Many of you will know that I have a problem: I can’t stop buying Jewish themed cookery books. I have soooo many. I know that many of the recipes are more or less repeated but I just love them. I love reading the stories behind the recipes. I love the fact that I don’t have to dodge foods or food combinations I can’t eat. I don’t always expect them to wow me, because they invariably comfort me and mostly that is enough. But when one does truly inspire it is such a delight, and one such book is ‘Warm Bagels and Apple Strudel‘ by Ruth Joseph and Simon Round. It has so many recipes in it that I actually want to make, which are unique (such as Sephardi hot spiced fish) and every recipe I have tried so far has turned out really well.
But my favourite recipe has got to be for this orange, carrot and olive oil cake. I have made it at least 5 times already. It is so moist (so much so that I have tinkered with the original recipe as I found it too moist) and fragrant, whilst managing to be light and (somewhat) healthy. The original recipe includes a recipe for glaze, which I don’t think is necessary so I have omitted it, and I have tinkered with the quantities of some ingredients slightly. I normally don’t top the cake at all, but for the end of Yom Kippur fast meal I wanted to ‘decorate’ the cake a little, hence the chocolate (which incidentally was a good combination, so you could easily make a chocolate glaze for this cake).
This cake is a perfect accompaniment to the types of food I like to cook best, with Sephardi/Middle Eastern flavours. It’s always nice to find a cake which is naturally pareve and the best part? It just doesn’t dry out: it stays fresh for days, if you manage to keep it around for that long!
- 160g plain flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- a pinch of salt
- 7 heaped tablespoons ground nuts (I used almonds)
- 2 eggs
- 225g light muscovado sugar
- 180ml light olive oil
- 180ml orange juice
- zest of 1 1/2 oranges
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 300g carrots, peeled and finely grated
- preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a deep cake tin, 23 cms in diameter
- mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground nuts and salt in a large mixing bowl
- beat the eggs with the sugar in a separate bowl using a handheld mixer
- make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the olive oil, orange juice, orange zest, lemon juice and vanilla
- add the egg and sugar mixture and quickly mix to a smooth batter
- finally, fold in the grated carrots
- spoon into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean
- let the cake cool in the tin for about 20 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.