I'm lucky enough to work with the fine folks at Father Rabbit. The incredible aesthetic their spaces have is inspiring to be around and the wares they sell are darn near impossible for me to resist. For a recent Father Rabbit event I put my head together with owner Claudia Zinzan to come up with the perfect cake to make an appearance.
In keeping with all things bunny it had to be carrot cake. I wanted to keep it wholesome and tried to put a little bit of an interesting spin on this classic.
The end result is an incredibly moist (and gluten free) cake that uses a blend of hazelnut meal and almond meal as the flour base. It's loaded with warm spices, walnuts, dried fruit and flecks of citrus. I have added in a hint of finely chopped rosemary leaves. This pretty herbal note really ties the other flavours together and make this something a little bit special. The good news is, though the carrot cake is beautifully sweet and rich, the only added sweetness is dates and a ripe banana.
The frosting is a simple cream cheese, honey and vanilla bean whip.
The end result is divine, divine, divine. The cake will be beautiful on the day you make it and due to the nature of nut flours, it will actually get better with time. Because I'm so dedicated to you dear readers I've researched this thoroughly and can report that day three was my favourite.
On the day of the event slices of the cake were available for a donation to incredibly worthy children's charity Kidscan. A real feel good all round! x
Flourless Carrot Cake w/ Hazelnuts, Lemon & Rosemary
1 1/2 cups baking dates - soaked in warm water for 10 mins then drained.
100 grams room temperature butter - cubed
1 very ripe banana - mashed
zest of one lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
5 free range eggs
2 cups grated carrot
1 tsp finely chopped rosemary leaves (optional)
3/4 cup sultanas or raisins
1/2 cup walnuts - roughly chopped
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
2 cups almond meal
1 cup hazelnut meal
Cream Cheese frosting
250 grams cream cheese
50 grams butter - room temperature for easy mixing
seeds from a vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 heaped Tbsp honey - softened or very slightly melted.
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees celsius.
Place the dates and butter into a food processor and blitz until you have a rough puree.
Add the banana, lemon zest, spices and baking powder. Process until well combined.
Add the eggs and run until just combined. Do not over mix.
Pour the wet mixture into a large bowl. Stir through the carrot, walnuts, sultanas, rosemary and coconut.
Sift the almond flour and hazelnut flour into the bowl (not all will go through the sieve. Tip what remains in the sieve into the bowl) and gently fold through until just combined.
Pour into a greased and lined cake tin.
Bake for 60-80 minutes until the cake is golden and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre.
Leave the cake to cool for a couple for hours before putting in the fridge to chill for 1 hours prior to applying the cream cheese .
To make the icing, mix together the cream cheese, honey and vanilla. Use electric beaters to whip it or mix by hand.
Pile the cream cheese up on top of the cake. Use a knife to ensure it's evenly distributed. Leave as is or decorate with chopped pistachios, walnuts or toasted coconut.
Will keep in the fridge for 5 days. Ideally bring to room temperature before eating.