Can you remember those specific things that you just hated to eat when you were a child? There are of course the obvious: Olives and coffee (I think I didn’t drink coffee until I was 16, but then it was the ‘cool’ thing to do, drinking this uber-sweet coffee-like sludge with at least half a cup of sugar and cream), overly salty things, overly bitter ones and spicy ones. I think those were the foods everyone hated as a child, and I sometimes experience that I just now with 23 years begin to like bitter foods like chicory or tonic water.
And I love to eat mustard! Then there were the dishes or foods you didn’t like because there was some bad memory attached to it, probably due to bad cooking. For me it was pumpkin soup (we always had that in kindergarten) and among other things carrot cake. Guess I didn’t understand that something sweet as a cake could be combined with a vegetable like a carrot, or even a zucchini. Let me say to you, I am a changed woman!
You need (for a loaf pan):
- 225g of ground almonds (you can just as well use hazelnuts)
- 300 – 350g of grated carrots
- 4 eggs
- 175g of sugar
- 50g of starch
- 40g of flour
- ¾ of a package of baking powder
- grated orange zest (fresh or bought)
- a pinch of salt
- ½ of a tsp. of cinnamon
- 100g of powdered sugar
- The juice of half a lemon
- Chopped pistachios
Prepare the loaf pan with a sheet of baking paper (or grease it with some butter). Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F).
Separate egg whites from the yolk, then whisk the egg whites and a pinch of salt until stiff. Whip the yolk and the sugar for about 3 minutes until you have a pale and creamy texture. Gently fold in the almonds and the grated carrots. It’s a bit hard at the beginning, but gets easier pretty quick.
Mix flour, starch and baking powder and add it to the carrot-mixture. Fold in the egg whites. Then flavour with some orange zest and cinnamon.
Fill the dough into the loaf pan, smooth it and bake it for about 50-55 minutes until it’s golden-brown. Check if it’s done with a wooden stick. Let it cool for a bit and separate the cake from its pan.
Mix the powdered sugar with some lemon juice until you have a fairly doughy icing. Spread it on the cake and let it run down the sides. Decorate with chopped pistachios!
This cake has been a true revelation to me, and I just made it because I was going on vacation and had some carrots left in the fridge. I didn’t want to throw them away, and it has been one of my favourite cakes since then. It’s so easy, and everyone loves it (ask my colleagues, classmates, family and boyfriend). Hope you are inspired!