Coconut Carrot Cake

This cake is one of my recent favourites. It’s an absolute dream and I pretty much polished off the whole thing in between Christmas and New Year. I joined the gym after scooping up the last crumb to make up for it. It’s not even that bad for you when you look at the benefits of coconut oil but then, you’re not really supposed to eat the whole thing. I was going to stop after I made the cake part but there was half a jar of coconut oil staring at me with all its coconutty goodness, just begging me to mix it with icing sugar and create the greatest frosting known to man. I tell no lies. I wanted there to be too much to go on one loaf cake just so I could eat the rest out of the bowl but unfortunately there was the perfect amount.
 
This recipe was adapted from Poires au Chocolat’s apple cinnamon layer cake. I loved her idea of using solid coconut oil instead of butter. Her recipe was adapted from Nigel Slater’s carrot cake, so it’s gone in abit of a circle to become this beauty of a cake. I’m getting more and more interested in baking with alternative ingredients to butter, sugar and eggs. I think it’s because I spent so long educating myself on the science of baking that it’s fascinating to throw traditional base ingredients and methods out and use something completely different.
 
I forgot how much I hate this time of year. January is such a hard month, it’s horribly grey, eternally damp and wickedly long. It’s 3 weeks til payday and there isn’t enough coffee in the world to wake me up when the 3pm slump arrives. My go to cure for these feelings is just to think about ideas and recipes for the blog. It wakes my brain up and makes me feel busy again. I bought this lovely weekly planner pad last week from Lollipop Designs at Notonthehighstreet. I want need to be really organised with the blog otherwise I’d just end up posting about the cat 3 times a week (not necessarily a bad thing) and I had been eyeing up this planner for a while, once it came back in stock I made an executive decision that it was ok to purchase something that would benefit the blog.
 
I’m very excited to be able to tell you that I have been asked to write a weekly recipe for Homemaker magazine’s blog. I did an alternative Christmas cake recipe for them just before Christmas and last week they asked if I’d like to make it a regular thing. I’m oftened amazed that anyone ever started reading this blog, let alone that anyone would want me to write recipes for them so thank you you lovely lot for popping by. So, every Wednesday I’ll have an extra recipe over on the Homemaker blog. So that’s 4 bakes a week I have now, hence why I’ve had to become an organised baker. It also means I spend an inordinate amount of my time thinking about food, I want to post more original content on here so I’m constantly thinking of flavours and methods to try out.
 
Coconut Carrot Cake
(adapted from Poires au Chocolat)
 
For the cake:
2 eggs
170g plain flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 large carrot, grated
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
100g coconut oil, solid
170g light brown sugar
50g walnut pieces
30g desiccated coconut
 
For the frosting:
100g coconut oil
200g icing sugar
1 tablespoon water
desiccated coconut, to decorate 
  1. For the cake, preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F. Grease and line a 900g loaf tin and set aside. In a clean, dry bowl, separate the eggs, putting the egg whites into the clean bowl (to be whipped later) and the yolks into a cup.
  2. Beat the coconut oil and brown sugar in with a stand mixer and beat on medium until pale and fluffy (3-4 minutes). Add the yolks one by one, beating well and scraping down in between each addition. Take off the machine, tip in the grated carrot, walnuts and coconut and fold together. Whip your egg whites until they hold stiff peaks (don't overdo it, it won't be as firm as meringue).
  3. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and fold half into the carrot mix, carefully but thoroughly, scraping the sides and bottom. Add half of the whipped egg whites and fold them in, followed by the rest of the flour, then the rest of the egg whites. Carefully make sure it is evenly combined. Don't rush this part. Pour into the loaf tin and level out the top.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer comes out cleanly from the middle. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes then remove from the tin and leave to cool.
  5. To make the frosting, beat the coconut oil in the stand mixer bowl until fluffy then add the icing sugar and mix. Add the water and mix again until smooth.
  6. Spread the frosting over the top of the cake with a palette knife and sprinkle with desiccated coconut.