OTTOLENGHI’S CARROT WALNUT CAKE … with mascarpone frosting

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.”
Jim Davis
That Ottolenghi cookbook has me completely smitten! I think it follows me around, planting itself on a table near me, calling me softly. It will not rest till I pick it up! It’s not just a book, it’s a trend, a passion, is addictive and it’s making 2010 a wonderful foodie year for me. All thanks to Hilda who gave it to me when I met her at the FBC’09.
You see mentions of the book popping up in blog posts and twitter ever so often,. Joy!  It is tone of the most satisfying books that I own! So inspired by the book, I bought  some nice red juicy carrots and set off to bake my first ever carrot cake.
Happiness was eating this beautiful cake. It looks good, it smells good , and tastes even better. There’s something about it! Ever so satisfying! Something more… yes good as good can be, and yet no butter! I decreased the butter in the frosting, and used mascarpone instead of cream cheese . This was also probably my first cake with just a splattering of rosting on top, leaving the sides unfrosted! Charming! I even added home made marzipan carrots on top to complete the picture.
The son came by and asked ‘Why carrots Mama?‘ In panic I answered, “Because I mixed these colours and all I could think of was carrots!” He gave me a weird look, and said, “OK, but you could have made butterflies or something with the same colours!”  Didn’t want to risk telling him at the outset that it was carrot cake. Can’t trust their reactions to veggies in cake! Eventually, they loved it!

Carrot & Walnut Cake
Adapted minimally from Ottolenghi, The Cookbook
Cake:
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 egg whites
250g sunflower oil
350g vanilla sugar
60g chopped walnuts
175g roughly grated carrot (1 large approximately)
Pinch salt
Frosting:
50gms soft butter
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1-2 tbsp powdered sugar
1/3 cup mascarpone
1/3 cup roasted walnuts, chopped

Method:
Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease a 9″ loose bottomed ring baking tin. Grease it lightly, and line the base with baking parchment.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb and spices.
Separate 2 of the eggs and lightly whisk together the two yolks with the 1 whole egg. Set the 2 egg whites to one side.
Using a mixer or electric hand whisk, beat together the oil and sugar for about 1 minute. Continue to beat on a low speed and slowly add the egg yolk/egg mixture. Add the walnuts, carrot and then the sifted dry ingredients. Be careful not to over mix.
Now transfer the mixture into another large bowl. Thoroughly wash and dry the original bowl before adding the egg whites along with a pinch of salt.
Then whisk the egg whites on a high speed until they form firm peaks.
Next, gently fold the egg whites into the carrot mixture in 3 additions. Again, be careful not to over mix; it is fine to have streaks of white remaining in the mixture.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1-1/4 hours, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre. If the cake starts going dark before the middle is cooked, cover the top of it with kitchen foil.
Let the cake cool completely, then remove from the tin. You can freeze the cake at this stage, if you like. Just wrap it in a double layer of parchment paper and put it in a polythene freezer bag.

Frosting:

Beat the mascarpone with a whisk until smooth. In a separate bowl,beat the butter, icing sugar and honey in the mixer until light and airy.
Fold together the mascarpone and butter mixture. Finally, spread the frosting on top of the cake and sprinkle with the chopped, toasted walnuts.
 ♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥
I got a comment on my facebook from Sherry in CA who said… “Love this cake and it is so perfect since Easter is coming and that means bunnies! and bunnies mean carrots! and so this will find a nice place on the Brunch table.
…so am sending this off to Faith and Brandy @ All Through The Year Cheer for their event All Through the Year Cheer as a recipe that fits into the current holiday season for Easter!


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Comments

  1. Barbara says:

    Marvelous recipe, Deeba! And I am in complete agreement. Let's eat more veggies in the form of pumpkin pies and carrot cakes!!

    Your finishing touches are lovely and the photos are making me want this cake for lunch today!

