This carrot cake is a classic of Italian country cooking. Juicy, fluffy and with a fine almond flavour it comes almost without flour and its preparation is child's play too.
Local is ingenious
You won't find carrot cakes in the first Italian cookbooks, although they have been known for a long time. This is due to their "plebeian" origin. After all, the nobility refused what tasted good to the people. As an act of distinction, food should also be as elevated as possible. The turning point began in the 16th century. Now the influential d'Este family defined „zero-km-products” as a trendy extravagance: only local and seasonal food was served on their tables. And many of their guests must have been shocked to suddenly find themself sitting in front of carrots or pumpkins dishes - what peasant dishes!
The duke and the carrot cake
However, the modern attitude of the d'Este, from today's point of view, did not catch on so quickly on a broad basis. This is evidenced by the story of a duke who, some 200 years later, was invited to dine with an upper-middle-class family. He was served a delicious cake as dessert. The duke was so delighted with the succulent pastry that he persuaded the cook to give him the recipe. But when the nobleman read the list of ingredients, including carrots, he left his host's house in a huff and without a word, and never entered it again.
Carrot cake Italian style
- 80 g flour
- 16 g baking powder
- 300 g carrots, grated, raw
- 250 g almond flour, or grated almonds
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 220 g sugar
- 1 lemon, untreated, grated zest only
- 4 eggs
- 30 ml cooking oil
- Preheat the oven to 190°C top and bottom heat. Coat the inside of a ⌀ 24 cm baking pan with a little butter and sprinkle with flour. Alternatively, line the pan with baking paper.
- Mix flour and baking powder and sift through. Peel the carrots, put them in a blender and puree or grate finely by hand. Mix the grated carrots with almond flour, salt, vanilla, sugar and lemon zest well (with wooden spoon or food processor). Now add the eggs one by one and the oil slowly. Finally, fold in the sifted flour by the spoonful.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and place it on the middle shelf of the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake the cake for about 45-50 minutes. Towards the end of the baking time, test the dough with a wooden stick. Let the cake cool and serve. It tastes great with whipped cream.