Carrot Cake

Ingredients sponge cake (bizcocho)
– 100 g pecan or cashew nuts (anacardos o nueces pecanas)
– 440 g carrots (weight after peeling)
– 200 g self raising flour (harina de repostería)
– 80 g whole wheat flour (harina integral)
– 4 eggs
– 200 g sugar
– 100 g brown sugar
– 240 ml sunflower oil
– 2 tsps vanilla essence
– 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (bicarbonato)
– 2 tsps baking powder (levadura Royal)
– ½ tsp salt
– 2 tsps ground cinnamon (canela en polvo)

Ingredientes frosting (cobertura)
– 300 g Philadelphia (no usas marcas blancas para ésta receta!)
– 250 gr icing sugar (azúcar glas)
– 50g butter
– 300 ml single cream (nata líquida)

To prepare the sponge, start by roasting the nuts in the oven a 180ºC for 8 mins. Leave the oven at the same temperature for baking the sponge.

Shred the carrots as fine as possibly (using the Thermomix if you have one) then grind the nuts.  Reserve.

In a large bowl, add both flours, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Mix well.

In another bowl, add the eggs, brown and white sugars and beat until creamy. Add the oil and vanilla essence.

Now mix the ingredients from both bowls together and whisk until combined. Incorporate the nuts and carrots.  Mix well.

Line a 23cm diameter baking tin with grease proof paper, grease with butter and pour in the sponge mixture. Bake at 180ºC for approximately 1 hour. Don’t open the oven during the first half hour otherwise the sponge won’t rise! Remove from the oven and leave to cool.  Remove from the baking tin and cut in half horizontally.

To make the frosting, first of all soften the cheese and then beat in the sugar.  Whip the cream and fold into the cheese and sugar mixture.  Spread one third of the frosting in the middle of the sponge and the remaining two thirds over the top and sides.

You can decorate your cake with caramelized almonds or flaked almonds if you prefer.

Caramelized almonds
Place 300g almonds, 300g sugar and 4 tbsps water in a frying pan and over a medium heat, dissolve the sugar, moving constantly. When the sugar starts to bubble, lower the temperature and continue stirring until the water has completely evaporated. Now turn the heat up again and you’ll see how the almonds become caramelized in no time at all.  When you can see each almond coated in caramel, place them all onto grease proof paper, separate and allow to cool.