I am absolutely loving Nigella Lawson’s new cookbook ‘Kitchen’. It’s a beautifully written book and I am thoroughly enjoying cooking my way through it.
One of the recipes that caught my eye almost immediately was for Venetian Carrot Cake. I love Venice, and anything with the word Venetian in it always draws me in. Also, I have been wanting to make a carrot cake for some time, as for one reason and another I just never have, although I have certainly eaten plenty of it.
It’s a wonderful recipe, and is even dairy and gluten free (if you don’t include the optional mascarpone cream). However I did something with this recipe that I rarely do with Nigella’s recipes. I changed an ingredient. (I know, I was shocked at myself too!) The original recipe calls for pine nuts, which while they do make it utterly Italian, I really am not fond of except in savoury food. They can also be really expensive. So I substituted flaked almonds. I’m sure it is gorgeous with the pine nuts if you are a fan, but the almond version was a huge success in our house and they went beautifully with the almond meal/flour Nigella calls for in the cake.
I can honestly say this is the nicest carrot cake I have ever eaten. I was particularly thrilled as it was, as I mentioned, the first time I have ever made a carrot cake. It isn’t overly sweet and the rum soaked sultanas and nutmeg give it a beautiful depth of flavour. I urge you to make this cake - either with the pine nuts if you like them or flaked almonds as I did - as soon as you can. You will not be disappointed.
You can find the recipe here. I can’t wait to make it again. Seriously. Yum.