Valentines Day Recipe
❤ Loved up Classic Carrot Cake
Choosing just one special dessert (entree and main) for an occasion like Valentine’s Day or Birthdays. Hard, isn't it. So many possibilities. Especially for indecisive Librans out there, followers of many good food blogs and owners of way too many cookbooks.
I’m so over chocolate desserts for Valentines Day. I really wanted to use Quince for this posting - Aphrodite’s fruit of love. The ancient apple believed to be the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. And besides, it’s way too humid here to work with chocolate. Alas, Quinces aren’t in season.
Then I thought Passionfruit. Aren’t they delicious at the moment. Bill Granger’s Passionfruit Coconut Slice from his ‘Sydney Food’ is so perfect in every way for Valentine’s Day. So perfect I couldn’t possibly adapt it in anyway - and I don't intend to breach copyright law. No time to ask permission. I note others haven’t worried if you want to google it. I lightly toast large coconut flakes (from my local health food shop) for the top & dust heavily with icing sugar. Serve with Double cream.
So.. the decision. In the spirit of originality and sophisticated classic, here’s my best simple quick Carrot Cake recipe you’ll love. It’s moist beyond belief, husbands love it (mine does at least) and it’s irresistible in heart shaped minis. Not to mention healthy, as it’s full of freshly grated carrots, then smothered in cream cheese icing & sprinkled with coconut flakes.
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup canola oil, or grapeseed oil or other good quality oil you’ve got in your pantry
½ teaspoon of sea salt
1½ cups Self Raising Flour (triple sifted)
2 cups of freshly grated carrot (by hand or 2 secs in processor or whizzer)
½ cup chopped walnuts
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
1½ teaspoons bi carb soda
125 grams (4ozs) Cream cheese at room temp
155 grams (5ozs) Butter at room temp
250 grams (8ozs) Icing Sugar
dash of Vanilla or Lemon Juice (up to you!)
(can easily be doubled or tripled for a bigger layered cake)
Method + Tips
Preheat oven to moderately slow 160°C (325°F). Grease and flour your tin/s. Large round springform or mini hearts or whatever you’ve decided to use.
Combine sugar and oil with hand held beater or mixer. Add eggs and beat well. Sift flour, cinnamon and bi carb soda together. Add to wet mix and beat until well blended.
Lightly fold in grated carrots and chopped walnuts with a wooden spoon.
Bake for 1 hour or until springs back when lightly touched in the centre. Small cakes take approximately half the time 25-30 minutes. It's that simple!
While cake is cooling, mix all icing ingredients with a beater or mixer until smooth. Keep refrigerated until ready to use. Trim bottom of heart cakes if necessary to neaten heart shapes.
Ice with cream cheese. Icing is beautiful when covered all over the cake - top and side. See pic below. Decorate with coconut flakes, toasted shredded coconut, crushed walnuts or sugared rose petals when cold. Display on your best white cake plate.
Actually I’ve just noticed in my jounal I've written 'Waldorf Astoria Carrot Cake from Mum'. I’m guessing some time way back when, this recipe must have originated from that amazing old New York Hotel. Proof again that nothing in baking is ever new or truly original. Stayed there once on a travel agents super deal. I'll save that story for another day.
Best part about the little hearts, you ask? You can give your heart to each family member with a cuddle. Any spares, possible but unlikely, can go to school to butter up a favourite new teacher.
A clever baker friend Jenny, adds a gorgeous mango spread layer to her ‘secret’ carrot cake recipe. Just double this recipe and use two round tins. Double the icing quantities as well.
I promise not to forget the passionfruit while they are so huge & plentiful. Let’s make something with them next week. Isn’t it quintessential Australia to have a passionfruit vine choking your backyard fence. My latest vine, only planted about 12 weeks ago, is already taking over nearby shrubs and in need of taming onto a trellis. Seems citrus plant food and expensive soiled kitty litter works wonders.
Truth No.5 - I hate red roses. Boycott Valentine’s Day red this year! Chilli Red I love. And Tupperware silicone red I can almost handle, just because they are such great baking moulds. But Red Roses, that sickly $10 a single stem/$45 a bunch red that is way too much. Anyone agree with me? Post a comment! Give us girls WHITE flowers any day, any variety and we’ll love you all the more for it.
I can feel some Red Wine Chilli Jelly coming up soon... stay tuned.