Carrot Halva Cake

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Diwali is right around the corner and it being THE biggest festival in India people are planning parties and dinners pretty much throughout the month. Multiple card parties accompanied with alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages followed by luxurious food and glorious desserts. As much as I love the traditional menu around this time  its always fun to try something new. Specially if its based on a traditional recipe – Like this cake! Imagine serving a slice of this cake and surprising your guest who come to wish you Diwali. It would be great to serve as a dessert with some ice cream at one of your card parties. Its a great option to serve instead of the classic carrot halva.

This cake is also a great spin on a carrot cake. All you carrot cake lovers out there must give this recipe a try. Perhaps make it for thanksgiving! I used candied carrots to decorate the cake to give it a different look than the traditional marzipane carrots. This cake doesn’t have many spices but has a pronounced flavor of cardamom as it is the primary spice in the carrot halva. The almond meal gives richness and flavor to the sponge which compliments the light icing made with fresh cream and mascarpone. The candied carrots add a fun end to the bite. The leftovers didn’t last too long in my house and probably wont at yours either!

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Serving an 8″ cake

Ingredients

For the Cake

2 1/4 cups AP flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup almond meal (ground almonds)

1 1/4 cup sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

2 tbsp plain yogurt

1 tsp ground green cardamom

splash of vanilla

  1. Prepare an 8″ round cake pan by dusting with flour and lining the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat the oven at 350 F (180 C).
  2. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and almond meal.
  3. In a separate bowl add butter and sugar and whisk to combine using a wooden spoon. Whisk for a couple of minutes – till the mixture starts looking pale.
  4. Switch to a whisk and add eggs one by one. Mix the eggs whisking continuously.
  5. Add yogurt, vanilla & cardamom and mix.
  6. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the wet mixtures in a couple of batches and lightly fold with a wooden spoon till the flour is just all mixed in.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or till a skewer comes out clean upon inserting in the center.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and let it rest in the pan for 5 minutes before taking it out. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Once the cake is cooled completely, slice it into two equal halves using a serrated knife.
  10. Wrap the halves in plastic wrap and store at room temperature if not using the same day.

Icing mixture

3/4 cup mascarpone or cream cheese

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup powdered sugar

dash of vanilla

  1. In a large bowl add cream and start whisking using an electric beater.
  2. Keep on adding sugar one tablespoon at a time while whisking the cream.
  3. Whisk till all the sugar is incorporated and the cream is almost all whipped up but not all the way through.
  4. Add the cheese and whisk till the mixture forms stiff peaks.

Candied Carrots

1 large carrot, peeled

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 cup water

  1. Using a spiralizer, make curls out of the carrot. Alternatively you can use a peeler and peel thin strips of the entire carrot.
  2. In a pot add 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water and heat over medium low heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Once the sugar is dissolved add carrots and stir gently.
  4. Cook on medium low heat for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the carrots from the syrup using a slotted spoon and lay on a wire rack to drain the extra liquid.
  6. Let the carrots sit on the rack for a few hours or till the carrots get a little dry but still tacky.
  7. Lay 1/2 cup sugar on a baking sheet in a single layer and add the dries carrots on it. Shake the carrots around to coat evenly with sugar.
  8. Store flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper till ready to use.

You will also need 1 cup of Carrot Halva. Recipe here

To Assemble the Cake

  1. Lay the bottom layer of the cake on a cake stand or a serving plate.
  2. Add a few spoonful of the cream mixture and swirl it around using the back of the spoon. Push the cream till its a few centimeters away from the edge. You don’t want it to come all the way to the edge as once you put the second layer on top it will push the cream out a little bit.
  3. Add the carrot halva in an even layer.
  4. Top with the second layer of the cake.
  5. Add the rest of the cream and push it around with the back of the spoon to form a swirly pattern.
  6. Top with candied carrots.