A few good things happened this past Sunday. The snow drove me to finally sort my bedroom into order; it seems two days of snow is enough of a novelty for everyone! A quick trip to the gym to meet my sister for Pilates also occurred. On departing the gym, she gave me a chunk of a cake that she had made over the weekend for me to try. I happily made my way home, tucked into some dinner and then indulged in a slice of cake. The taste sensation caused an immediate text message to be sent to my aforementioned sister that went a little bit like this….: “I NEED the recipe for this cake. This icing is UNREAL!”
One email later and I was ready to get baking! The inclusion of (my beloved) coconut oil only excited me more!
Credit to the blogger whose creation it is based on (Poires au Chocolat), but The Cake Hunter has taken this to a whole, new, coconutty level of wonder! I have amended it only slightly from my sister’s reflections of her own delicious version.
For the cake:
- 2 eggs
- 170g plain flour
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 100g coconut oil, solid
- 170g light brown sugar
- 50g walnut pieces
- 30g desiccated coconut
For the icing:
- 100g coconut oil
- 200g icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- Desiccated coconut, to decorate
- For the cake, preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F. Grease and line a 900g loaf tin and set aside. In a clean, dry bowl, separate the eggs, putting the egg whites into the clean bowl (to be whipped later) and the yolks into a cup.
- Beat the coconut oil and brown sugar with a stand mixer (or handheld electric mixer) and beat on medium until pale and fluffy (I found using the solid coconut oil quite difficult, so think that softening it slightly before combining with the sugar would be helpful).
- Add the yolks one by one, beating well and scraping down in between each addition.
- Tip in the grated carrot, nutmeg, cinnamon, walnuts and dessicated coconut and fold together.
- Whip your egg whites until they hold stiff peaks (don’t overdo it, it won’t be as firm as meringue).
- Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and fold half into the carrot mix, carefully but thoroughly, scraping the sides and bottom. Add half of the whipped egg whites and fold them in, followed by the rest of the flour, then the rest of the egg whites. Carefully make sure it is evenly combined. Pour into the loaf tin and level out the top.
7. Bake for about 40 minutes until a skewer comes out cleanly from the middle. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes then remove from the tin and leave to cool.
8. To make the icing, melt the coconut oil down over a low heat, allow to cool for a while then add the icing sugar and mix. Add the water and mix again until smooth. Spread the icing over the top of the cake with a palette knife and sprinkle with desiccated coconut.
The addition of some ground nutmeg and cinnamon really enhances the carrot flavour, which otherwise can be slightly overpowered by the coconut. This cake makes a perfect accompaniment to a good cup of tea. The use of coconut oil is both novel and brilliant – if you’ve not used it before, I highly recommend it as a staple ingredient in your cupboards. Its reported health benefits cannot be ignored either; win, win!