I’m not cut out to be a landlady. I used to think that renting out property in an era of low interest rates would be a savvy way to create a retirement income. I’ve changed my mind. Firstly, I don’t get to retire because owning rental property isn’t so much an investment as a business. Secondly, the reason there aren’t many, if any, beautiful, immaculately maintained houses ‘To Let’ is because the majority of tenants, no matter how well you vet them, will trash rental property rather than treat it as their own. Worse still, in our namby pamby society legal ‘rights’ favours the tenant over the landlord, so if your ex tenant is willing to lie through their teeth to avoid paying for the damage they’ve caused, you’re forced into a dispute that takes weeks of wearisome effort pulling all the evidence together in order to prove your loss. It’s such stuff and nonsense that has kept me from posting Primal Plate recipes for the past couple of months. The good news is that I’ve finally been afforded some time and respite to get my blog back on track before seeing my ex-tenants in court! And, on a happier note, we’ve now appointed Sarah to be the sole custodian of a fabulously refurbished property. Lucky, lucky girl!
Accordingly, this wonderfully tasty, nutritious carrot cake made its star debut at a family get-together last week to celebrate Sarah moving to her new home, to mark a milestone birthday, to wish “bon voyage” to someone special fulfilling his lifetime ambition to visit Australia and not least for me to honour some creative time back in the kitchen. Everyone unanimously agreed that it was “The best cake you’ve ever made!” I concur. Enhanced by orange zest and warming spices, Celebration Carrot Cake has an autumnal feel that’s made extra special with the most delicious Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramelised Pecans. With more than a passing nod to the 1960’s, Primal Plate’s Celebration Carrot Cake is an updated, healthy version of classic carrot cake. It’s the perfect expression of all that I love about eating Primal. A delicious, seemingly indulgent cake that’s impossible to resist but with no grains, no gluten, no refined sugar and less carbs than a small banana! For the sweet-toothed and health conscious, I think that’s something to celebrate in its own right.
Celebration Carrot Cake (Serves 12)
Ingredients - for the cake
80g unsalted organic butter (or coconut oil), melted + extra for greasing
3 tbsp organic maple syrup
1 tsp organic nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tbsp organic ground cinnamon
1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
¼ tsp Celtic sea salt
5 large organic eggs, room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large organic carrots, peeled & finely grated (you should end up with about 250g prepared carrot)
75g raw organic pecans, chopped
Finely grated zest of 1 large organic orange
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
200g organic cream cheese
3 tbsp organic maple syrup
1 tbsp Sukrin icing sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
185 ml organic double cream
For the Caramelised Pecans - optional
40g raw organic pecans (or walnuts)
1 tsp organic maple syrup
½ tsp organic coconut oil
Instructions - to make the cake
Pre-heat the oven to 190℃ / 375 ℉ / Gas mark 5
Grease well and base line 2 x 7 inch loose-bottomed sandwich tins (to save time, I use Lakeland’s baking parchment ready-cut liners)
In a small saucepan over a low heat melt the butter (or coconut oil) and maple syrup together. Take off heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the ground almonds, tiger nut flour, sea salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg
In a separate bowl, with an electric whisk, beat together the eggs, vanilla extract & melted butter/maple syrup mix until frothy and well combined.
Stir the carrots, orange zest and chopped nuts into the wet ingredients
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients
Divide the mixture equally between the cake tins, spreading it out evenly and levelling off the top
Bake in the centre of pre-heated oven for 35 minutes
Cool in their tins for two hours before turning out onto a wire cooling tray and removing the paper discs.
Instructions - to make the Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat the cream cheese, maple syrup, vanilla essence, Sukrin icing sugar together in a large bowl with a handheld electric whisk until well combined and light and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, whip the double cream until it stands in medium peaks. N.B. Don’t over whisk your cream at this stage because it will solidify even more when you try to incorporate it into the cream cheese mixture, which means you might end up with lumpy rather than smooth cream cheese frosting.
With a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until evenly combined.
Instructions - to make Caramelised Pecans
Heat a small non stick frying pan over a medium-low heat.
Add the coconut oil, maple syrup and pecans to the pan (in a single layer) and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring and turning the nuts over occasionally, until caramelised and golden.
Turn onto a plate to cool.
Instructions - to assemble and decorate Carrot Cake
Transfer one of the sandwich cakes onto a serving plate or cake stand. Spread one half of the Cream Cheese Frosting on top and using a flexible metal spatula level out to just within the outermost edges to create the sandwich cake filling.
Place the second sandwich cake directly on top of the first cake. Dollop the remaining half of Cream Cheese Frosting on top, spreading it out evenly before gently swirling the surface into a simple, decorative-looking finish.
Decorate with caramelised pecan (or walnut) halves, if liked
Carbohydrate 16g Protein 9g - per slice