The Best Carrot Cake In The World
Who would have believed that a Parisian luxury hotel would offer a carrot cake on its Tea-time menu? When I arrived in Paris almost 12 years ago there were no big cookies, no babka and no carrot or pumpkin cakes. The French desserts were based on the classic French patisserie and only a few deviated from the mainstream.
In recent years with the development of social networks and the transformation of the world into one small village, foreign influences have entered both French cuisine and of course the French patisserie. Leading pastry chefs have begun to expand their range of desserts and have also included in their collections products that were not previously seen in the French pastry boutiques.
The cookies came in first, moist cookies, large, very soft and rich in various flavors and ingredients that have never entered cookies in France. Even the world’s leading pastry chefs have put the rich cookies into their Tea-time in luxury hotels in the city of lights.
Next came the Babka, today this cake is so well known in Paris that there is a shop dedicated just for it and you can find it everywhere.
At the same time, coffee shops from the third wave, began to open in the Paris. A place where you can drink excellent coffee brewed by experienced baristas from quality coffee beans. Along with the coffee, salty and sweet “Coffee Shop” dishes are also served, such as banana bread, carrot cake, granola, scones and more.
Thus new types of cakes and desserts entered France. It’s clear that most of the innovations can be found in the capital and less in the countryside, but even in smaller cities in France the foreign influences can already be found.
I got the recipe for this carrot cake from my friend Matthieu Carlin, the pastry chef of the luxury Hotel de Crillon in Concorde Square. I’ve previously shared a recipe by Carlin that has become one of the summer hits. This time it’s an easier recipe that’s made in a food processor in a few minutes.
This is the best carrot cake I’ve ever tasted, it’s juicy, soft, full of wonderful aromas and not too sweet. You can garnish the cake with this creamy frosting that gives it a delicate sourness, but you can make it without the cream as well.
The Best Carrot Cake
2 x 19cm loaf pan, 7cm high
250g carrots, peeled and grated
60g pecans, roasted
8g baking powder
5g baking soda powder
8g ground cinnamon
6g salt (I use Fleur-de-Sel)
80g Muscovado sugar (or dark brown sugar)
230g canola/grape seed or other vegetable oil
40g olive oil
250g eggs (around 4 big eggs)
300g heavy whipping cream
40g confectioner’s sugar
170g Philadelphia cream cheese
70g Mascarpone cheese
pinch of ground cinnamon
1. Carrot Cake: Place the grated carrots, pecans and raisins in a food processor and process until chopped. Add 2 tbsp of the flour and process for a few seconds. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
2. In the same processor bowl process together all the rest of the ingredients till smooth. Add the carrot mixture and process for a few seconds. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. line 2 x 19cm loaf pans with parchment paper.
4. Pour the mixture into the loaf pans and bake for 40-45 minutes or until just cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the pan.
5. Creamy Frosting: In a mixer bowl whip together cream, confectioner’s sugar, cream cheese, mascarpone and cinnamon until stiff peaks form.
6. Pipe the cream on the cake, I use the Saint-Honoré piping tip.
Tip: The cake can be kept for about a week out of the fridge, without the cream cheese. You can make the cream and not pipe it on the cake but serve it next to it, so the cake will last longer.
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