Tuesday, June 06, 2006

ARF/5-a-Day #23 - Orange-carrot cake

Discovery over the past week: There isnt enough time in a day to do everything I want to, especially as a large chunk of it is taken up by the working hours to which I'm forced to adhere. I'd like to read, watch my favourite TV shows (usually sitcoms and/or documentaries), write about my recent US trip for my travel blog, sort the (hundreds of) photos from said US trip and put them online, go blog-hopping in the fascinating world of food blogs, do the gardening while the weather's good, do the cooking, work on my embroidery and go cycling. (Less important things like vacuuming or doing/putting away the laundry dont figure on my list.) As you can see, it's a little difficult to cram all that into the 5 or 6 hours I have between getting home from work and going to bed. It might SEEM like a lot of time but believe me, it isnt.

Since I cant do all the above simultaneously, some of them inevitably take a back seat. At the moment, since I'm on an embroidery kick, anything to do with computers (writing, blogging, blog-hopping, photo-sorting) doesnt get done. So, what I've been doing since my last post on this blog is watching TV and working on my embroidery. (It's halfway to finished, to be fair - and I might be tempted to post a photo of it when it's done, if I think it deserves publicity!)

Anyhow, I havent put up any new posts and already it's Tuesday and time for ARF/5-a-Day hosted by
Cate. This time, instead of something savoury, I'm going to post the recipe for a carrot-and-orange cake. The original recipe was off the Internet and I do wish I could remember where I got it. (I copied it during pre-blog days, when attribution wasnt necessary. Who knew I'd be writing about those recipes online! Note to self: Remember to copy source at all times.) In any case, I've tweaked it enough for it to be a hybrid now.

It's a very comforting sort of cake - because of some of the desi ingredients, the aroma and taste are tantalisingly reminiscent of Indian mithai (sweets), yet it is very definitely a cake that will appeal to Western palates.

I'm putting this cake forward for the ARF event because it contains carrots, fresh orange juice, nuts and buttermilk - all good ingredients!

The original recipe called for dark brown sugar. What I had was molasses sugar, which is infinitely darker and richer in taste than regular brown sugar. It probably made a huge difference to the aroma and flavour, I dunno. I had a hell of a time getting the lumps out of it (should have done that BEFORE adding it to the eggs and oil) but it was worth the effort, really.

One last thing - I used cream cheese frosting to fill the cake, but it would have been moist and tasty enough (and sweet enough) to hold its own even without any frosting. Next time I wont bother with the frosting - serving it with thick sweetened whipped cream will be more than enough! Also, this makes a BIG cake.

On with the show!

Recipe for:
Orange-carrot cake


1 generous tbsp ghee
1 cup oil
1 cup dark brown sugar (I used molasses sugar)
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla essence
grated rind 2 oranges
4 tbsp orange juice
3 cups grated carrot
3/4 cup sultanas
1/4 cup halved pistachio nuts and chopped pecan nuts
3 cups flour
1 tbsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp powdered cardamom seeds
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk (if you dont have buttermilk, use 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/2 cup water)


200g cream cheese
1 cup icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract


1. Heat the oven to 160C. Grease a 10" square or round baking pan with Pam or other spray and line the bottom with non-stick paper.

2. In a large bowl beat together the oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla essence and orange rind.

3. Next, add the grated carrot, orange juice, sultanas and nuts.

4. Sift together the flour, mixed spice, cardamom powder, baking powder and soda and stir into the batter along with the buttermilk. Transfer to the prepared baking pan.

5. Bake at 160oC for 60-70 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

6. Cool the cake in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cake rack. Let it cool completely, then split the cake horizontally in half.

7. For the frosting, beat the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla essence until smooth.

8. Spread the frosting on the bottom layer, then replace the top half of the cake.

9. Dust with vanilla sugar or sifted icing sugar.


Nav said...


I truly empathize with you in not being able to find time for any of our personal interests. The 9-5 schedule keeps us running around it, isn't it! Well, the orange and carrot cake seems to be a healthy recipe and looks yummy as well. I love pecans and pistachios. Great recipe there. I am a novice blogger and I have added you to my blogroll.


Mika said...

Hi Shammi- Great and tasty looking cake. It looks moist. Lovely!

Btw, I will look for the link to your travel blog here.

Menu Today said...

Hi Shammi,
Good one!!!

Anonymous said...

This cake is just full of ingredients I like. I'm going to need to get some pistachios especially for it. I can't keep pistachios in the house, even the freezer, because I wind up eating them all before they make it into any recipes.

I know why I can't get things done at home on work days. But I can't seem to get it all in on weekends either.

Vineela said...

Healthy cake with orange and carrot .thanks for the recipe.Yummy .Detailed inforamtion.Thanks for sharing.

Meeta K. Wolff said...

Hey Shammi,

Welcome back to Europe. I too just got back on Sunday from my trip to the US. Isn't the jet lag a mean thing! I am just about to rip my hair off screaming. How are you/did you beat it? Even Soeri is suffering. Anyway I love this cake it really does look delicious and a "must try". probably over the weekend as my in-laws are coming over! Glad to get back together on the blog world. I kinda missed having you around!

Anonymous said...

Nav - welcome to my blog and welcome to the food blog world too :)

Mika, it really is a lovely cake - cardamom always gives such a lovely aroma and flavour!

Menu Today - Thanks!

Lindy - Hope you like the cake as much as I do.

Vineela - Thanks again!

Meeta - Hey, hope you had a lovely holiday! Too bad we didnt end up in San Francisco at the same time. Looking fwd to reading more posts on your blog :) By the way, your dad sounds like one heck of an interesting man!

Unknown said...

Lovely cake