My Carrot cake flavored with Orange juice, Fennel seeds and Walnuts goes to Ivy of "Kopiaste" blog who is guest hosting the event "Think Spice..Think..Twice", which is started by Sunita of "Sunita's World". Ivy has given 2 choices to us this month; Mastic Gum and Fennel, I have chosen the aromatic Fennel seeds in my cake.
Orange flavored Carrot cake also goes to Aparna of "My diverse Kitchen" blog who is guest hosting Harini of "Tongue Ticklers" blog's "Food in Colors-Orange" event.
Carrot cake studded with Walnuts goes to Aqua Daze of "Served with Love" blog's event "Let's go Nuts: Walnuts or Pecans" with my choice of Walnuts.
Made a Heart out of my Carrot cake, so this will go to Bindiya of "In love with food" blog's event "My favorite things-Love is in the air (Heart shaped food)".
Well.. Let's see how it all started! I always loved Carrot cake and I made a quick bread Carrot cake before which is delicious but not as moist as "made in the bakery" kind. So I surfed the web and came across a recipe from my kids' and my favorite scientific, educational and very entertaining Food Network chef Alton Brown's Carrot Cake which I adapted here for the most part but made some changes, which is why I posting the recipe the way I made it instead of just linking the original recipe. Instead of Allspice and Cinnamon in his recipe, I added freshly ground Fennel seeds, added some Walnuts and Raisins since I love the nutty crunch and yogurt is replaced by Orange juice. It came out moist and delicious!
A slice of Carrot Cake with Orange juice, Fennel and Walnuts:
Here is how to bake Carrot cake:
For the cake, you need:
One 9" square pan, buttered or no-stick sprayed inside and the bottom of the pan lined with wax or parchment paper.
Sift all these dry ingredients together:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or wheat flour if you prefer,
1 tsp baking soda,
2 or 3 tsp freshly ground Fennel seeds,
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg,
1 tsp baking powder,
1/2 teaspoon salt.
Then add these to the above flour mix and mix gently until these are coated with flour:
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots, about 3 large,
1/4 cup chopped Walnuts,
3 tbsp Raisins.
Blend these liquid ingredients to cream first:
1/2 cup dark brown sugar,
2 large eggs, (or 4 tbsp Apple sauce)
1 cup white sugar,
1/2 cup vegetable oil,
1/4 cup Orange juice.
For Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 8 oz package of Cream Cheese, softend at room tempature,
1 to 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, (or as sweet as you want),
2-4 tbsp Orange juice,
1/2 tsp Vanilla essence or Orange essence,
few drops of Orange color(Optional).
Beat all the above frosting ingredients together well until creamy and chill in the fridge for 10 mins or so, keep aside for later use.
Preheat the oven for 350F.
1. In a blender bowl with flat beater attached, add eggs, sugar, oil, Orange juice and blend until creamy.
2. Add dry ingredients sifted together with Carrots etc and run the blender very gently until they are all just mixed without lumps or flour showing. Do not mix too much.
3. Scrape and pour in to the prepared baking pan, tap the pan on the counter gently to release the bubbles.
4. Bake in the oven for 35-45 mins or until the center is cooked ie when tested with a wooden skewer, it comes out clean.
5. Cool on a rack for 10 mins, invert on a plate and frost as you like it. Make sure you wait until the cake is cooled completely. Garnish with grated carrots and walnuts.
Tastes better the next day. You can keep it chilled in the fridge to serve or at room temperature.
One more look of a delicious slice:
You can make Carrot cake Heart for your Valentine too. Happy Valentine's day to all of you!! :)
Have a fun week! :))