And so this is how the story goes. I was suppose to have been born in April and my mother was going to name me April, but I decided to come early and surprise everyone. I arrived on March 31st, just shy of being an Aprils fool :) and my mother no longer wanted to name me April, but had no other name picked out for me. So she let my siblings (Jonna, Benny and John) pick out a name for me and I believe it was my oldest brother John who came up with my name…Gitte. Tak John, det er jo et dejligt navn. Happy birthday to me :D
This year my birthday cake is a delicious Carrot Cake from Claus Meyer’s book Meyers Kager. The cake is not overly sweet which is nicely offset by the tart and sweet cream cheese frosting. I did have a wee bit of trouble with the temperature and baking time. I think Claus Meyer may be baking with a convection oven and so the cake actually baked a lot faster than anticipated. The original baking time called for 75 minutes but the cake was done after 60 minutes. I also had to cover the cake with foil after the first 45 minutes to prevent further browning but all ended well and the cake got great reviews. This cake is definitely a keeper.
Ingredients for the cake:
75 g hazelnuts (2.6 oz), chopped
200 g unsalted butter (7 oz), room temperature
250 g sugar (8.8 oz), divided into two portions of 125 g each (4.4 oz)
6 large eggs
200 g shredded carrots (7 oz)
200 g almond flour (7 oz)
50 g all-purpose flour (1.7 oz)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
50 g golden raisins (1.7 oz)
Ingredients for the frosting:
400 g cream cheese (14 oz)
115 g unsalted butter (4 oz), room temperature
225 g confectioners sugar (7.9 oz)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (~350 degrees F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the chopped hazelnut out onto the baking sheet. Toast in oven for 5 minutes, remove from oven and let cool.
Lower oven temperature to 175 degrees C (~345 degrees F). Grease a 22 cm (~8 inch) spring-form pan with butter, add a couple of tablespoons of sugar, shake and turn the pan to coat sides and bottom with sugar, discard excess sugar, set pan aside.
Separate eggs into yolks and egg whites, set aside. Beat butter and half of the sugar (125 g or 4.4 oz) until white and creamy. Add egg yolks to butter mixture one at the time, continue to beat until well incorporated. Add shredded carrots and almond flour to butter mixture. Sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder and cinnamon, add to butter mixture and beat until incorporated. Add toasted hazelnuts and raisins, mix only until incorporated. Set mixture aside.
In a large clean, dry bowl add egg whites and using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites until soft peaks start to form. While continuing to beat, add remaining half of sugar (125 g or 4.4oz) and beat until you have stiff, shiny peaks.
Using a spatula add a small amount of whipped egg whites to dough mixture, stir until combined. Add remaining whipped egg whites in half increments and gently fold the whites into the dough. When all incorporated pour mixture into prepared spring-form. Bake in the middle of oven for 55-60 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. (Note: I loosely covered the cake with foil to prevent further browning after the first 45 minutes of baking). Allow cake to cool completely on a baking rack before applying the frosting.
To make frosting:
Add cream cheese, butter and confectioners sugar to a bowl and beat until smooth and silky. Spread frosting onto cooled cake and serve. Enjoy!
Source: slightly adapted from Meyers Kager