It’s baking in here!

November 17, 2010

My joy at having the use of an oven continues unabated, with the production of a cake I first made in my very early baking days. It’s a gateau aux carottes, courtesy of the king of the food bloggers, David Lebovitz.

Never having been much of a fan of the carrot cake, this recipe caught my eye precisely because it has hardly any carrot in it. It actually has more in the way of nuts, and being a huge fan of nutty cakes, I thought I’d give it a go.

David’s recipe lists almonds as the nut of choice, but I had a bag of lovely homegrown walnuts, given to us by my mum’s friends Sue and Barry, so I decided they’d make a perfectly respectable replacement.

These particular walnuts were quite small, and had the hardest shells I’ve come across. It took me quite some time to get them all out – a task that was done under the watchful eye of Lottie, the miniature Schnauzer, who is partial to a nut or two. (Actually, what am I saying, she’s partial to pretty much anything that’s edible…)

The final weight of the nuts wasn’t quite enough, so I topped it up with some oatmeal. I remembered that this cake came out quite flat and biscuity, so I though the addition of some oatmeal would add a flapjack-like texture (and flapjacks are my mum’s favourite sweet treat, so I knew she’d approve).

One other adjustment I made from David’s original recipe was to do something I often do with cakes, and that is replace some of the required amount of caster sugar with brown sugar. I find it gives a lovely caramely flavour, which is just delicious – especially when, in this case, it’s combined with nuts.

It turned out to be a big ol’ cake in the end, but thanks to the brown sugar, nuts and oatmeal, it’s one that just gets better and better with time. Which is lucky, because, as partial as Mum and I are to a cup of tea and a slice of cake, I think even we’d struggle to polish off this in a single sitting. And one thing’s for sure, it’s too good to waste.


9 Responses to “It’s baking in here!”

  1. Oooh that looks truly delicious… and perfectly neat! I usually make a hamfisted untidy affair of a tart. David Lebovitz is one of my heroes…and I like the swapping of the sugar for the extra taste. Now I want a slice of that with my afternoon coffee as I sit at my desk, working.

  2. Ailsa Says:

    That little slice is for you, Mum and Lottie to share. The rest is for meeeee!

  3. Lottie is lying on the sofa next to me right now, dreaming, “Ah, if only miniature Schnauzers were allowed to eat carrot cake…” Mind you, then they wouldn’t be quite so miniature, would they?

  4. Choclette Says:

    Walnuts and oatmeal – sounds deliciously crunchy. Glad you’ve got the oven sorted out.

  5. Choclette Says:

    Ok, having just caught up with older posts, realise you are not talking about your oven in Istanbul after all – hey ho!

  6. Hi Choclette. No, still no oven in Istanbul. Although I’m hoping my darling Suleyman will read these posts and realise that investing in an oven for our kitchen at home is a very good thing!

  7. Lucy Says:

    I love David L but never seen this recipe before, thanks for the tip!

  8. Christina Says:

    come out, come out, wherever you are…..

  9. Hi Christina. Yes, sorry for the rather long silence. Just had an extremely hectic three weeks in London. And haven’t really been doing much in the way of cooking, as I’ve been staying with various friends. But I flew back into Istanbul just this afternoon and I’m determined to make up for lost time. So keep your eyes peeled for some posts very soon.
    Thanks for sticking with me though!

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