Sunday, May 14, 2006

A lovely carrot cake with fancy pineapple flowers

See the yellow flowers on the cake? Aren't they just gorgeous? I spotted these over at Axis of Ævil few weeks ago, and decided to use them as decoration for my carrot cake. I finally got my act together and started slicing, drying and bending my pineapple last week. Yep, these are thinly sliced and dried pineapple flowers, which do need a bit of patience to make, but are totally worth it..

And the cake? Well, if you liked my Canadian apple cake (and there were quite a few of you:), you'll like this carrot cake. It is very mild and mellow, no nuts to distract you from the delicate carrot flavour. Just a whift of cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg, that's all.. The pineapple flowers are optional, but highly recommended..

A lovely carrot cake
(Mahe porgandikook)
Adapted from (a Finnish website)
Serves 8

For the cake:
2 medium sized eggs
200 ml caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
100 grams butter, melted
300 ml finely grated carrots (approx. 2 medium ones)
200 ml plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
a generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
a pinch of fine salt

Whisk eggs and sugar until pale and foamy. Add grated carrots and melted butter. Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg, sift into the batter and combine.
Butter a 20 cm springform cake tin, sprinkle with semolina/flour. Pour the batter into the cake tin, and bake at 200˚C for 25-30 minutes, until the cake is cooked (test with a toothpick).
Remove from the tin and let cool.

For the frosting:
100 grams Philadephia cream cheese
50 grams butter, softened
125 grams icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, spread over the cold cake.

For the dried pineapple flowers
NB! You need to do this on the previous day (pineapple flowers keep for a few days in an air-tight container)

1 large pineapple, just slightly underripe

Peel the pineapple and cut crosswise into very thin slices (mandoline would be handy here).
Place pineapple slices in a single layer on parchment-covered baking sheets. Bake in a 110˚C oven for 1-2 hours, until pineapple slices look dry on top. Flip them over and bake for another hour or so, until dry on the other side as well.
Arrange the baked pineapple slices on a metal rack and leave to cool and dry a bit more.
When slices are cool and dry, take a flower-shaped metal cookie cutter and press into dried pineapple slices. Put aside to dry even more.
When the pineapple flowers are dry, but still pliable, then pull the 'flower petals' slightly upwards to give pineapple flowers a bit more realistic look.

Use to decorate the cake.


Chas Ravndal said...

It looks so nice and lovely! hmmmmm

amyjames said...

I'm astounded by your patience! Those pineapple flowers are severely nifty.

And it looks absolutely stunning, well worth the effort.

K & S said...

this looks so good! and those flowers are cute!


paz said...

Beautiful! I wish I could have a bite right now!

I love the flowers!


Andrew said...

Oh come on gis a chance! I havent even made the apple cake yet and now this!

Clivia said...

Those flowers look absolutely fantastic! I guess you can find 1000 ways to use them...

Betul said...

Fruits, dried, as flowers..I'm into this subject nowadays...Wait for my next post, Pille.It'll be very nice coincidence..

Antti said...

Antti <3 carrot cakes :)

Kitt said...

Look awesome
Thanks for sharing the pic and recipe. Can't wait to try.

Thredahlia said...

Lilled on tõesti väga ilusad ja hea idee.
Porgandikooki pole mina oma elus veel teinud, kes teab, vast kunagi jõun ka selleni :)

linda said...

Very cute the pineapple flowers!

angelika said...

Looks gorgeous and I would like to have a piece right now ! I also love the idea of the dried pineapples. Worth the effort ! Kind regards from Vienna, angelika

Anonymous said...

flowers are just so lovely... you must be having a lot of patience...
i wish i could have a piece of that cake...droooling...

Anonymous said...

Nicely done! :) Did you have any problems drying or cutting the flowers? Another woman made them the other day, too. :)


valentina said...

Pille, this cake is gorgeous. And the flowers just add a wonderful touch.

Pille said...

Chas - I'm glad you like the look of this cake.

Amy - well, I won't be making these pineapple flowers every time I bake, but every now and then I'll gather the patience:)

K&S - thank you!

Paz - well, no pieces left to share, but you can always bake the cake;)

Andrew - no apple cake??? How come??? I'm sure you'd find a good wine to go with the cake:)

Clivia - indeed! I also like the fact that they'd be suitable for people on various special diets.

Betul - I'm looking forward to reading your post!

Antti - I knew you have good taste;)

Kitt - please let me know how you got on!

Thredahlia - kuidas siis nii lihtne kook veel proovimata on!?

Linda - thank you - they are cute indeed..

Angelika - thank you for your kind words!

Anonymous 1 - I could send you a piece, but have no idea who's behind the name:)

hfb - thank you for the flickr link! Your pineapple flowers were definitely prettier than mine. My cookie cutter was a bit rough and not sharp enough, and I didn't have a kitchen mandoline, so couldn't get the slices thin enough. Apart from that, it was a pretty straight-forward and problem-free process..

Valentina - I so agree:)

Gabriella True said...

you are a gem! I am so glad I found you! thanks for posting on my blog.