An Eggless Carrot - Walnut Cake - The Solution for the Sadness
Winter in India and the garden - fresh fruits and vegetables go hand in hand. Come winter and you are greeted with colourful diversities of beans & leafy veggies, crisp turnips, beets, carrots & radishes, refreshing capsicums, cabbages & cauliflowers, the spring onions, the broccoli.. the list continues. Yes, winter in this part of the world is not all that harsh. Instead its about monkey caps, lep - kombol ( extremely soft and heavy blankets ), nolen - gur, oranges and room heaters. To get an idea about our kind of winters, do read this.
Now imagine, while you are in the middle of all those cosy, snuggly mornings, sipping the first caffeine of the day from under that warm blanket, staring out through the windows at the foggy skies and you start fantasizing about experimentation with all those fresh produce, promoting your kitchen lab to another level and all of a sudden you're awakened by the local sabji - wallah's ( local vegetable - vendors who are kind enough to bring all those fresh gems at your doorstep ) shout - outs, won't you feel sad realising you're going to miss them all in a few weeks time when the daunting sun will be ready to suck away your fluids in the summers? For me, even the slightest thought of those scorchy, humid month of June - July makes me wrap myself up within those cuddly sheets and deeply crave for some delicious winter delights. But then, just when you've almost self - motivated yourself to get up from the bed, go to work, life reminds you that its almost February and the time has come to calculate your taxes, send whatever dime you are left with in your bank accounts after those Christmas and New Year merry - making to some place far - off !!
After all the struggle, somehow when you need to drag yourself out of the comfort blankets you need an inspiration. And for that I have a solution. Its called Carrot - Walnut Cake. Its moist, its creamy, its soft as well as nutty and it has carrots along with walnuts, so sometimes you can even justify this cake as nutritious. So to get over all those humid, investment thoughts this sweet exquisiteness will surely cheer you and help you fight on.
For the cake
- Carrots - 250 grams ( lazily grated in a food processor )
- Flour - 2 cups
- Baking powder - 1 teaspoon
- Baking soda - 1 teaspoon
- Sugar - 1.5 cup
- Softened room temperature butter - 1.5 cups
- Curd - 1 cup
- Walnuts - 100 grams broken into pieces
- Orange juice - 1 cup
- Pinch of salt
For the topping
- Paneer (Cottage - cheese) - 100 grams (You can alternately substitute with cream cheese )
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Curd / Fresh cream - 2 tablespoons
- Cinnamon powder - 3 teaspoons
- Lemon juice - 2 teaspoons
- Lemon zest of one lemon
- Tit - bits of grated carrots
- Beat the butter along with the sugar. When the sugar dissolves completely add the curd and orange juice. Mix everything to make a smooth paste of the wet ingredients.
- Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder all together and that's your wet ingredients ready right there.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- When all's mixed in, its time to add the grated carrots and the walnuts one after the other. Add the salt. This is your cake batter.
- Ready your cake mould by greasing some butter on it and sprinkle on some flour. I have a silicon one. Nothing ever sticks to it. Its the safest cake mould one can get. Throw in the batter into the mould.
- Preheat your oven and bake your cake at 200 degrees for 50 minutes.
- Prepare the cottage cheese topping by putting all the ingredients into the food processor and mixing everything all together.
- Check if the cake is done after taking it out of the oven by inserting a toothpick. If nothing sticks to it, the cake is perfect. Do not worry about the cracks as they will all be covered by something delicious. But before anything, allow it to cool down completely and take it out of the mould.
- Pour the topping over the cake. Decorate if you want with some of those brain - nuts and you are ready to cheer yourself up about life.
And all you need with this is a hot cup of beverage to let this help you deal with life..