  2. Love it .. Love it .. and I agree with Barbara.. the photos are making the cake irresistible.. I once tried carrot and pineapple cake which was good.. maybe its time I try it again this time with some frosting and marzipan :)

  3. Arlette says:

    Gorgeous looking cake!
    Your photos are amazing.. I always enjoy your photo technique, I wish I can be so creative.
    Love carrot cakes ,I add pineapple and sometimes also pumpkin to the carrot cake with plenty of nuts. and cream cheese frosting. I better stop otherwise this will make me drill more.

  4. ABowlOfMush says:

    This looks like a fantastic carrot cake!
    The little carrot on top is so cute!
    yum!

  5. Manggy says:

    Oh, children. Why must they be so afraid of food? I loved carrot cake from the first time I ate it as a tiny boy, and I knew everything that was in it…
    Well, it's not like they can resist anything that looks this good. I'm sure you'll be happy to know Ottolenghi is coming out with a new cookbook next month.

  6. Happy Cook says:

    I have never made a carrot cake. As you praaised the recipe so much i am going to bookmark this one to make it.
    Looks really yumm.
    I just think back at home we have the best carrots, just looking at the bight colourd carrot in one of you pic makes me want to have few of them to munch on.

  7. Mamatkamal says:

    I love carrot cakes, one of my favourite treats. The pictures are gorgeous!

  8. Federica says:

    complimenti con applauso!! sei super super brava!! ciao!

  9. What a fantastic looking cake! Love it with the roasted walnuts and mascarpone! Bet it is delicious! Interesting with the cookbook!

  10. Chele says:

    Yum! I think its about time I make something from this book lol

  11. MaryMoh says:

    Wow…a very healthy cake….so full of wholesome goodness….mmmm. I love the mascarpone frosting. I can imagine how beautiful it is when you bite into it….makes me smile :D

  12. Ever since I used that macaron recipe you posted from that book, I've had my eyes on it. Must have it! (But I haven't got it!) And now this? Oh my. A carrot cake to swoon over my dear. I love it!

    I have all the ingredients here and I think I know what to make tonight now. :)

  13. Rambling Tart says:

    So maybe this is what they had in mind when they told me to go vegetarian for a while? :-) I'm not complaining!! :-) Beautiful, Deeba. :-)

  14. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    A delightful old-fashioned cake! I bet it tastes heavenly!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  15. Amanda says:

    I know it seems like I say the same thing all the time, but that's because everything you do is.. well.. beautiful!

  16. lisaiscooking says:

    I love carrot cake, and this sounds like a great one! Mascarpone in the frosting must have been fantastic. I like the shape of your cake too. I need a pan like that!

  17. Gera @ SweetsFoodsBlog says:

    Deeba your photos and recipes are as always, gorgeous! This carrot and walnut cake is pure happiness :)

    Have a great week,

    Gera

  18. Sarah, Maison Cupcake says:

    It is one of the most inspiring cookbooks I've had in years, it's been ages since I had a book that I wanted to cook so many things out of. I have done five or six of the savoury dishes in the last week which will be popping up on my blog in the near future but I am yet to venture beyond the macarons in the cake section. I hope their next book is as good!

    I can't believe you'd not made carrot cake before! It's a classic! Yours looks delicious, especially in a ring mould. Very pretty.

  19. Tangled Noodle says:

    It's absolutely no surprise that your first ever carrot cake would turn out so spectacular! The frosting just on top looks perfect and unfussy, while the marzipan carrots are so whimsical. Beautifully done!

    (I've been hearing so much about Ottolenghi's – it's becoming an obsession!)

  20. Natalie... says:

    Mmmm wow this cake looks amazingly delicious :O :O :) yummm!

  21. Bellini Valli says:

    I love the mascarpone in the icing rather than creamed cheese…although I would turn down neither.

  22. Arwen from Hoglet K says:

    Sounds like a marvellous cookbook! I love your marscapone carrots, but it sounds like they almost revealed your secret!

  23. Divya Kudua says:

    You make even a Carrot Cake look so nice Deeba..:)

  24. Nachiketa says:

    mascarpone icing is such a yummy idea…..

    am sure R would have loved it…. :-)

    The Variable – Nachiketa
    Crazy Over Desserts – The Variable, Nachiketa
    clear

  25. Adele @ WillworkforBiltong says:

    I keep on hearing about the Ottolenghi book. Maybe it's time I join the rest of you and get one.

