Venetian Carrot Cake
- Carrot cake:
- 1/2 cup regular olive oil, not extra-virgin, plus more for oiling pan
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 medium carrots, grated (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup golden sultanas
- 1/4 cup rum
- 3/4 cup superfine sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups almond meal/flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced
- Mascarpone cream, optional:
- 1 cup mascarpone
- 2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons rum
- 1 (9-inch) springform or other round cake tin
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the base of the springform pan with a nonstick silicone liner or baking parchment. Grease the sides with olive oil. Add the pine nuts to a small dry pan and toast them over low heat.
Whisk the sugar and 1/2 cup of oil in a stand mixer or by hand, until creamily and airily mixed together.
Sprinkle with the pine nuts and bake until the top is risen and golden and a cake tester comes out sticky but otherwise more or less clean, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it sit on a rack for 10 minutes before removing the sides. Let cool until ready to serve. Transfer the cake to a serving platter.
Combine the mascarpone, confectioners' sugar and rum in a small bowl. Slice the cake and serve with the mascarpone cream.
Make Ahead Note:
The cake can be baked up to 3 days ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in airtight container in a cool place. Will keep for a total of 5 to 6 days.
The cake can be frozen (still on base of the tin), carefully wrapped in double layer of plastic wrap and 1 layer of foil, for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight at room temperature.
Recipe courtesy of Ron Ben-Israel