Spiced Carrot Cake with Chai Mascarpone Cream

Spiced carrot cake with chai mascarpone cream on a plate

I am a weird vegetarian – I hate half of the vegetables. The list of my most-hated food is topped with cabbage, broccoli, and bell pepper. The carrot will be somewhere in the middle, which means I can eat it as an ingredient, however, I will hardly appreciate a dish made mostly of carrots. For this reason, I was never attracted by the carrot cake. I remember it from my Soviet Union childhood to be something rather chewy, untasty and of an unappetizing colour. Not to mention that it did not look like a “cake” should look (what a carve up!)

My perception changed, when Stockmann opened in St Petersburg. It had a great cafe on the subterranean floor, with a vast selection of sandwiches, salads, and cakes. Plus, only a few people knew about this place. Here I’ve seen a visually appealing carrot cake for the first time. It actually looked so great, that I opted for it. As it frequently happens, being an adult we like something that we used to hate in our childhood (or at least this is my case).

Now, I cook a carrot cake quite often, however, I rarely serve it in a proper way (layered with cream). Usually, we eat it a lazy version of it, which is rather a pie (it is healthier though). Below is a recipe for the spiced carrot cake with chai mascarpone cream (It is up to you whether to use cream or not).

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake Spiced carrot cake with chai mascarpone cream

Ingredients

For: 8 people
Preparation:
20 min
Cooking:
40 min
Ready in:
1 h 30 min

Instructions

  1. Finely chop walnuts and fry them on a dry pan until you can feel a smell.
  2. Soak the dried apricots and raisins for a couple of minutes, after drain and chop. Fry on the butter on a low heat together with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar for about 5 minutes.
  3. Clean and grate the carrots
  4. In a second bowl mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices).
  5. In a bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil and sugar until the mixture is homogeneous. Add eggs one at a time, keep on whisking until the mixture becomes fluffy and doubles in volume. Sift in the dry ingredients, mix well
  6. Add the grated carrots, walnuts, raisins and dried apricots to the dough. Mix again.
  7. Grease a baking dish or cover the baking tray with a parchment paper. Scoop in the dough, bake on 170C (338F) for 30 minutes or until ready. When the cake is cool, divide it in two equal parts
  8. Put a teabag in hot milk. Keep it for a couple of minutes and cool the milk
  9. Mix yolk, sugar and flour. Add milk, cook on a low fire constantly mixing. After first bubbles appear, cook for two more minutes and remove from the fire. Let it cool
  10. Whisk the butter, adding a spoon of the cream at a time. When a mixture is homogeneous, add mascarpone and whisk shortly.
  11. Cover both layers with cream and put the cake together

Notes

Baking time varies depending on whether you are making the cake in a baking dish or a baking tray. In a baking dish the cake will be taller, and it will take up to an hour to cook through. In a baking tray, pie will be very shallow, and it will take no more than 30 minutes to have it ready. You may divide it in 2 or 4 equal parts and put them on top of each other to get a proper cake.

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