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Home for the heteronomous

Wednesday Food: Brilliant Carrot Cake


In his recent push to add features, Adam invited me to make a wee contribution to the Weblog in the form of Wednesday: FOOD. It’s an aspect of life I encounter not simply for sustenance, but sometimes as hobby, consort, or obsessive love interest. I bring no formal skills to the table but join others as a hanger-on of the greater gastronomic world.

I’ve been a reader of the Weblog since Adam and I were reacquainted this summer by a run-in at our local watering hole, and recognized one another from a Glenlivet-related night of debauchery via Anthony four years prior. Whereas I prefer to enjoy Adam’s neuroses first hand so that rebuttals and smacks upside the head can be administered on-site and without delay, I do so enjoy the “home for the heteronomous” and am thrilled to leave my reader’s hat at the door and be invited into the clubhouse.

As Adam mentioned last week I intend to post any range of food topics from recipes to restaurants. Being a thrifty shopper I’m a hawk for a deal and will share my bounty with you. Also, I use pictures to get inspired about food and hope the interruption to the body blog is not otherwise offensive.

Without further ado, onto Carrot Cake!

I’m not much of a sweet tooth, in fact most days I’d happily take a crispy dill pickle or briny black olive in lieu of dessert. But this recipe uses a laudable 10 ounces of carrot and incorporates orange and ground almond in the batter. The lime mascarpone icing is a major contribution to the brilliance of this cake with the lightness of the mascarpone and the freshness of the lime zest complimenting the sweet and delicate spice of the cake.


  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups light-brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated (retain yolk and white)
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 slightly heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup ground almonds (almond meal in some stores)
  • 4 ounces shelled walnuts, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour, sifted
  • 10 ounces carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • Sea salt
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 scant cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Zest and juice of two lime
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x9x2 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper. (Questionable at first, but definitely makes life easier). Set aside.
  2. Process butter and brown sugar (use your kitchen aid or Cuisinart), then add egg yolks one at a time allowing each to incorporate. Add orange zest and juice, then baking powder and all your spices, combine well.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in almonds, walnuts, flour, and carrots; fold cake mixture into egg white mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let cake cool in the pan 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together mascarpone, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and lime zest and juice. Place cake on your favorite dish, spread icing over top of cooled cake and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

December 10, 2008 - Posted by | Wednesday Food


  1. I’m reminded that you didn’t make this for me when I visited. Curses! Those rainy day eggs also looked really good.

    Comment by Anthony Paul Smith | December 11, 2008

  2. Full of zest!

    Comment by Amish Lovelock | December 11, 2008

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