I know it may sound odd to most people, but I have a bit of a love / hate relationship as far as carrot cakes are concerned! I love the idea that it includes carrots and it can be argued that it's 'healthy' and of course I love the frosting! But as for the walnuts found in many carrot cakes, well I dislike them. Really dislike them!
Enter the Swiss Carrot Cake, (Aargauer Rublitortewhich). There are no walnuts anywhere near these beauties! Hurrah! Plus, there's no added fat! Yes, fat free! Also they can be made either gluten or nut free by substituting that ingredient component with either more flour or ground almonds as appropriate.
I love the Swiss Carrot Cake, it's beautifully moist, light, soft and packed full of flavour; such a dream to eat! It keeps really well in an airtight tin for several days, and it's actually more flavoursome to eat once it's been left to mature for a day or two.
I came across this recipe in 'A Year of Family Recipes' by Betty's School of Cookery, the original making enough batter for 2 1KG loaf cakes. Now, I know I enjoy this cake, but I think making two large loaf cakes for Mr E & I may be a little extravagant; our family, friends and neighbours would really think we were after something! So in that vein, I've reduced the volume sufficiently to make just one small loaf carrot cake, which happily provides 8 or 10 slices which is more than enough in my humble opinion. (The observant amongst you will notice I made 2 cakes in the images, the second being for a friend!)
So let's get to it and bake.
Swiss Carrot Cake Yum
Yield: 1 medium loaf cake
Serves: about 8 - 10 good slices
Freezable: Yes, undecorated
Time: hands on time 20 minutes; plus 30-35 minutes bake time.
Adapted from: A Year of Family Recipes, by Lesley Wild (Betty's Cookery School)
You will need:
1 small Loaf Tin (measuring about 18.5cm long x 9cm wide x 5.5cm high)
little Butter / Margarine for greasing the tin
hand held Electric Beaters
For the Sponge
2 Eggs, separated
2 x 50g Sugar
100g peeled & finely grated Carrots
100g Ground Almonds
Zest & Juice of ½ a Lemon
30g Plain White Flour, sieved
¾ tsp Baking Powder
small pinch of Salt
For the Lemon Icing
Zest & Juice of ½ a Lemon
60g Icing Sugar, sieved
How to make it:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 170c / Fan 150c / Gas 3.
2. Prepare the loaf tin. Grease and fully line your cake tin with greaseproof paper.
3. Start by making the meringue. In a scrupulously clean bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites & salt together until you have stiff peaks. Add the remaining 50g sugar to the mixture teaspoon by teaspoon, beating well after each addition. The mixture will now be thick & glossy. Set aside.
4. Make the batter. In a large bowl, beat together the egg yolks & 50g of the sugar until pale, thick and doubled in volume. Add the finely grated carrots, ground almonds, lemon zest & juice and gently fold in using a spatula or large metal spoon. Add the sieved four & baking powder to the mixture and fold in.
5. Fold in the meringue. Add a quarter of the meringue mixture to the carrot mixture and stir together to slacken the mixture. Add the remaining meringue mixture to the bowl and, using a spatula or large metal spoon, gently fold the mixture together taking care not to knock the air out.
6. Fill the loaf tin. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Level it with a pallet knife or spatula.
7. Bake. Place in the oven and bake for about 30 - 35 minutes. You may need to rotate the cake after about 25 minutes. Test the cake with a skewer, or similar. It is ready when the skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place the tin on a cooling tray, after 10 minutes remove the cake from the tin. The cake will naturally sink a little during cooling.
8. Decorate the cake. To make the lemon icing, place the sieved icing sugar into a bowl with the lemon zest & add the lemon juice a little at a time until you achieve a thick, spreadable consistency. Prick the top of the cake with a skewer to allow some of the lemon icing flavour to penetrate the cake. Drizzle the icing over the top of the cake, allowing it to run down the sides if you wish.
9. Leave for several hours for the icing to firm up. The cake is best cut into a day after baking. Store in an airtight container.