Last night I was busy making plans and obviously drinking too much red. Now that my studies are over, and I have completed my high tea, I wanted to write down a few of the ideas that I have had swirling around in my head and make some plans! I am a list girl and I write things down. Or type things down. I have a diary on my computer which has every single task I need to do in a day. It is an old-fashioned word document, and once something is done I delete it if it needs to be done again on another day, I cut and paste. My obsessive-compulsive tendencies tend to thrive on it and I find it most satisfying. I had to laugh when I woke up this morning and was reminded of the fact that I had thought, after one glass too many, that setting myself the goal of creating one new recipe a day was a good idea. At least I had not set myself a time frame – something ridiculous like 365 recipes in 365 days! I chose not to delete my new far-fetched goal and instead, when I was finished with my work today, I was inspired into action!
After hearing talk of cakes and desserts earlier this week at Greendays Restaurant, during my high tea preparation, I have been craving cake. The only vegan cake I have truly perfected is the chocolate one. I have been thinking about carrot cake all week and was so delighted with this recipe. Archie and Rissie immediately demanded a slice each and it got the thumbs up.
Most of my ingredients for this amazingly yummy carrot cake including spices, cashew nuts, walnuts and sultanas were bought from my local health food store, Tenterfield Health. Make sure you pop in and check out their range when in town.
Also, please note that this icing is not the thick sort that is capable of being piped. I think that is almost impossible to replicate without using butter and margarine substitutes which I avoid due to the fat/oil content. However, this icing is thick enough to spread and is a perfect match for this cake!
Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream Icing:
Prep time took about 20 min + the soaking time for the cashews. Baking time was 25 – 30 minutes.
Made: 9-inch round cake
For the cake:
- 300-gram carrots
- 90-gram walnuts
- Zest of 1 orange
- 30-gram sultanas
- 400-gram self-raising flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 240-gram soft light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 400 ml almond milk
- 150 ml olive oil
For the icing:
- 1 cup raw cashews
- ¼ cup water
- 3 ½ cups of icing sugar
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan) / 350°F. Grease two 9-inch cake tins and line the bottoms and sides with baking paper.
- Grate the carrots and add to a bowl. Finely chop the walnuts and add to the carrots. Grate the zest of the orange into the bowl and add the sultanas.
- In your mix master bowl, add the flour, baking powder, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.
- Mix the almond milk and olive oil in a jug, then tip them into the mix master bowl with the dry ingredients. Finally add carrot, walnuts, orange zest and sultanas and mix until fully combined. Try not to overmix.
- Divide the cake mixture between the two tins.
- Bake for 25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and leave until fully cool.
For the icing:
- Soak the cashews in water for at least 2 hours – overnight is great!
- Blitz the cashews and water in a high-speed blender until smooth.
- Transfer to a mix master bowl and combine the cashew cream and icing sugar and beat on high for several minutes. If you want a thicker consistency just add additional icing sugar ¼ cup at a time.
Sandwich the cake together with the icing and finish the top off with icing and garnish with shaved and chopped pistachios. Keep the cake in an air-tight container and it is much better at room temperature, rather than keeping it in the fridge.