Come winter time and my memories are of “gajar ka halwa” being prepared in quantities generous enough to feed a couple of large baraats. This was the scene at my house, nani’s house, my friends houses; year after year - I had “gajar ka halwa” coming out of my ears. As a result, I was totally put off by it for life. (To date I can’t indulge in this famous sweet delicacy)
But this winter, the sight of heaps of fresh red carrots at the veggie vendor, spurred the cook in me to try out a ginger carrot cake. Picked up a couple of luscious looking carrots (with Roger rabbit parading in my head, intoning “What’s up doc?”), I browsed a couple of food blogs to find a quick and easy recipe. None matched my expectations. Undeterred, I decided to modify my chocolate cake recipe and replaced the cocoa with the carrots.
The experiment was a piece of cake (pun intended!!)
Sharing the recipe and the twists I added to it, to make 2 unique tasting ginger-carrot cake.
150 gms Maida
150 gms Brown sugar/granulated sugar (adjust if the carrots are sweeter)
150 ml refined oil
4 medium size eggs
1/2 tsp Baking powder
Pinch of soda bi-carb
2 large carrots grated fine (one soup bowl full)
1″ pc of ginger, grated fine
pinch of dried ginger powder
1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
Handful of Dried prunes/berries/dry fruits (optional)
1/4 cup of orange juice
Soak the grated carrot and ginger in the orange juice. Add the cinnamon and ginger powder and keep aside.
Chop the prunes/berries to small pcs and roll in maida/flour. This ensures that these don’t sink in the cake mix while baking.
Sift maida, baking powder and soda bicarb together 2-3 times. Break the eggs and beat to a soft fluffy mix. Add the sugar and beat some more till it’s all dissolved. Now add the oil in a steady stream, all the while beating the mix to incorporate it all together.
Add the sifted ingredients with a soft hand into this. Add the carrot mix and fold gently. Finally add the prunes.
Pour in a pre-greased cake tin. Bake at 200 C for 10 mts, then at 180C for another 45-50 mts (check by inserting a pin/knife to see if comes out clean). The oven must be pre-heated to 200 C.
I set out to make this a second time and noticed the fresh raspberries in my fridge. Hmmm – went the mind gears!! Why not!!?
I sliced a handful of these and laid them out in a non-stick bundt cake tin. Then I poured the cake batter (made as above) directly onto this and baked as above. The result was…………………………………… simply delicious.
The sourness of the raspberries balanced the sweetness of the carrots while the spices tingled the tongue. And it looked all exotic and straight out of a fancy cook book page!!! All in all a divine experiment and henceforth recorded in my food annals for eternity. Too bad the cake finished before I could take a pic of while it was whole.
Do enjoy making this cake and leave a sweet comment out here to let me know how was it for you.
- This cake will be slightly dense than a normal chocolate cake due to the carrots.
- If it’s too gooey or takes longer to cook, it means the batter was too liquid. This can happen if the carrots are not firm enough, they will leave some water. (Can be avoided by reducing the qty of the orange juice & by ensuring that the carrots are fresh and firm.)