Venetian Carrot Cake

Total Time:
1 hr 50 min
Prep:
35 min
Inactive:
35 min
Cook:
40 min

Yield:
8 to 10 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 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
Directions
  • 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.

  • Grate the carrots in a food processor or with a coarse grater, and put them on a double layer of kitchen towels. Wrap the towels around the carrots to soak up the excess liquid.

  • Put the sultanas in a small saucepan with the rum, and bring to the boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.

  • Whisk the sugar and 1/2 cup of oil in a stand mixer or by hand, until creamily and airily mixed together.

  • Whisk in the vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. Fold in the almond meal/flour, nutmeg, grated carrots, golden sultanas (and any rum that clings to them) and finally the lemon zest and lemon juice.

  • Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. The batter will be very shallow in the tin.

  • 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.

  • Freeze Note:

  • 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.


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