I know I disappeared on you again! I'm sorry about that. My oldest son is taking a couple of GCSEs this summer and this has become the central focus of my attention especially since my son would rather be doing anything but revision! Things have really changed a lot since I did my GCSE equivalent all those years ago. The exams are approximately 3 weeks away and we are still making notes! I'm predicting that you probably won't see any posts from me for the first six months of next year until he has sat the rest of the GCSEs. Actually, make that September because I think I will need a nice long holiday once the rest of the exams are done!
Anyway, back to today's offering which is a wonderfully moist sugar free carrot cake. It did take me a little while to figure out why there are so many carrot based desserts flying about on my favourite food blogs but then I suddenly made the connection: Easter=Bunny=Carrots=Cake!!
Anyway, I made this cake with my mother in law in mind as she is diabetic and though she never had a particularly sweet tooth, it's the same old story of once you're not allowed something you do start to crave it more. I made this cake using agave nectar instead of brown sugar. This is a natural sweetener and honestly you won't miss the real sugar at all. You should be able to find it in the sugar section in supermarkets. It really subs in so well and bakes to perfection. The original recipe was generous in choices of yoghurt: Greek, vanilla or plain and I am happy to report that ordinary plain natural yoghurt did the job and did not take anything away from the flavour of this delicious cake. The cake is iced with mascarpone cheese sweetened with a couple of tablespoons of agave nectar. This really is a naturally lighter option carrot cake - maybe just what you need after all the chocolate Easter egg indulgences!
Wishing you all a Happy Easter & fun long weekend.
Recipe adapted from this one here: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/03/11/super-moist-carrot-cake/
For the cake:
250g plain flour
200g agave nectar
180ml vegetable oil
3 large eggs at room temperature
260g grated carrots (This is the weight of the carrots after grating)
75g chopped walnuts or pecans or a combination of both
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
A pinch of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
60g plain yoghurt
For the topping:
250g mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons agave nectar
Preheat the oven to 160C and grease and line a 9 inch tin with parchment.
Sift all of the dry ingredients and set aside.
In the bowl of a free standing mixer (or indeed by hand), beat together the agave nectar and oil.
Add the yoghurt and beat for one minute.
Add the eggs one by one mixing until each is incorporated.
Add the vanilla extract.
Pour in the grated carrots and chopped nuts.
Reduce the mixer setting to its lowest speed and add the dry sifted ingredients.
As soon as the flour has been largely incorporated switch off the mixer and finish folding in any remaining flour by hand.
Pour into your prepared tin and bake for 30-40 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Cool the cake completely on a wire rack.
To make the topping beat the mascarpone cheese with the agave nectar until it's smooth & creamy.
Add a couple of drops of vanilla extract to loosen it if necessary.
Smooth the topping over the cake and decorate as desired or with chopped walnuts/pecans/pistachios.
My cake baked in 30 minutes.
As per the original recipe, feel free to add 200g brown sugar if you prefer not to use agave nectar.
Similarly, feel free to use Greek or vanilla yoghurt instead of plain natural yoghurt.