Carrot, almond and sweetcorn cake with minted cream cheese and pineapple

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Preparation info

  • Makes

    one

    20–24 cm round cake
    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

Vegetables: The new food heroes

Vegetables

By Peter Gordon

Published 2007

  • About

The addition of sweetcorn in this cake gives it both an unexpected flavour and a lovely texture. If you can’t get fresh sweetcorn, use canned corn-just make sure it’s not flavoured with peppers or herbs. Replacing the mint in the topping with basil gives a surprise as well.

Ingredients

  • 180 g unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 200 g flour, plus more for dusting
  • 160 g plus 2 tablespoons unrefined caster sugar
  • 5 tablespoons runny honey
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon sweet spice of choice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger)
  • 150 g carrot, peeled and grated
  • 100 g sweetcorn kernels, cut from 1 corn cob
  • 60 g chopped unpeeled almonds, lightly toasted
  • 300 g pineapple (about ½ a large one), peeled and core removed

For the Minted Topping

  • 1 tablespoon unrefined caster sugar
  • small handful of mint leaves
  • 120 g cream cheese
  • 5 tablespoons double cream

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4 and prepare a 20–24cm round cake tin or 15 muffin tins by buttering and flouring them, or spray them with baking oil.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, the 160g sugar and all the honey, then add the beaten egg in 4 batches – the mix will sometimes look curdled, but don’t worry – it will be fine.

Sift the 200 g flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder, and the spices, and slowly mix these in. Then mix in the carrot, corn and almonds.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin or muffin tins and bake for 20–40 minutes – the cake taking longer to cook. It’s done when a skewer inserted into the thickest part comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out.

While the cake is cooking, cut the pineapple into small dice and mix with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Lay the dice on baking parchment on a baking tray and bake with the cake until they begin to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Then remove from the oven.

To make the minted topping, pound the sugar with the mint leaves, then beat this mixture into the cream cheese and cream, forming firm peaks.

To Serve

Spread the minted topping over the cooled cake or muffins and top with the pineapple.