Carrot & Cardamom Cake With Walnuts
Swedes have enjoyed the taste of cardamom for more than 1000 years, when the Vikings found the spice in the bazaars of Constantinople.
Today Swedes consume eighteen times more cardamom than the average country.
Cardamom adds a fragrant flavour to biscuits, cakes, mulled wines, stewed fruits, ice-cream, and it's even used as a pickling spice.
For the Cake:
300 ml plain wheat or spelt flour
1 tbsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
250 ml rapeseed oil, or other neutral vegetable oil
125 ml dark muscovado sugar
125 ml granulated sugar
1 orange, the zest
3 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
300 ml chopped walnuts
Butter, for greasing the cake tin
For the Icing:
150 g cream cheese
50 ml vanilla sugar (vaniljsocker)
½ lemon, the zest
6-10 baby carrots, peeled, for decoration
Preheat the oven to 200C or 180C fan. Grease a cake tin (20cm round cake tin, or a 20-25 cm oblong cake tin)
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt) in a bowl and mix well.
Using an electric whisk; whisk the oil sugar together in a large mixing bowl, for approx. 5 minutes.
One at a time, add the eggs, whisking well after each addition. Add the orange zest and whisk for another 5 minutes.
Gently fold in the grated carrot, and then fold in the dry ingredients, also gently.
Stir in the nuts and raisins.
Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 35-45 minutes in the middle of the oven, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in its tin for 10 minutes then turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling, make the icing by beating together the ingredients until smooth. Once the cake is completely cool, spread the icing on top of the cake. Decorate with baby carrots.
- If you have cardamon seeds; grind them with a pestle in a mortar until you have a fine powder. If you're using whole cardamon pods; remove the husks and grind only the seeds.
- Instead of just walnuts, you can use part walnuts and part raisins and/or sultanas.
- If you don't have vanilla sugar: use granulated sugar instead and add ½ teaspoon vanilla essence.
- Have you tried adding a pinch of cardamom to your morning coffee? Do it! It tastes delicious!
Photo: Jakob Fridholm/imagebank.sweden.se