For a self proclaimed pastry geek I read some exciting news this week. Claire Clark the former pastry chef of the world renowned French Laundry is coming back to her home shores to do a pop up patisserie at Harvey Nichols in London (13th sept -18th Nov). You will be able to get afternoon tea (first two weeks) as well as individual purchases. The idea is to serve patisserie inspired by Claires childhood, so things like Jaffa cake macarons. Last year I heard she was coming to London to open her own place but in the end went to work in the Bahamas (told I was a geek). Hopefully the pop up is just a prequel to her opening her own patisserie but until then you could always look up her book Indulge. I bought it years ago and for some reason never baked from it and left it neglected. After I heard about the pop up it prompted me to delve back in and take another look. I’m not sure why I overlooked it because it really is a beautiful book and I actually found lots of things I wanted to make. I decided to try something simpler first, mainly because I wasn’t in the mood to try anything complicated but also because it was something I love, carrot cake. I don’t have a go to recipe and was hoping this might be it. The flavour is pretty good although I would up the spicing a bit as I found it fairly subtle. I was rushing a bit when I made It so didn’t make it perfectly and it was flatter than it was supposed to be be but it was still very good.
Carrot Cake – Indulge
250g wholemeal flour
25g baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (would double next time)
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
125g dessicated coconut
5 medium eggs
250g muscovado sugar
185ml vegetable oil
500g carrots, grated
125g Californian raisins (soaked in hot water for 10 mins)
For the cream cheese frosting :
125g cream cheese
375g icing sugar, sifted
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
a capful of vanilla extract
1. Grease and line a 10 inch, deep springform pan and preheat oven to 180C / 350F
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg into a bow. Stir in the coconut breaking up any clumps.
3. Place the oil, sugar and eggs into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk and beat together until pale and doubled in volume.
4. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mix, trying to deflate the batter as little as possible. Stir in the carrots and raisins.
6. Beat the butter until smooth and pale. Beat in the icing sugar until pale and fluffy. Gently beat in the vanilla and cream cheese until smooth and incorporated (I do it in this order so as not to melt the cream cheese giving a runny frosting).