Gluten-free carrot cake

Serves 8
2 hours

Ingredients

Crystallised carrots

  • 1 carrot, (ideally a purple carrot)
  • 200ml of water
  • 150g of caster sugar

Carrot cake

  • 75g of dried mango
  • 2 oranges, zest and juice (ideally blood oranges if in season)
  • 125ml of oil, (such as light olive oil or sunflower oil) plus extra for greasing the tins
  • 125g of caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 75g of nut butter, (unsweetened and unsalted) such as almond or cashew butter
  • 75g of flaked almonds, toasted
  • 30g of sultanas
  • 200g of carrots, grated (roughly two medium-sized carrots)
  • 75g of gram flour
  • 125g of ground almonds
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 7g of cardamom seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Cardamom cream

  • 450g of skyr yoghurt
  • 7 green cardamom pods, seeds only, crushed
  • 2 tsp maple syrup, or agave nectar

Method

1
Preheat the oven to 120°C/gas mark ½ and line a baking sheet with baking parchment
2
To make the crystallised carrots, peel the carrots and slice into thin discs – it’s easiest to use a mandoline or cheese parer
3
Heat the water and sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves, then add the carrot slices. Simmer for about 15 minutes, then drain off the syrup and arrange the carrot slices on the baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour until crisp and dry. When cool, store in an airtight container until needed
4
While the carrots are baking, chop or snip the dried mango for the cake into small chunks and place in a small bowl with the orange zest and juice. Cover and leave for at least 1 hour or overnight
5
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease three 10cmx20cm sections of a multisize square cake tin (or two 20cm/8 inch round loose-bottom or springform cake tins) and line with baking parchment
6
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the oil with the sugar and egg yolks, then stir in the nut butter, flaked almonds, sultanas, grated carrots and the mango with its juicy marinade. Add the gram flour, ground almonds, baking powder and spices and mix well
7
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff, then carefully fold them into the cake mixture, so they are incorporated without losing too much air
8
Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for about 30 minutes, until the cakes have shrunk slightly from the sides of the tins and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cakes comes out reasonably clean
9
Let the cakes cool in the tins for a while, then turn out onto a wire rack
10
To make the cardamom cream, beat the skyr yogurt in a bowl until smooth, then stir in the crushed cardamom and maple syrup or agave nectar
11
When the cakes are cool, place one on a plate or cake stand. Spread or pipe most of the cardamom cream to sandwich the cakes together, saving a little for the top. Pipe rosettes (or spoon blobs) of the cardamom cream on top and decorate with the crystallised carrots
12
The unfilled cakes will keep for at least 2 days in an airtight container – the filled cake needs to be refrigerated