Long before carrot cakes were in vogue, my mother invented this wonderful hazelnut cake. She realised that adding finely grated carrot to the finely chopped nuts produced a beautifully moist cake.
If you don't grease the tin, the cake clings better, and rises beautifully.
Don't panic - when cool it comes away easily from the sides of the tin.
Do remember to place a piece of greaseproof paper or bakewell at the bottom of the tin to stop sticking there.
For a rich dessert, I top the cake with a dark chocolate ganache. My Mum used a thin rum icing drizzled over the top which is also delicious, not so rich - and parve.
● 5 eggs, separated
● 90g caster sugar
● pinch salt
● 250g ground hazel nuts - finely ground but not to a paste
● 1 large finely grated carrot (250g)
● a squeeze of lemon juice
Chocolate Ganache (optional)
● 250g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
● 250ml double cream
● 250g icing sugar
● few drops boiling water
● 1 tspn rum
● Grease and paper the base of a 23cm springform tin and heat the oven to 180C.
● Beat the yolks, sugar and salt until snow white and moussey and fold in the ground hazelnuts and then the grated carrot.
● Beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the squeeze of lemon juice and beat until stiff. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
● Pour into the tin, heaping the mixture in the centre.
● Bake in oven for up to 1 hour - check after 45 minutes.
● Remove from oven and cool completely before icing.
● Make the rum icing by mixing the icing sugar with the rum and a few drops of boiling water. It should have a thin spreading consistency. Spread thinly over the cake, allowing the icing to drip over the edges. It will harden as it dries.
● For the ganache, bring the cream to scorching point (just before it boils) and pour over the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Whisk to combine until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Spread over the cake once it has thickened a little – which it will as it cools.