Imagine a moist carrot cake in which the cheese frosting is baked with the cake, instead of being plopped on top as it usually is.
I used homemade labneh instead of cream cheese, but they are interchangeable here.
The cake can be made with a few ingredients, or enriched with almond flour, pistachios, raisins, banana purée, pineapple, etc. Either way it will work.
I used a technique recommended by chef Roland Mesnier, formerly pastry chef at the White House, in his Dessert University; he likes to beat the eggs, sugar and oil for 5 minutes until the consistency is that of a runny mayo, then add the dry ingredients; (he claims it makes for a fine-crumbed cake).
The cake here is baked in a mini-loaf pan, but you can use any size pan or muffin tins, reducing or increasing baking time.
- 2 large eggs
- 6 ounces oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup raw sugar or regular
- 1 tablespoon of grape molasses (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of orange rind (optional)
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 cup of almond flour (optional)
Fold in: 8 ounces of shredded carrots (4 large ones), 1/2 cup of raisins and nuts
- 8 ounces of labneh or cream cheese or mascarpone
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Place the eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla, rind (if using), grape molasses (if using) in the bowl of a mixer and beat at medium speed for 5 minutes until the texture is a bit thick, like a runny mayo.
- Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and almond flour (if using); mix until they are incorporated. Fold the carrots and nuts into the batter slowly.
- Beat the egg into the cheese and powdered sugar and vanilla until the cheese batter is smooth. Line 3 mini-loaf pans with parchment paper, preheat the oven to 350F and pour the carrot cake batter into the pans, stopping halfway up. Pour the cheese batter on top, leaving at least half an inch to the rim of the pans. Bake until puffed up and dry. Cool and serve.
To make labneh, line a coffee filter over a sieve and place the sieve on a large bowl (not touching the bottom); drop the contents of a yogurt jar and let it drain its whey for 24 hours. Labneh is born.