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Halwa-inspired carrot cake
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by Martha Collison
200g light brown soft sugar
2 British Blacktail Medium Free Range Eggs
200ml sunflower oil
6 cardamom pods
200g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ large orange, finely grated zest and juice
225g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
25g pistachio kernels, roughly chopped
25g cashew nuts, chopped
For the frosting
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100ml condensed milk
50g cream cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC, gas mark 3 and grease and line the base and sides of a deep, 20cm round cake tin with baking parchment. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs and oil with a balloon whisk until the mixture is smooth.
2 Split open the cardamom pods and pound the seeds to a powder using a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Discard the pods. Combine them with the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a separate bowl before folding into the wet mixture.
3. Add the orange zest, juice, grated carrot and raisins and mix gently until all the ingredients are well combined. Spoon into the cake tin, level the top and then bake for 55 minutes-1 hour, or until a skewer comes out clean. If the cake browns too much on top, cover with foil and return to the oven for the remaining time. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
4. For the icing, place the butter into a bowl and beat for 1-2 minutes with an electric whisk. Pour in the condensed milk and beat for 1-2 minutes more until combined, then add the cream cheese and whisk until light, fluffy and smooth. If the icing looks curdled at any point, keep whisking for a few more minutes and it will come back together.
5. Spread the icing onto the top of the cooled cake using a palette knife, then sprinkle with chopped pistachios and cashews. This cake will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Martha’s tip Store this in the fridge, but bring it to room temperature before serving so the icing isn’t too firm.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in October 2020.