Chai Carrot Cake

When it’s five o’ clock on a weekday I always get excited. Five o’ clock means that it’s time for my husband to turn on his heels, leaving his job behind. He gets into his car and usually sits through a few spells of traffic before he pulls into the driveway. I spend the minutes between five and six o’ clock anxiously awaiting his arrival back home.

When he finally gets back home to me we usually enjoy a hot meal together, and it’s by far the best meal of the day. We sit and talk about our day, and my husband graciously tries each of my newly hatched recipes. I usually have to coax him out of his hesitations and judgement and into a delicious plate of food with a few words of encouragement. This man was skeptical of curry until he had his first dish and now he can’t get enough of it! He takes some prying, but he’s my guy and I’m so happy to do the job.

After the dinner the dishes remain strew across the table or find their way into the sink where they sit for a while. They can wait. Because in the spring and summer time, it’s time for a long leisurely walk. We load our daughter and her car seat into the car and drive a very short distance into town where on the main street, sits our favorite coffee shop. It’s the coffee shop that he introduced me to when we first began dating, and we’ve been coming together ever since. In this coffee shop contains our most favorite and most frequently ordered drink: our beloved Chai Tea Latte. They make it with steamed milk and a blend of warm spices like clove and cinnamon. Warm or cool this drink provides comfort.

So after we order we walk hand in hand down the street, with our daughter tucked safely into the Bjorn, and we talk more. This time we talk about our future, about our passions, about the random musings in our heads, we hum songs, we reminisce on good times together in the past, and we even talk about the hard stuff. We talk while we walk and we usually end up at the park to put my daughter on the swings so we can hear her giggle as she flies high.

It’s in those sweet, simple moments that my heart is so very full and connected with my love. And chai tea will always remind and whisk me away to those breezy, cool evenings of walking down the street with my very best friend.

I wanted to recreate that feeling in this carrot cake using the perfect blend of spices to bring on the love.

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Recipe

Yields: 1, double layer, 10 inch cake 

Utensils:

  • Two 10 inch cake tins
  • Vegetable grater
  • Wire sifter
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Food processor or blender
  • Offset spatula
  • Bread knife

 

Ingredients:

For the cake

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 6 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/2 tsp clove powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 oz plain yogurt
  • 6 oz olive oil

For the icing 

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 of a cup mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tbsp honey

Method:

For the Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or grease your cake pans and set them aside.
  2. Place the grated carrots in a large bowl. Place a wire strainer or sifter over the bowl and dump your flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt into it. Sift or tap the strainer until all of the flour falls down into the bowl. Gently toss or mix the carrots using a wooden spoon until they are evenly covered.
  3. In a food processor or blender, add the sugar and the yogurt. Blend together until smooth and the sugar has dissolved into the mixture. Add one egg at a time, and then finally add the olive oil with the motor running.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently stir to combine. Pour half the cake batter into each tin and place into the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cakes are cooked through to the center. You can do a toothpick test or use a thermometer. If using a thermometer it should read 205-210 degrees F.
  5. Allow the cakes to completely cool before turning them out onto a counter or cooling rack.
  6. Trim the tops of both cakes with a bread knife. Discard the scraps and use for biscotti, or other small cakes. (This helps the cakes to sit evenly on top of one another.)

For the Icing

  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese together until light yellow and fluffy.
  2. Gently beat or mix the mascarpone cheese into the mixture, and then add the honey. The texture of the icing should be smooth, creamy, and soft.
  3. Use an offset spatula to ice the top of one of the cakes. Place the second cake on top of it. Ice the top of the second cake and ice the sides. Use the off set spatula to smooth the sides and the top. (This is enough icing for a ‘naked’ ice on the cake like pictured. If you want a full icing, you may want to double the recipe.)
  4. Enjoy immediately 🙂
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