- 1 2/3 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 2/4 cups plus 2 tsp light brown sugar
- 2 large (at room temperature) eggs
- 3/4 cups plus 1 tbsp (more for greasing) vegetable oil
- 7 ounces (2 medium) peeled and coarsely grated carrots
- 1 cup roughly chopped or crumbled walnut pieces
This is very different from the richly sweet, loftily layered and aerated American original. While it is in some senses far more reminiscent of an old-fashioned, slightly rustic British teatime treat, it is, with its ginger-spiked cream cheese icing — only on top, not running through the middle as well — just right to bring to the table, in dessert guise, at the end of dinner, too.
Before you chop the amber dice of crystallized ginger, rub the cubes between your fingers to remove excess sugar. Then chop them finely, though not obsessively so: you want small nuggets, not a sticky clump. And, for what it’s worth, I find it easier to crumble up the walnuts with my fingers, rather than chopping them on a board.
1. Preheat the oven to 325 O F and grease the sides and line the base of your springform cake pan with parchment paper.
2. Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, and salt into a bowl and fork well to mix thoroughly.
3. Beat the sugar, eggs, and oil in another large bowl until they are completely mixed together, then gradually add the flour mixture, scraping the bowl you’re beating them in to rescue and incorporate any flour clinging to the edges. At this stage the mixture may seem alarmingly stiff, but the carrots will loosen it up. So, beat in the carrots and then fold in the 1 cup of prepared walnuts and 4 1/2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger, until everything is evenly combined.
4. Spoon and scrape into the prepared pan. Don’t worry if it looks as if you haven’t got nearly enough batter, as the cake will rise well as it bakes. Smooth the top and put in the oven (this is when to make the frosting, see step 5) for 45—55 minutes. When it’s ready, the cake will be set and golden brown on top, beginning to shrink away from the edges of the pan, and a cake tester will come out with just a few crumbs stuck to it. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool in its pan.
5. As soon as the cake’s in the oven, get on with the frosting. Beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar together and when creamily combined, beat in the cornstarch, followed by half the cream cheese. Once that’s incorporated, beat in the remaining half. Be careful at Fresh ginger— 1 tablespoon coarsely all times not to over-beat or the frosting will get too runny. Starting with the grated ginger on a plate, get out a piece of paper towel and, grated moving quickly, spoon the grated ginger into the center, bring up To decorate: the edges of the paper, holding them together to form a little swag Walnut pieces — 1/4 cup, roughly bag, and press on it over the bowl to squeeze out the intense ginger chopped or crumbled juice. Beat this into the frosting in its bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
6. When the cake is completely cold, take the frosting out of the fridge for about 20 minutes, by which time it will have softened to a still thick but spreadable consistency. Beat briefly to help this along, and make sure it’s smooth. Unclip and release the cake from its pan, unmolding it, and sit it on a cake stand or plate. Spread the frosting on top, swirling it a little, then sprinkle the chopped walnuts and ginger on top.
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