This is one of those family-loved, tried and tested recipes. It’s gone from auntie, to niece, from mother to daughter and from friend to friend. It’s the recipe we dig out whenever it’s someones birthday and they haven’t specified a cake, or the one we turn to when we have guests coming round and know they’re coming round in advance (this one is best served a few hours or a day after making)
I love making this recipe as it’s so full of nostalgia and the baking process brings back a lot of good memories of eating in my Aunt’s big kitchen, with the parrot squawking away in the background and the AGA heating the place through… even if it was the middle of July and we were all draped around the kitchen after running riot on the beaches. It also brings back later childhood memories of birthdays at my grand’ma’s and parties in our own backgarden, of my sister as a baby and mum making this cake sometime around us having lots of cooing family members around (it has dawned on me that she is super-mum… 2 children under 6, a family of madness and friends popping in… and my own birthday to contend with, but she did it!)
I’ve posted a picture at the top of one of the ‘passings on’ of the recipe… mum wrote it down on a postcard and saved it in one of my favourite things in the kitchen… a ‘cordon bleu’ recipe file that contains all the secrets of her kitchen! I love it! The ‘Happy Anniversary’ picture is the front of the recipe and just shows how much of a celebration this cake symbolises to our family.
I’m honestly not sure why it’s called a Passion Cake… we’ll leave that one up to Aunite Yvonne… but it tastes like love, friendship and brings a smile to everyone’s face who eats it… so maybe that’s where she was going with that one? Anyway, enjoy baking, eating and the reactions you will get for baking this cake.
PS. Sorry for not converting the Oz… I just couldn’t resist leaving them as they are (we have ‘old-fashioned’ scales or as my cousin calls them ‘scales from the Olden Days’ so we have the luxury of being able to leave Oz recipes exactly as they are. You can always find a very useful conversion site here… http://southernfood.about.com/library/info/blconv.htm
PPS. I haven’t made this one healthy… it’s good as it is, but feel free to do the necessary alterations to adjust this to for health-conscious self.
8 Oz Butter
8 Oz Caster Sugar
4 eggs, beaten
8 Oz Gluten Free Self-raising flour
1 Tbsp Kirsch (optional)
8 Oz Carrots, finely grated
4 Oz Ground Almonds
Icing/Decorating (once the cake has cooled)
3 Oz Cream Cheese
Juice of 1 lemon, to be added tsp by tsp
2 Oz Icing Sugar
Chopped Walnuts for decorating the top
Preheat the oven to 180 C
1. Grease and line a 20.5cm (8 inches) round cake tin.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
3. Add the egg a little at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Sift the flour over the mixture and fold in with the lemon rind and juice, reserving 10ml (2 Tsps) juice.
5. Stir in the carrot, almonds and kirsch.
6. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface.
7. Bake in the oven fo 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover the cake with foil and bake for a further 15 minutes.
8. The cake is cooked, I promise. Even if a skewer is inserted and comes out with a bit of the mixture on it, it’s cooked, it’s the moistness of the carrots that means you won’t get a clean skewer. Any longer and you’ll ruin the texture of the cake (believe me, I’ve tried it, and those extra 15 minutes you think the cake needs can really ruin it for you… I sound like a woman carrot-cake possessed!!)
9. Leave the cake in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack until it is cooled. Once cooled, transfer to a cake tin or box and leave overnight before icing (if you have time, if not, it’s no problem, just give it an hour or so before you slather icing on your just-cooked cake!)
10. For the icing – sift the icing sugar into a bowl, beat in the other ingredients until soft and creamy and spread over the top of the cake with a palette knife.
Your cake is ready to enjoy! Over the years, we’ve found the ‘leaving the cake to rest’ parts are invaluable, and, if your cake lasts more than the day you bake it, it tastes better the next day too! So you’ll be eating delicious carrot cake for a few days (if it’s still around!)
No pictures of the cake as I need to get some taken… before anyone eats it next time!