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
Adapted from Ruokala.tv (a Finnish website)
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.