At first glance, this dish looks a little like it's topped with smoked salmon! But fear not – it's actually delicious ribbons of carrot, lightly poached with cardamom. Otherwise, I haven‘t deviated from the classic recipe, as it's my view that is something ain't broke, don't fix it – and that includes delicious, moist carrot cake.
I've included some walnuts as usual, but also added some pumpkin seeds – I love them, plus they're so good for you, and they add some wonderful texture to the cake. I also like to use spelt flour for extra flavour. In this instance, I've used sprouted, but you could use light spelt or a 50/50 blend.
I tend to vary the frosting when I make this dish, from cashew cream to cream cheese, but here, I've used cashew cream.
The carrot ribbons are a new addition, but I've found they add a lovely texture and freshness to the finished cake – plus I just love cardamom! But of course, feel free to simply sprinkle the top with extra walnuts or seeds instead.
For the cashew-cream frosting
1½ cups cashew nuts, soaked for 30 mins in boiling water, or overnight
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
Good pinch of salt
Scant ⅛-¼ cup maple syrup
Scant ⅛-¼ cup almond milk
For the poached carrot
2 medium carrots, ribboned using a peeler
2 cups water
1 cup caster sugar
6 cardamom pods, bashed open
1 cup oat, almond or other plant-based milk
½ cup light oil, such as groundnut or coconut
1 tbsp apple-cider vinegar or lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups spelt flour – I used sprouted
1 cup soft brown or coconut sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g roughly chopped walnuts
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
½ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
280g grated carrot
Combine the wet ingredients in one bowl, and the dry ingredients, apart from the carrot, in another.
Gradually pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and fold together until just combined, being careful not to over-mix. Add the carrot and fold again until just incorporated.
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