Simple Carrot Cake

Memories are always memories, whatever said and done... When we were kids, whenever we wanted cake, umma would always make a carrot cake. That is the only cake she knew and she made till we - my sister and I - took over and starting experimenting different varieties that we used to cut out from kid magazines. She used to make this very rarely because she is not very keen on making cakes. She would rather fry us some ullivada or pinjiyappam. We used to volunteer to grate the carrots so that she would make it. Once the carrots would be grated, both of us would so enthusiastically look at how she would dump the ingredients into the mixing bowl and keep testing the sugar. That is one thing with umma - she would keep putting in till she feels that the batter is fine. And MaShaAllah, each time she would make the cake, it would turn out perfect and with the same taste. I always wonder that once I started getting more interested in cooking and baking, the first basic everybody tells you is "cooking is an art, baking is a science". However, umma proved that baking is also an art with this cake, as she absolutely followed no measurements. Once she would pour the batter into the pan and put it into the pressure cooker for "baking", we would fight over to lick the bowl! Hehe... Thinking of it now, I feel I am in umma's position - when I do the mixing, I have one head each on both sides so eagerly waiting to see what I am doing and then to fight over the bowl... Life is all about a full circle, right? :)

Once when I asked her to share with me how she used to make the carrot cake, she was blank. She just said, "I know what all goes into it, but don't ask me the measurements!" I was flabbergasted. How was I supposed to recreate umma's taste with her topsy-turvy recipe? I searched a lot of carrot cake recipes online but nothing was close to what umma used to make. That is when I chanced upon this one and immediately it clicked that it had exactly the ingredients that umma used to make, except the cinnamon - she is not a fan of it, in fact she hates it! I have used this recipe several times with good results. Last time when I went on vacation, I had made it at my in-laws place as well, and they just loved it. The only thing is that now I use more wholewheat flour than all-purpose flour and trust me, it tastes even more better! I also add cinnamon as I love the taste of it. Off to the recipe...

Simple Carrot Cake
Makes a 9 inch cake
Recipe adapted from here


Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup wholewheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated carrots (about 3 large carrots)

Method:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 inch pan generously and set aside.

Seive the dry ingredients from flour to salt in a bowl and set aside.

Beat eggs till fluffy, about a couple of minutes. Add the sugar and beat till the mixture becomes pale. Add the oil and beat till combined. Add in the dry ingredients and mix till combined. Finally add the grated carrots and give a final mix. Do not overmix!

Pour into the pan and bake for 60 to 75 minutes till skewer comes out clean. Cool in the rack for 10 minutes and then flip on to a cooling rack. Cool completely, slice and serve with a cup of hot chai or coffee!


Notes:

1. The batter will be really thick before adding the carrots, but as you add the carrots, you will see it getting moist.
2. Cover the pan loosely with aluminium foil after baking for 45 minutes so that you don't have a burned top!
3. For some crunch, you can add some chopped cashewnuts. It is definitely a fantastic addition.

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