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11 / 29/ 2015

MY PRECIOUS ENGLISH COUSIN

My first contact with a carrot cake was at “Pret a Manger”, a coffee shop in London.  When I first set foot in this place I became a big fan! For those who aren’t familiar with the place, it’s an organic coffee shop that distinguishes itself for fresh organic products, but if you expect to drink a good coffee, a nice cappuccino or a hot chocolate there, you’re gonna be disappointed because in this aspect they are completely unaware of the Brazilian quality standard! But, all the other products are absolutely delicious; I love the combination of flavors and textures in the sandwiches (specially the falafel hot wrap with chutney and halloumi cheese), and moreover, the salads, the yogurt, the croissants and the cakes are excellent too. I could go on describing the taste of the products for hours. Lucky that I have a cousin that works in this coffee shop and she is the daughter of my English uncle, the guy whose bread recipe I‘ve already posted on the site. She has been living in London for a long time and she works really hard and is extremely strong. For those and other facts in her life, I admire her so much. During my stay in London, I always went to the coffee shop that she works and enjoyed a hot almond croissant. The smell and the taste of the croissant were unique when it had just been baked! I always burned my tongue (hahaha!). Of course, I can’t forget to mention that I was also crazy about the carrot cake with the cream cheese frosting and I was desperate to find a good recipe and make it. Well, this cake is totally different from our carrot cake, so much so that we can’t even compare them! I was particularly surprised when I read in the cake label that it was a carrot cake. As I like to taste almost everything, I discovered an amazing cake with a wonderful taste and a moist and dense texture! I confess that it was extremely difficult for me to find the perfect recipe, but one day I came across the real carrot recipe of Pret a Manger in the website of Manule chef (Manulechef.com). She said that she had made it so many times that she made some little modifications, which in her opinion, made all the difference. Of course I’ve also made some modifications!

CARROT CAKE

 

                Total time: 1 hour 25 minutes                       Serves: 10-12 slices

 

 

For the frosting:

Ingredients:

- 150 grams cream cheese

- 50 grams icing sugar, sifted

- Finely grated zest of one lime

 

For the cake:

Ingredients:

- 3 eggs, at room temperature

- 200 grams brown sugar, sifted

- 150 ml oil

- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

- ½ teaspoon ground cloves

- 1 pinch of salt

- 200 grams plain flour, sifted

- 200 grams carrot, grated

- 50 grams walnuts, chopped

- 50 grams dried coconut

- 50 grams black raisins

- 75 grams diced pineapple (fresh or tinned), chopped

- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

- 1 teaspoon baking powder

 

 

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F, grease butter and sprinkle chocolate powder in a loaf pan and reserve;

 

2. First, make the frosting, mix all the ingredients in a bowl until homogeneous and cool in the fridge;

 

3.  For the cake, grate the carrots and reserve. Next, in an electric beat, whisk the eggs with sugar until pale colour and fluffy. Add oil, plain sifted flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, pinch of salt and beat well until all ingredients get uniform;

 

4.  Turn off the electrical beat, put the grated carrots, walnuts, raisins, dried coconut, pineapple and mix well with spoon. Next, add baking powder, baking soda and mix;

 

5.  Finally, place the cake batter into the greased pan and bake for 1 hour at 180°C/350°F. If you notice that the top of the cake is brown, but it is not baked, cover it with foil aluminum to finish the baking without burning. The cake is done when a wooden toothpick is inserted into its middle and, it comes out clean;

 

6.  Wait 15 minutes before you turn it out onto a rack and reserve. When the cake is cold, spread the cream cheese frosting. So now, you can enjoy a unique and tasty foreign carrot cake!

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