Carrot Cake

On the weekend I asked my mum and dad to take me to the snow for my birthday. Even though it's not until next week it was the only day everyone could line up to be free. It's so funny how hard it is to organise 6 people when they all have different lines of work or study. So after I organised what seemed like a military-like operation to get the fam together, and we headed off to Lake Mountain near Marysville in Victoria. It's not very far from the city at all really, barely 2 hours. We got our snow gear and toboggans - the super quick 'carve' toboggans no less and parked the car.

We got there early and lucky we did, because it was chaos after lunch time. We hit the toboggan run straight away and after a couple of runs, were sweating from running up the hill to fly down again! My mum was the coat stand and we all ended up in t shirts and no gloves. I'm sad to say we even got a little sunburnt because it was so warm! We spent the morning racing each other down the hill and working out it was way more fun tobogganing on your knees because you can get air if you go over a little snow jump, and you could twist and turn to change direction - kinda like skiing. I became a superstar at going down backwards haha!

We had a picnic lunch, which my mum and dad put together - DIY salad rolls with all the cold cuts in the world, salad ingredients, fresh rolls, cheese, hot coffee and tim tams for dessert. Then we walked up to the summit in the snow to see the view. It was so amazing because it was a clear day! You could see all the way across to the other mountains, the photos don't do it justice!

It was such a great day and I had the best fun, the snow is my favourite! I was so tired when I got home, I could barely keep my eyes open. I told Isaac to count how many seconds it was until I fell asleep, he said it was about 15 haha!

On sunday morning I met up with a couple of my girlfriends, Brianna and Sarah, for coffee which was so needed and I spied a carrot cake at the cafe and couldn't stop thinking about it all day. So I went home and made this one with Isaac. We had a few slices, but figured it was well-deserved from all our exercise at the snow.

This cake is low in added sugars for a cake, using the carrots and spices for sweetness and flavour <3 it's really beautiful and moist, and lasts really well in the freezer if you can't eat it all at once (if you're like me, that will never happen!). Of course, if you have a sweet tooth or haven't quite lost the need for very sweet cakes, use 1 1/4 cups sugar.

I baked the batter in a brownie tin because i find it more convenient to cut and pack for morning tea at work. I also find it helps massively with portion-control ha! Plus you don't end up cutting wedges in your cake and losing the really thin part because it's still stuck to the middle of the cake. Surely I'm not the only one that experiences that? One day I'll learn some knife skills..

The cream cheese absolutely makes this cake if you ask me. Even my beloved kitty, jessie moo moo, agrees, she happily licked a little bit that fell on the floor when i was whipping it. She's old and feigns blindness but as soon as there's yoghurt/cheese/milk/ham in the midst, she is on it!

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Carrot Cake

Ingredients
5 medium carrots, grated with skin on
1 1/2 wholemeal self-raising flour
2 tbs cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 cup rapadura/coconut sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
400g light cream cheese (you can use regular cream cheese, I just find it too rich!)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbs (or more, optional) icing sugar
1/4 cup flaked almonds

Method
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius
Place oil and sugar into a bowl and beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes until sugar is dissolved Add in eggs and beat for 2 minutes
Add in walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and carrot, beat until combined
Pour into a non-stick or lined brownie pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean

In another bowl, beat cream cheese, icing sugar, and lemon juice together until smooth, taste it to make sure you're happy with the sweetness
You can add as much sugar or sweetener of choice as you like. set aside until ready to frost the cake

Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a cake rack until quite cold
Frost with cream cheese and sprinkle on flaked almonds.
Slice and enjoy!

This cake was inspired by Donna Hay's Carrot Cake