Carrot cake is one of those foods I’ve never felt inclined to eat. Perhaps it’s because until now the few carrot cakes I had ever tried were very dry and tasted like cardboard. This week, however, I realised I had too many carrots in my fridge so I decided to make carrot cake with a few of them.
First though, a ramble about this weekend. I did my big spring gardening – or patioing – session. I threw out some plants that hadn’t survived the winter, either because they weren’t meant to live through winter or because I failed them. I went out on a pot plant shopping spree and came back with eleven new plants. Ok, the lovely lady at the flower market gave me a couple for free because I wouldn’t stop asking questions and Mr. H. was asking even more and I think we accidentally made her head whizz so in her stressed moment she insisted she would give us two beautiful pots: one with yellow chrysanthemums and one with orange chrysanthemums. I also did a lot of repotting.
Before repotting I went to top up on soil, pots and I asked about a couple of my plants that were looking yellowish instead of green. I was told they were lacking in iron. For that I bought iron chelates in the form of a powder. You just need to mix it with water and pour it into the plants.
Back home I mixed the iron with water. The resulting liquid was a very scary darkish red colour. It looked just like blood. Quite unsettling indeed. Duh, I told myself. At the end of the day this is the same stuff that makes our haemoglobin red and makes our blood that colour.
There I am happily pouring this stuff into my plants. I’m pouring away, when Mr. H. appears and points out that if I go overboard, the liquid will overflow and / or seep through the bottom. He was right. It started seeping, and wouldn’t stop. Soon my patio looked like a pool of blood! No matter how fast I was trying to clean it up, more and more seeped out of the pots. It really looked like all this blood was coming out of these plants, like I had just killed someone and hid them behind the plants. I was pretty certain that if any neighbours from the floors above me were looking out of their window, they were gasping, hiding and calling the police.
Luckily here I am writing this a few hours later, so I take it no one was spying at me from their window.
Lessons learnt from this repotting session
1. When the leaves of your plants are not green enough, they need more iron.
2. The iron for your plants looks like blood.
3. Don’t go overboard pouring the iron solution into your plants, otherwise it will look like you just killed someone.
Moist Gooey Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing Recipe
My apologies that this cake does not look like the neatest in the world. I snapped some photos and thought they wouldn’t be bloggable. Not to mention that this is only the second non-nude cake I have ever made, so I still have some practice to do on the presentation. But then what is more important; how the cake looks or how the cake tastes?
For this recipe, I did my usual thing. I checked out a few recipes and then invented my own thing. Wow! This carrot cake was nothing like the cardboard ones I had tried. Even Mr. H. admitted he was initially sceptical because carrot cake was usually not his thing either, but that this one is awesome! Plus it’s also made with spices, wholemeal flour and brown sugar, so we could say it’s healthy.
Ingredients for the carrot cake
6 smallish carrots
2 cups wholemeal flour
100 gr butter
1 cup sour milk
1 cup brown sugar
1 cm fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Ingredients for the cream cheese icing
60 ml cream cheese
60 ml butter
1 cup icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Prepare by preheating the oven to 180ºC. Grease a long baking tin with butter.
Wash and peel the carrots. Grate them into a big bowl. Peel and grate the ginger. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix. Add the eggs, butter (melted), sugar and sour milk. Mix. I just mixed with a fork. Add the flour and baking powder. Mix.
Pour the mixture into the baking tin. Bake for 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the icing. Beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Add the sugar and vanilla. Continue beating until it reaches the desired icing consistency. Store in the fridge for later on.
Once the cake is cooked, let it cool. Then remove it from the tin. Carefully cut it horizontally in half. Spread some of the icing onto the top of the bottom half of the cake. Place the other half of the cake back on top. Spread the rest of the icing on top.
Next time I work with icing I’ll try and make it look neater. Do you have any tips for neater icing?