Golden Carrot Cake with Bananorama Frosting

Baking has never been my forté. Translating cake recipes from American to French and back again, with my Tefal kitchen scale and my trusty metal American cup measures, something always seems to get lost in translation. Yeast is called “levure boulangère” and baking powder is called “levure chimique.” Baking soda is something you buy at the pharmacy and it’s called “bicarbonate de soude.” All this confusion has led to a lot of flat cupcakes!

In the last couple of years, with a bigger kitchen, a real (enough) oven, and better baking supplies, my skills have improved. It is only very recently that I have started experimenting with cakes – not following an exact recipe and just going as I see fit, with eggs, yogurt, milk, flour, and of course, the various forms of levure.

Last week, I had a particular task at hand: give pastry-chef friend a break from always making dessert for our get-togethers.

What was left in the house: a half a bunch of golden carrots, four ripened bananas, various nuts, raisins, flours, and half a dozen eggs.

I thought about carrot cake, banana cake, banana cream pie, something with meringue, frostings, nut crusts…

Then I thought, why make carrot cake or banana cake when you can combine the two?

One of our dining friends decided to name this Bananorama Cake. But I’ll call it Golden Carrot Cake with Bananorama Frosting.

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Golden Carrot Cake with Bananorama Frosting

 Ingredients
1 cup white flour
1/3 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
½ cup granulated sugar
1 small container (125grams) plain yogurt
2 medium golden carrots, peeled and finely shredded

Icing (from Bite Me More):
¼ cup butter, softened
1 banana
½ teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar

To finish:
½ cup hazelnuts, lightly roasted and skins removed, chopped medium-fine

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Method
Pre-heat oven to 175C/350F.

Stir together flour, almond meal, baking soda, cardamom, ginger, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a food processor or mixer bowl, blend oil, eggs, sugar, and yogurt until smooth. Gently whisk in shredded carrots. Add flour mixture gradually, forming a smooth batter.

Pour batter into a medium size loaf pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Let the cake cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, then pop it out and cool for another 15-30 minutes. While the cake is cooling, make the frosting by blending all ingredients except the sugar in a food processor. Add the sugar gradually, letting it completely absorb in the wet ingredients. You will end up with a thick glaze.

Once the cake has cooled, cut it lengthwise down the middle. Spread about a fourth of the frosting on the bottom layer and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Lightly spread about a tablespoon along the cut end of the top layer and place it on the bottom layer. Top the rest of the cake with as much frosting as you please, finishing with a line of chopped hazelnuts on the top.

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Cool the cake down in the fridge for at least an hour to let it solidify. Enjoy after a family dinner with friends on a Sunday evening.

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Other ideas to experiment: a mixture of shredded coconuts and carrots in the cake; and/or a cream cheese or marzipan base in the banana frosting with less sugar.