you can enjoy this cake uninterrupted.

This will keep for about a week if kept in an airtight container in a cool place.
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  1. This looks incredible. I o very little baking but may actually try this.
    I am glad you have a link for conversions on your site but this is probably an excuse to buy a kitchen scale.

  2. OMG I just had dinner and dessert, but I think I can easily fit a slice of this cake. It looks incredible! I’ve never tried the carrot/chocolate combo but you just showed that it works just fine!

  3. Oh yes, this cake DEFINITELY sounds like it's worth the calories!
    Carrot cake is always a favourite in my house, as is chocolate cake... so any recipe that lets me eat both at the same time can't possibly be a bad thing. Must find an excuse to make this cake ASAP!

  4. I hear ya on the icky restaurant chocolate cakes...yours looks guaranteed to be moist and delectable...every.single.bite! Carrot cake is one of my favorites...and I think you've made it even better! Truly yummy~

  5. Oh how yummy! Chocolate and carrot cake made a baby. I'll definitely order dessert if that's on the menu.

  6. It's so true that nothing can beat a homemade chocolate cake!! That icing is just to die for!!

  7. Oh Hester! I have been in that restaurant with you! I know that disappointment! But your cake looks lush and delicious! I imagine the carrots really lend to the moistness too! What a truly great combination. I really must try this one!

  8. Delicious! This is absolutely, delightfully decadent! Buzzed!

  9. Hester. You have such a magical way in the kitchen. Alas, i have no love for chocolate at all. But I do love carrot cake. So now, I am torn. The chef is a chocolate addict so I am sure that he will gladly take this recipe and work his own magic on it and devour it all with the children's help of course. I, in solidarity, will sample some too.
    Lovely to sit with you and chat last week.

  10. Oh Hester!!! What a delicious treat! But you said it is a carrot cake, right?? So it MUST BE HEALTHY, right??? ;-P I would happily dig my fork in such a tasty cake! I love the spice mix! Bookmarked!

  11. I'm not much of a baker either but I may just be converted by this one. Lovely recipe and clever combination.

  12. That sponge look so amazing, Hester, was it someone's birthday?

    Really good to meet up with you on Friday.

  13. This cake looks great and I totally hear you on the chocolate cake in restaurants complaint. Why, oh why, can't they get them right?

  14. Just the idea of chocolate in a carrot cake does sound heavenly. I have saved this recipe.
    Restaurant desserts rarely can compete with homemade and I gave up ordering those years ago.

  15. I think you have created an amazing cake. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  16. ...this is a marriage made in heaven. I bet that cake tastes flipping awesome! I love carrot cake to begin with but, spiced hot chocolate!? Worth the calories indeed. And the diabetic coma I'd slip into after eating the entire cake myself.

  17. You are a genius, Hester. If you can also count this as one of the 5 a day, that would certainly help. Carrot cake is my absolute fav, choc cake and in one? The Big O.

  18. Amazing. TOTALLY WTC. I love all of the things going on this cake - from the carrots to the chocolate to the raisins and ginger. Thanks for another winner, Hester!!

  19. I totally know what you mean about a dessert being worth/not worth the calories! I don't often order dessert out but when I do it had better be worth it! Most of the time it isn't : (
    Carrot cake, however is my FAVORITE! My mom and I both love it and it's kind of our traditional birthday cake. This weekend is my birthday but I'm going to be out of town so I might make myself an early birthday carrot cake with your recipe : )

  20. I totally know what you mean about the restaurant chocolate cake! It looks so promising and then you take a bite. Boo! Your recipe looks fabulous! I love that you combined chocolate and carrot. Makes you feel as if it may be healthier too ;)

  21. I reckon it does count towards the 5 a day - carrots, cocoa...I thought they are good for you

  22. Hester, dear! I am back! Can't wait to find an excuse to bake this cake! Miss you too!

  23. I have never thought to put chocolate in a carrot cake, but now I can see what a delight it would be on the palate. That was a beautiful cake.

  24. Love this take on chocolate cake!

  25. I love carrot cake, too.. and carrot cake plus chocolate?! Heaven, simply heaven on my palate! :)

  26. What a brilliant combination, absolutely delicious!

  27. Congrats on the top 9! This looks so yummy!

  28. Oooah, look at that icing just drizzling down the side. Who's birthday is it?

  29. For some weird reason I cannot comment on your blog through the foodbuzz site. So I ran over directly to say congrats on top 9. Such a wonderful recipe.

  30. lovely recipe .. lots of icing looks so great

  31. I would say that this is a definite splurge cake. Worth every delicious calorie!! love the chocolate and carrot cake mix!

  32. Oh definitely worth the calories! I enjoy carrot cake but have never had chocolate carrot cake. I want some now!


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