This lovely almond and carrot cake is really delicious; it’s light and almost chewy at the same time with a lovely texture. It will go well with almost any fruits — blackcurrant compote comes to mind — but I’ve just served it with some caramelized pears. It will keep well in an airtight container for a few days.
A toast to almond cake
Toasted Almond and Carrot Cake
Ingredients (12 portions)
280gr whole blanched almonds
300gr granulated sugar
280gr peeled carrots
95gr cream flour
2½ tsp baking powder
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 free range eggs (separated)
Toast the almonds spread out on a tray at 170C for approximately 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Cool fully before continuing.
Preheat oven to 200C.
Line the base 10-inch spring form tin, with a disk of parchment paper, then butter and flour the sides and base.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
The carrots need to be in very small pieces — I found it easiest to grate them in a food processor, and then return to the processor with a blade attachment and pulse with the lemon zest until in small pieces. Be careful not to process to mush. Scrape into a clean bowl.
Add the egg yolks and vanilla to the carrot and mix well.
Next add the almonds to the bowl of a food processor with the sugar.
Pulse until the almonds are fine and powdery, mixing up with a spatula from the bottom every few pulses.
Again be very careful not to overdo it or you will end up with oily mush.
Add the almond mix to the flour and mix in well.
Next add the carrots, mix well — it will seem very tight and dry, that’s OK.
Now, in the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold into the carrot.
Scrape into the tin and place in the centre of the oven, immediately turning down the oven to 175C.
Bake for about 40 minutes until set and golden. Do check after 30 minutes, then maybe every 10 minutes or so after that.
Allow to cool in the tin, before turning out onto a wire rack.
Serve at room temperature as is or with some fruit or crème fraiche.
3 Ripe pears
3 tbsp sugar
3 tsp butter
Juice of ½ lemon
Peel the pears halve and core, then cut each half into four pieces.
Using a medium sized pan cook the pears in two batches.
Heat the pan over medium heat, sprinkle with half the sugar, cook to caramel then add half the pears.
Toss the pears in the caramel, searing well on all sides then add a knob of butter.
Cook until just tender, finally add a squeeze of lemon juice, toss and then remove from the pan, placing on a plate or tray to cool, ready to serve with a slice of cake and a spoonful of crème fraiche.