Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Though I was waiting for 2016 to start, I couldn't wait, what with all the Christmas spirit enveloping me!! So I finally started with my 1st Project on Christmas Eve! 

The taste of roasted walnuts added an overwhelming taste to the cake, hence I will suggest you to use good quality walnuts. They really steal the show in the recipe.


For the cake:
  • 225ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 3 large eggs
  • 225g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g carrots, peeled
  • 100g walnuts 
  • 50g raisins
  • 200g self raising flour (Maida)  
  • 75g wholemeal self raising flour (Atta)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp finely grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk 
*Tip for self raising flour given in the end

For the icing:
  • 50g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g cream cheese , at room temperature
  • 20g icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Special Equipment:
  • Muslin cloth
  • A cake tin of 9 inch diameter or more


  1. Start by getting all the ingredients in the required quantities as there is a lot of measuring to be done. Preheat the oven at 180ºC. 
  2. Pour the oil and eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk them up. Add in the sugar and vanilla extract and whisk till the time all the ingredients have thickened enough to drop heavily from the beaters. Ensure that all the ingredients have incorporated well into the mixture. You don't want a lumpy cake.
  3. Finely grate the carrots and place them inside a muslin cloth. The key to grate carrots efficiently is by first cutting off the top greens and then holding its tapering edge and grating them vertically. Now wrap the grated carrot in the cloth and squeeze out all the excess juice. By removing the juice you ensure that the cake has the right consistency and the cake is not too wet.  Fold in the carrot into the wet batter until it is well mixed. 
  4. Now we bake the walnuts. It enhances their flavour and gives the cake its nutty flavour in ways that I cant even explain you. Scatter them on a baking tray and bake it for 5 minutes. Once done, you will see the walnut skins coming off its surface. Rub them in a dry cloth or just with your hands and chop them up roughly. Chop off the stem end of the raisins and throw in the walnuts and raisins in the batter.
  5. Now mix the dry ingredients separately (plain and wholemeal self raising flour, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg) 
  6. Sifting is a very important step. Hold up the sieve at a decent height when you do so; this ensures that the flour incorporates as much air as possible lending to its fluffiness.
  7. Fold in this mixture into the wet batter gradually. Keep adding a spoon of milk to improve its consistency till it reaches a point that your spatula starts moving smoothly through the batter. I added 1 cup. (It wasn't mentioned in the original recipe)
  8. Lightly oil the tin can from end to end, spread some plain flour evenly across its surface and pour in the batter. Using a palette knife smooth its surface. It makes the cake easier to ice.
  9. Bake the cake in the oven for 45 min - 65 min. Check for its readiness by inserting a skewer or a knife. Leave it in the tin to cool for 5 minutes. it will come out neatly if done so. Place it on a wire rack and allow it to cool.
  10. To make the icing, whisk the cream cheese, butter, icing sugar, vanilla essence till it becomes smooth and develops a beautiful, velvety  texture. The cream cheese and the butter must be at room temperature before blending so that the icing does not develop lumps.
  11. Once the cake cools down, spread the icing over it with a palette knife.

Tip: You can make self-raising flour yourself by adding 1.5 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt for every cup of flour used.

You can also decorate the cake with orange rind sprinkled over the icing!

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Baking 101! Take 1#

I came across this delightful book called - "A little course in... Baking" which teaches you everything you need to know in baking - from whipping to sifting to folding to creaming.
There are a plethora of recipe books that I have which have been lying around waiting to be used, being gazed at while I ask mom if she has the required ingredients in her wonderfully stocked larder (yes that's what I love to call it!). I am very sure they are all yearning to get marked with a fleck of cocoa here or a smudge of watermark there as I use them. And thus I decided to to try something new! Bake a little and learn along!

So the title says Baking 101! Why?
It is my personal initiative to "learn" baking. And while I do so, I will share the best moments, lovely pictures and also things that I learn on the way.
Hope you enjoy it!
Bon Appétit!

*The recipes are pure adaptations of the book "A little course in... Baking" and I claim no intellectual rights over it.