Sunday, 23 August 2015

Chocolate carrot cake

Today was a cake stall to raise funds for Sylvia's school.  We brought home baking to add to all the leftovers in the freezer.  Thank goodness Sylvia didn't bring a party bag of lollies home from the party at the zoo today.  Because I also have some of this chocolate carrot cake left in the freezer.  I had planned to make it for a special occasion but then I ended up making it when I could find time to make it.  Well almost.

The recipe came from Lorraine at Not Quite Nigella who had made a magnificent two layer round cake frosted with nutella and cream cheese.  I wanted a simple one layer affair and when we have cakes at home, I find it easier to bake a square cake that can be cut into square chunks rather than wedges.  And I wanted to justify the purchase of a new square cake plate.

I convinced myself that if I baked it in a larger square tin, it would bake faster.  I even increased the temperature from 160 to 180 C.  However I had a tight deadline with needing to pick up Sylvia and her friend from netball.  As it was, the cake was still uncooked in the middle when I needed to leave.  I turned the oven down low and left.  It was raining hard, Sylvia was playing under a bbq in the undercover area, and I got home to find that the oven had turned itself off.

After 45 minutes at 180 C, an hour with the oven turned off and 40 minutes at 160, the cake was baked!  After that I needed a piece of chocolate cake.  I did have the patience to cool it, decorate it and photograph it (with the light box) before eating it.

The cream cheese frosting I used was a simple one based on a frosting I had made many years ago.  It is the sort you make when you want cream cheese frosting but nothing too decadent.  I also added strawberries because I had just bought some.  However I think it might have been more relevant to just sprinkle some chocolate flakes on it.  I also made a chocolate macadamia butter (sort of like this) that would be a really nice rich ganache for a special occasion, so I have included it below.

The reason I initially loved the sound of the cake was that it was nubbly.  I love texture in cake.  Lots of veggies, fruit and nuts.  Carrots, pineapple, chocolate chunks and toasted coconut.  (I had a great idea of using some carrot jam but it was beyond use.)

I used the coconut instead of nuts because Sylvia is not so keen on nuts in cakes.  Thing is, I have now discovered that she is not so keen on toasted coconut in cakes either.  E wasn't so keen either.  He guessed that there were nuts in the cake.  I really liked it.  I thought I might have the pleasure of eating it all by myself.  E managed to eat some but part of the cake has ended up in the freezer.

It is such a dense cake that a little goes a long way.  I am slowly making my way through it but we have heaps of other leftovers to attend to right now.  However it is lovely to have it in the freezer for those days when nothing but chocolate cake will do.  Meanwhile I leave you with some photos from our visit to the zoo today for Sylvia's friend's party.

I am sending this cake to Choclette for We Should Cocoa.

More interesting chocolate cakes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Chocolate porridge cake
Chocolate pumpkin spice cake
Fruitcake with chocolate chunks
Honey, yoghurt and chocolate cake
Mashed potato chocolate cake
Mulled wine chocolate cake
Nigella's nutella cake
Paragon chocolate orange cake 
Walnut fudge cake

More interesting chocolate cakes from elsewhere online:
Black sesame and chocolate cake - Not Quite Nigella
Cherry Ripe coconut fudge cake - Apples Under My Bed
Chocolate cauliflower cake with salted caramel icing - Veggie Desserts
Chocolate, lavender and raspberry cake - Sew White
Chocolate prune cake - David Lebowitz
Chocolate and violet cake - Allotment to Kitchen
Coconut cake with chocolate chunks - The Tolerant Vegan
Eton Mess chocolate cake - Tin and Thyme

Chocolate carrot cake
Adapted from Not Quite Nigella

Dry ingredients:
200g (1 cup) dark chocolate chunks
3/4 cup toasted coconut flakes
2 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon fine salt

Wet ingredients:
400g tin crushed pineapple, drained*
250g (about 3 medium) grated carrots (half finely grated, half coarsely grated)
1 1/4 cup fizzy drink (soda water, cola or beer)*
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

Chocolate cream cheese frosting:
185g cream cheese
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa


Chocolate macadamia coconut ganache:
1 cup raw macadamias
1 tbsp maple
1/2 cup chocolate
1/2 cup coconut

To decorate:
coconut flakes

Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Mix wet ingredients in a medium mixing bowl or a large jug.  Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.  Scrape into a greased and lined 20cm square cake tin (or a 20cm round cake tin).  Bake at 160 C for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

Frost either with the cream cheese frosting (hand mix ingredients in a bowl) or the ganache (blend in high speed blender until creamy) depending on if you want it to be light or decadent!  Decorate with strawberries and/or coconut flakes.

On the stereo:
Love: The Beatles


  1. I am really intrigued by this - traditionally I have preferred carrot cake to chocolate cake but combining them has never occurred to me. I love cakes with texture too though, so this sounds delicious and one for me to try.

    1. Thanks Kari - the textures were great in this cake - the coconut quite chunky - I would also fancy trying it with dessicated coconut which I also love. I think I made it with only one egg and one chia egg so I am sure it would veganise well

  2. I have never thought to combine carrot & chocolate cakes either but gosh your cake looks amazing! Also, that's funny about your children not being keen on the cake and you thought you were going to get to eat it all - that's exactly what I think too when my kids don't like something I make! More for me, haha.

    1. Thanks Kyra - I get far more surprised when Sylvia doesn't like sweet food as she is not usually so fussy on it - though she is not great with bits. If she and E loved it I suspect I wouldn't still have it in the freezer but I am now keeping this stash to myself :-)

  3. That's a great cake and I love a cake with good texture too. This cake has a great combination of really yummy ingredients xx

    1. Thanks Charlie - Yes definitely one to make again

  4. That looks so good! Reminds me of my grandmother's hummingbird cake, except chocolatey? can't go wrong with pineapple :)

    1. Thanks Shauna - it is a little hummingbird though without the banana. I guess the chocolate hummingbird cake has been done but I quite fancy trying it. Can't go wrong with pineapple or with chocolate either :-)

  5. What a fantastic idea!!!! I've never thought to make a chocolate cake with carrot in it. So clever!

    1. Thanks Lucy - I've seen a few chocolate carrot cake recipes and am glad to have finally tried it! Actually must try it again soon :-)

  6. Yum! This cake looks sensational, and I have never seen chocolate carrot cake before (must have missed Lorraine's ...). I have a colleague with a birthday who likes carrot cake coming up - must try and remember this one.

    1. PS - I have the Love DVD, and it is one of my favourites.

  7. Wow! Loving this Johanna. Sounds delicious and looks beautiful with the strawberry decoration. I adore the square cake plate too..... No need to justify the purchase of that one..... it justifies itself!! x

  8. Well I love coconut, so this would do me very nicely and I like the idea of a nubbly texture. The cream cheese frosting sounds good, but I love the thought of your macadamia nut butter. Love that square plate too and the strawberries make the cake look really striking. Thanks for joining in with WSC and thanks for including one of my recipes too :)

  9. Oooh what a pretty cake! I can't believe Sylvia & E weren't a huge fan, it sounds absolutely delicious. I really like the sound of the pineapple. The texture sounds good. I can't imagine not liking toasted coconut in a cake ;p


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