Chocolate Carrot Cake

This chocolate carrot cake combines the perfect winter warming flavors of spices and carrots topped with a decadent and glossy chocolate ganache and decorated with golden walnut praline.

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The temperatures have begun to fall now and it is starting to get a little chilly. It is the perfect weather to enjoy several mugs of coffee cuddled with a cozy throw blanket by the window enjoying a good book. It is also the perfect weather for a big slice of this chocolate carrot cake.

Use Coconut Oil for making your Chocolate Carrot Cake.

Unlike the usual sponges that you make by creaming butter and sugar, this is made using oil. Whilst you could go for any unflavored oil, I like to almost always use pure coconut oil. It doesn’t necessarily add a coconut –y flavor but it is a very healthy oil and is essentially, a superfood. Therefore, my suggestion is to include at least one coconut element in your daily diet every single day and if you can do so in your dessert, nothing like it.

Include any mix of nuts that you prefer.

Another great feature of this chocolate carrot cake is the very simple fact that it has all of the good stuff in it and so, you can worry less about calories and be assured that your eating a much healthier version than you’d find in cake shops. While traditionally, only walnuts make it into the batter for a carrot cake, I’ve decided to include more variety in this chocolate carrot cake and have included almonds and pistachios in addition to the walnuts. It helps add more distinct flavors to the cake and is totally optional. The choice is completely yours.

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Whole wheat flour is sifted twice with all the spices.

What makes this chocolate carrot cake an even healthier option as compared to ones you’d buy from a cake shop is the simple fact that it has been made using whole wheat flour. Therefore, it is not unrefined and still retains more nutrients than processed all purpose flour. Another thing I’d like to point is the fact that I use whole wheat flour that has been freshly ground from wheat at the mill and it is always fresh. The reason I sifted my flour twice is to gte rid of any undesirable larger chunks of wheat that can affect the overall texture of this chocolate carrot cake.

The texture should look like a normal cake batter, only slightly runnier.

When your making your chocolate carrot cake, it is super important to pay attention to the texture of your batter. Whole wheat flour naturally tends to absorb more liquid and therefore, you are required to add some milk to loosen up the batter. A thick batter will give a dense, heavy cake that does not taste good at all. On the other hand, a looser batter that is easy to mix and resembles pancake batter will help you get a light and fluffy chocolate carrot cake.

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Make your cake the night before and let it cool.

This would be my advice not just for this chocolate carrot cake, but for any cake that you bake. This becomes even more relevant if you plan to ice your cakes. The simple reason for this is the fact that making it the night before gives it ample time to cool down and develop flavors. If you ice your cake even 2 hours after it has come out of the oven, there will be some part of the cake that’ll still be warm and can affect the way your icing sits on it. Besides, there is a massive flavor difference as well.

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Replace the cream cheese frosting with chocolate ganache.

This is where the chocolate factor comes in. We’ve all eaten carrot cakes with cream cheese icing before. I thought it would be a pleasant change to ice this cake with chocolate ganache instead. It is much lighter and instantly reduces the need to include any added sugar. Use a higher cocoa component, like 70% or 80% cocoa to add a bitter element to your cake. This will help balance the sweetness from the cake and ensure that your chocolate carrot cake is not cloyingly sweet.

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Make your Chocolate Ganache and let it cool considerably.

When your ganache is still warm, you’re really going to doubt the thickness and wonder if you’ll ever be able to just plop it on your cake like normal buttercream. The ganache will be very runny but trust me; as it begins to cool down, you will notice it start to thicken. At this stage, you can use your ganache for frosting the top of the cake, keeping the sides naked.

Customise your chocolate carrot cake into a layer cake.

I’ve made a single layer cake because I felt it would go perfectly with coffee as a coffee cake. However, there is no rule set in stone that you have to do exactly that. You can double or triple this recipe and make your own layer cake. You could either naked frost the cake or cover it completely in ganache. Do you see how versatile this chocolate carrot cake really is?

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I hope you will make this delicious cake on cold winter days and enjoy it with your mug of coffee.

Chocolate Carrot Cake

Yield: Serves 8 - 10

Ingredients

  1. 200 grams whole wheat flour, sifted.
  2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1 and ½ teaspoon baking powder
  4. ½ teaspoon salt
  5. ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  6. ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  7. ¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder
  8. 75 grams mixed nuts, coarsely ground (almonds, cashews, pistachio, walnuts)
  9. 150 grams brown sugar
  10. 3 eggs
  11. 100 mls coconut oil
  12. 250 grams grated carrots.
  13. 150 mls milk
  14. For the Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
  15. 200 grams chocolate
  16. 100 mls cream
  17. ½ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line a 21 cm (8 inch) cake tin with parchment.
  3. In a clean bowl, mix all dry ingredients.
  4. In another bowl, mix sugar and eggs till combined well. Add the oil and carrots and mix well.
  5. Dump the dry ingredients into the wet ones and mix well till combined.
  6. Pour into prepared cake tin and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Let it cool for 15 – 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let it cool completely.
  8. For the ganache frosting:
  9. Finely chop dark chocolate
  10. Heat cream on medium in a saucepan. When it is slighlt warmed and bubbles start to appear along the sides of the saucepan, pour it into the chocolate.
  11. Let it sit for 1 minute; then stir.
  12. Add sea salt and stir again.
  13. It will thicken as it cools.
  14. Assembly:
  15. Take the carrot cake on the serving plate.
  16. Use a spatula to spread the thickened ganache over the cake.
  17. Sprinkle with walnut praline and place chocolate truffles (optional)
  18. Serve.
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6 Comments

  1. Hi there, just wanted to let you know that I made your cake! I was really pleased with how it turned out and thought you modified it really well for chocolate. I don’t really like cream cheese frosting on carrot cake either as I find it to be a bit cloying with cinnamon, but the dark chocolate ganache was perfect with the spices.
    I liked the addition of ground nuts to the flour as it made it a bit more luxurious + more well-matched to the dark cocoa. I used toasted pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts, in varying size pieces. I also added sultanas and chopped dates and 1/2tsp of black pepper, as well as subbing the coconut oil for butter (wish I’d used unsalted or lowered the salt in the recipe though as it came out a bit salty, doh!) Yum!
    I lowered the sugar in the cake by about 25g as I decided to make the walnut praline the sweetest part, and that combined with the healthy fruit+nut and the wholewheat actually makes this a healthy and wholesome cake; so thanks for the great recipe! Best carrot cake I’ve ever had. I will be looking for a way to both veganise this and up the luxury for my grandpa’s birthday!

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