Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Carrot and Date Cake

Recipe No: 263
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
  • Eggs…………………………………2
  • Vanilla Extract/ Essence…...1/2 Teaspoon
  • Grated Carrots………………….1 Cup
  • Chopped Dates………………...1 Cup
  • Chopped Cashew Nuts…..….1/2 Cup
To Make the Carmel
  • Sugar………………………….…..1/2
  • Hot Water………………….……1/4 Cup
Method of Preparation
To make the Caramel
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
To Make the Cake
  1. 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.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350˚F/ 180˚C.
  3. Sift together Flour, Baking Soda and Salt together and keep aside.
  4. Mix together Eggs and Sugar really well until most of the Sugar is melted through.
  5. Add the Oil and beat really well until it is thickened and the mixture looks like Mayonnaise.
  6. Add the prepared Caramel and Vanilla Essence; mix well.
  7. 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.)
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Once out of the oven, wait for some time for the Cake to cool and then keep it in the refrigerator.
  11. 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…


KrithisKitchen said...

Wow... looks so rich and decadent..
good one..
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Vimitha Durai said...

Rich moist and yummy looking cake... Lovely flavors...

Reshmi Mahesh said...

Yummy looking rich the way you created it...

Priya Suresh said...

Omg, love that super moist and rich looking cake, seriously am drooling over them..

Jaisy James said...

aha adipoli ayittundu perfectly baked

Miriam Korula said...

asha...that cakes looks so good n' soft...carrots n' dates...that is wonderful combi too...:)

Hari Chandana P said...

Healthy and delicious combination.. looks simply perfect and tempting.. thanks for the awesome recipe.. :)
Indian Cuisine

Vardhini said...

Yummy and healthy .. Looks inviting.

Following you.

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Life is beautiful! said...

Hello Asha...I tried the same cake without carrots and it came out really good! I admire your aspiration for writing such a beautiful blog! I would have uploaded the photos of the cake if there was a way to....

Anonymous said...

The advantage of ur blog is we could go ahead without a second thought. This one is another hit.We made it yesterday and came out well n loved it!!!

Unknown said...

Hello Asha! I tried this cake out for my daughter's birthday and it turned out really good! I have been looking for this recipe and I finally found it on your blog. Thanks for posting it.

Unknown said...

hello asha..can u pls tel me what cup r u referring to wen u say 1 cup flour? is it different for different ingredients ?

Asha said...

Noora... 1 cup means the standard measuring cup... It is available in the market. If you try to convert it into grams then the amount will vary according to the substance.. I mean 1 cup of sugar will weigh more than 1 cup of flour...

Paro said...

Mine came out ok.. its my very first cake :) thank you

Preetha said...

Everyone at home loved this cake. Thanks for sharing!!

Smita said...

Hi Asha, I tried this cake and its awesome! In factfforwarded this link to a group in Facebook called Chef at large so many more can try this recipe of yours! Adipoli!

Unknown said...

Really nice cake made it and loved it

Reeba said...

The most amazing cake ever! My many firsts with this:
- first time posting a comment in response to trying a recipe
- first time baked from scratch
- first time carrots in a cake I made :)
Now I dont need to wait for mom to make me cakes!

Unknown said...

Hey Asha, made this cake today and it turned out to be just perfect ! although the egg & oil mixture didnt thicken up as mentioned...but a fine cake nevertheless...Thanks for the recipe.

Vijaya Kurup, New Delhi said...

why haven`t you added baking powder to dis cake??

aswini said...

Tried this awesome recipe today and it came out sooooo well... Ton thanks!! Going to try other recipes too :)

kpmeera said...

Sometimes a standard cup can mean 200ml cup or 250ml cup
What did u use?

Abhy said...

Which carrot is best for this recipe? The orange (regular) or the pink colored one?

Linu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linu said...

The cake came out really nice. Thanks for the recipe.

Ria A. said...

It turned out awesome!!!
Thanks 😃

Kibzu said...

Came out really good, thanks!!!

lisysomna said...

I am glad that I saw this post. It is informative blog for us and we need this type of blog thanks for share this blog, Keep posting such instructional blogs and I am looking forward for your future posts.
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Unknown said...

Hello Asha chechy, i tried the same.. it cane out really well.. thank you so much for the details as well.. ☺️☺️

Unknown said...

How much is the quantity of sugar, for making caramel, in the recipe? Is it 1/2 cup?

Reeba said...

Have been following this recipe for my Christmas cake every year for the past 4 yrs. Never fails to delight everyone!

Unknown said...

When do I get an answer to my question?.....

Binsy Anil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Binsy Anil said...

I'm so glad that I found out your blog. My Carrot cake turned out really yummy...!! My husband, my sisters and my baby really loved and enjoyed it. I did this for my baby's second birthday, that was on June 2nd. The Cake became very softer as day by day. This is the second one I made, by following your blog. Before, I tried your Plum cake recipe during last Christmas.

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