Carrot Cake is something special for various reasons- it is a healthy one as it has carrots and has a distinct spicy flavor with cinnamon and nutmeg. I remember baking carrot cake once or twice when I was young, when I didn’t know it was a winter cake. I also firmly believe climate and craving can be diagonally opposite to each other.
Now, how can I bring in winter/snow to Chennai to bake my carrot cake… then I would never have tried this wonderful cake. Remember, I come from Tamilnadu,a state where thaathas (grandpas) and aachis (grandmas) use their mufflers and pull overs for their early morning walks or temple walks, only in Maargazhi Maatham (the tamil month of Maargazhi) – mid December to mid January, when the early morning temp. would be just below 20 degrees.
This report a couple of years might summarise the actual climatic condition of Chennai, Tamilnadu –
A report recently released by the Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai, said the actual minimum temperatures fall below 20 degrees Celsius during January and February. At times, the actual minimum temperatures varies 2 to 4 degrees Celsius below normal values. Records of the past 25 years show there is a gradual rise in minimum temperatures over Chennai ranging between 17 and 20 degrees Celsius.
The Met office recorded the lowest temperature in the last 28 years on January 27, 1982 (15.6 degrees Celsius), followed by 16.2 degrees Celsius on February 3, 1982. In 2010, the minimum temperature range went up to 17.5-23.4 degrees Celsius, with a monthly mean temperature of 21.2 degrees Celsius. http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-01-19/chennai/28356276_1_lowest-temperature-degrees-celsius
This is what winter means to us the Tamils! For more on our seasons – see dosaikal.com/thai-pongal-the-harvest-festival/.
Now, with global warming there is a decrease in temperature levels – where aachi has to stay with her sweater for the whole night. Now, Phnom Penh –
‘Citizens Warned to Wrap Up Against Cold Snap’
read the headlines of Cambodia Daily.
While the ministry’s website put temperatures in Phnom Penh at 21 degrees last night, Oum Ryna, director of the ministry’s meteorology department, said in some areas of the country temperatures could drop as low as 14. degrees. http://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/citizens-warned-to-wrap-up-against-cold-snap-48739/
So, Carrot Cake justified!!
The FLOP STORY and The JOY OF SUCCESS
too watery… not good
When I tried as usual to make this cake a 100% whole wheat, eggless, butterless cake, it was a heart breaking flop consecutively 4 times. My desperation has no words to express that I even tried baking twice a day the same cake (of-course wasting nearly 200 gms of flour and other things twice in the same day . Thanks to my better half who never mentioned a word on wastage!). And that I tried converting the flop carrot cake into carrot cookies is another story.
The cake looked great from the outside – but was pudding like in the inside. Tried with crushed pineapple and once without the pineapple. One thing became sure – the cake was becoming too moist with yoghurt as substitute to eggs. Mixing all the wet ingredients – oil and yoghurt to sugar as first stage was making the mix more watery. So, adding pineapple created more problems.
Then I came across a few recipes – some vegan, some with all purpose flour and a few egg-less but with butter. A very few had a difference – where the dry ingredients were taken first and then the wet ingredients were added one by one to be immediately spooned into the cake tray and baked in the oven. By this the batter remained intact and didn’t let sugar and yoghurt and oil to become watery. I decided to give this a last try. Hurray!! This method worked well and my long awaited Carrot Cake was delivered in great shape!
Because of the continuous flops, I went in for a smaller cup size.
100% Whole Wheat Egg-less (No Butter) Carrot Cake
- whole wheat flour – 1 heaped cup – 125 gms
- brown cane sugar – 3/4 cup – 100gms
- salt – a pinch
- cinnamon powder – 3/4 tsp
- nutmeg powder – 1/2 tsp
- baking powder – 1 tsp – 4 gms
- baking soda – 1 tsp – 4 gms
- chopped walnuts – 1/4 – 1/2 cup
- grated carrots – 1 cup – 125 gms
- refined oil – 1/2 cup – 75 ml
- thick curds – 1/2 cup – 100 gms
- grated ginger – 1/2 tsp
- vanilla essence – 1 tsp
Method of Preparation
- Preheat oven at 175 degrees Celsius
- Grease a baking tray or place greased baking sheet, ready for the batter to be spooned in
- In a large bowl, take all the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, baking powder and baking soda one by one except chopped walnuts
- Start adding the wet ingredients one by one – carrots and ginger first
- Next, add oil and last thick curds/yoghurt and mix well
- Incorporate well as the baking powder and baking soda with the flour should dissolve completely, yet make it quick as the yoghurt and sugar doesn’t make the batter watery
- Fold in the chopped walnuts
- Spoon the batter into the baking tray
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or till a tooth pick comes out clean.
Carrot Cakes look great with Cream Cheese Frosting – as a family we would prefer a plain carrot cake and avoid the sweet frosting. Still for the great experience of making a frosting and my latest culinary interest – please do bear with me.. my dear friends!
Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients (Less quantity for the above small cake – I had some left over frosting too)
- cream cheese (I used Philadelphia cream cheese) – 115 gms
- unsalted butter – 60 gms
- icing sugar or confectioners sugar – 110 gms
- vanilla essence – 3/4 tsp
- chopped almonds for topping
Method of Preparation
- Keep the cream cheese and butter out of refrigerator and bring to room temperature
- Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth
- Add vanilla essence
- Spoon in sugar and mix well till a spreadable texture is achieved
- Amount of sugar can be altered to individual preference – (this was a bit too sweet for us)
- Spread on the cake with a blunt knife or spatula
- Arrange chopped almonds or any other nuts of your choice or decorate as you wish.
Egg-less Whole Wheat Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is ready!