  26. Jamie says:

    Leave it to you to make something so simple and homely so gorgeous! I really have to make more from my Ottolenghi, it all looks so fabulous! This is so perfect!

  27. Nicisme says:

    Oh wow, how impressive – and yet so easy and delicious! I really must add myself to the list of people that are going to get the book, lol!

  28. Nandita Iyer says:

    I absolutely love Yam Ottolenghi's vegetarian world cuisine – been following his New Vegetarian column for quite some time – there's nothing like vegetables in bakes – love this recipe!

  29. Chocolate Shavings says:

    Love the look of that cake and the carrot/walnut combo!

  30. MeetaK says:

    utterly gorgeous! love carrot cake of course if it's ottolenghi it's a winner! you make it look even more gorgeous!

  31. Hilda says:

    It looks better than the one in the shop! Seriously. I'm totally amazed by it and by you. I'm SO glad I gave you the book! xoxo

  32. Rachana says:

    Those Marzipan carrots are soooooo cute Deeba

  33. Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) says:

    Lovely shots as usual, and this is a nice carrot cake.

  34. Yummy! I love carrot cake. And that icing sounds wonderful!

  35. அண்ணாமலையான் says:

    wow very interesting post… thanx a lot…

  36. You really make me curious about this book when you talk so passionate about it. And of course also because I just happens to love carrot cakes! And this one looks divine. I love those little caramelised babycarrots on it.

  37. Who said that… .caramelised, I meant marzipan!!! Must go and find my brain!

  38. Bethany (Dirty Kitchen Secrets) says:

    Deeba my love I think it would be an utter shame if you did not open a bakery! You really need to bless the world with all your homemade yummies! That's all I have to say!

  39. Natashya KitchenPuppies says:

    Mmm, that looks soooo good! I love carrot cake. I can't wait to read that book!

  40. WizzyTheStick says:

    I haven't met anyone yet who doesn't love carrot cake. Yours looks perfect.

  41. Trissa says:

    Hi Deeba – I love how passionate you are about this book – makes me want to get it! You had me at the first picture! Yum!

  42. Mowie @ Mowielicious says:

    Deeba – do you even know how famous this post (and this cake) has now become? I keep seeing people talking about it everywhere I go online – and it really does look divine. Miss you x

  43. Yum – I am all for cakes that include a healthy dose of veggies and nuts. By jove, that will be the only way I'm getting my share of vitamins and minerals!

  44. Julia @Mélanger says:

    I have not made a carrot cake for so long. I couldn't even say when. I must check out this book. Yes, I have seen many positive reviews!

  45. Cherine says:

    Gorgeous carrot cake. I would love to try your recipe!

  46. Travellers' Places says:

    Hi Deeba,

    I came across your blog whilst reading a post on food photography on NY Times. I can't believe I only just discovered it! Great blog with fantastic recipies. I am very impressed with your photography. What camera do you use?

    I recently bought the Ottolenghi cook book for a friend. And after reading your post I have just ordered it on line for myself!

    I love carrot cakes, so I am definately going to try your variation on it. Looks delicious!

  47. Great post! Thanks for posting the recipe of one of my favorite cakes of all time. The recipe is very easy to follow and I would surely love to try baking this. My friend who works for one of the best coffee machine makers suggested that I try this with a hot cup of espresso, and it paired up like magic. Thanks for sharing. Kudos!

  48. Hi Deeba,
    Yesterday I made your carrot cake. Well, to tell the truth, I made some substitutions and made Carrot Applesauce muffins, but your recipe is the base
    http://cookingrookie.blogspot.com/2011/06/carrot-applesauce-muffins.html
    And they were probably the best muffins I’ve made so far – so moist and flavorful! Thanks so much for yet another great inspiration! When I am looking for a recipe, your blog is always one of my first stops :-).
    p.s. I also linked back to you in my post.

  49. Wonderful pictures!

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