This Cake was born as a complete surprise. A few months back my Mother in Law told me about a Carrot Cake, but memories of that was hidden in the back of my brain until a batch of Caramel that I made for Cashew Caramel tart went bitter. I realized that the batch went bad only after putting the Cashews in the Caramel… but what sort of a cook will I be if I throw that out? So the day after the completion of the blog, I whipped this cake up from that bitter Caramel (without paper and pen, as I decided to celebrate by cooking without them, which rarely happened after starting the blog!!!). But when that Cake turned out to be this good, I decided to make it once more but this time measuring and recording the ingredients….and thus this was born... So let me restart blogging with this Cake recipe…
Before coming to the actual recipe, let me explain a bit about this Cake… If you go through the ingredient list, you can see that the amount of Carrots, Dates and Nuts are far more than the amount of Flour (than most of the other Carrot Cake recipes) and hence this will be a bit difficult to cut (will crumble fast) while hot or at room temperature. So it is better to cool it in the refrigerator before cutting and serving. And also the slight hint of bitterness from the Caramel complements the Cake well when served chilled.
- All Purpose Flour/ Maida…..1 Cup
- Baking Soda……………………..3/4 Teaspoon
- Salt………………………………....a pinch
- Vegetable or Canola Oil……..3/4 Cup
- Sugar……………………………….3/4 Cup
- Vanilla Extract/ Essence…...1/2 Teaspoon
- Grated Carrots………………….1 Cup
- Chopped Dates………………...1 Cup
- Chopped Cashew Nuts…..….1/2 Cup
- Hot Water………………….……1/4 Cup
- Heat Sugar in a dry pan on medium heat till nicely caramelized. (Don’t stir the Sugar while making the Caramel which makes it gritty, but do swirl the pan often to get the Sugar caramelized equally on all portions.) Make the Caramel really dark and on the bitter side. The bitterness of the Caramel complements this Cake really well.
- Add hot Water to the Caramel and switch off the heat as soon as the Caramel is dissolved. Keep aside till it is cooled thoroughly.
- Line a loaf pan (9 x 5 inch, alternately use a 9 inch round pan)with Parchment paper and spray with cooking Oil. (Alternately, apply a thin layer of Butter on the pan and sprinkle some Flour evenly on top and dust the extra off.)
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F/ 180˚C.
- Sift together Flour, Baking Soda and Salt together and keep aside.
- Mix together Eggs and Sugar really well until most of the Sugar is melted through.
- Add the Oil and beat really well until it is thickened and the mixture looks like Mayonnaise.
- Add the prepared Caramel and Vanilla Essence; mix well.
- Add the Flour mixture and mix slowly and gently until just combined. (Don’t mix the batter too much after adding the Flour as the Flour may develop the Gluten which can make the Cake tough.)
- Add a tablespoon of Flour into the Carrots, Dates and Nuts and mix slightly (This will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the pan (specially dates and nuts) and will aid to separate the Date pieces). Add this into the batter and mix till everything is distributed evenly.
- Pour this mixture into the prepared pan, level the top and bake for 35 – 45 minutes or till a tooth pick inserted in the middle of the Cake comes back clean.
- Once out of the oven, wait for some time for the Cake to cool and then keep it in the refrigerator.
- Once chilled, run a knife along the sides and unmold the Cake. Cut and serve while cold. Keep the left over Cake in the refrigerator.
- Using hot Water will help the Caramel dissolve fast. On the other hand using cold water will solidify the Carmel and will take a long time for it to dissolve back. So it is better to use hot water while making Caramel.
- Caramel had an extremely high temperature, so take care and stand back while pouring the Water (hot or cold) into the Caramel as it bubbles up vigorously.
- Grate Carrots using the big holes of the box grater and chop dates with the knife. I prefer not to use the food processor as it will make them very fine and sticky which may affect the texture of the Cake.
- Do chop the Dates into small pieces or their weight will make them sink.
- Don’t open the oven while the cake is baking because sudden temperature changes may lead to the falling of the Cakes. (sinking in the middle)
- Do insert a toothpick only if the top of the cake feels cooked. If you do it before it is almost cooked, the Cake may fall in that area.
- It is very difficult to cut this Cake while hot. So do chill it before cutting.
- When chilled there are chances that the borders of the Cake become a bit chewy. So do remove it before serving. (If you have a family of at least two, it is almost certain that one among the two will love the chewy sides, unfortunately for me, all of us love the sides and it will be over before cutting the actual Cake!!!)
- Be sure to make the Caramel a bit bitter or this Cake will be over sweet. I like it when less sweet.
- This recipe can be doubled with the same quality if you want to serve more people.
Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and
serve it to your family with love…