Spiced carrot halwa cake
- March 2019
- Serves 12-14
- Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 1 hour 5 min
Georgina Hayden puts a slightly different spin on a carrot cake with her halwa-inspired recipe. She says:
”One of my favourite Indian sweets is halwa, made with carrots slow cooked in sugar with cardamom, pistachios and raisins. Here I’m using the same exotic flavours in a carrot cake, finished off with a brown-sugar buttercream. Adorn with gold leaf, if you’re feeling flush”.
- 24.2g (7.7g saturated)
- 49.9g (38g sugars)
For the cake
- 200ml vegetable oil, plus extra to grease
- 225g soft light brown sugar
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 210g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 10 green cardamom pods, seeds removed and finely ground in a pestle and mortar
- 75g raisins
- 250g carrots, coarsely grated
- 40g shelled unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
For the brown-sugar buttercream
- 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 100g soft light brown sugar
- 150g golden icing sugar
- 150g full-fat cream cheese
- 20g shelled unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
- Gold leaf, Indian sweets and tea to serve (optional)
You’ll also need…
- 900g loaf tin, greased and fully lined with non-stick baking paper
- Heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3½. For the cake, put the oil, 225g soft light brown sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and crushed cardamom seeds to the bowl, then mix until smooth. Stir in the raisins, grated carrots and the chopped pistachios.
- Spoon the cake batter into the prepared tin, then bake for 65 minutes or until golden and cooked through (a skewer pushed into the centre should come out clean). If the cake isn’t quite done, give it another 5-10 minutes in the oven, then take it out and leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- For the buttercream frosting, put the butter in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Beat in the 100g soft light brown sugar and the icing sugar until completely smooth, then beat in the cream cheese. There will be a slight grainy texture to the frosting, but don’t worry – as it rests the sugar will soften. Spoon the buttercream over the cooled loaf, then scatter over the 20g chopped pistachios. For special occasions you could decorate the top with a few shining flakes of gold leaf, if you want. Serve with Indian sweets and a pot of tea.
The cake will keep for 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
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