Carrot Cardamom Halwa Cake
This cake is a cross between a traditional American carrot cake and Carrot Halwa, a very popular dessert in India made with roasted carrots, cardamom and Mawa or milk solids. Also called Khoya or Khawa you can buy these milk solids that resemble a soft crumbly cheese, fresh from a Halwai (sweetmeat maker) or frozen in an Indian grocery store.
The combination of sweet carrots, salty Mawa and cardamom is addictive.
1/2 kg red carrots, washed, scraped and shredded on medium fitting
1 tbspns melted ghee
150 grams Mawa or Khoya solids
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs at room temperature
1.25 cups vegetable oil
1.5 cups granulated sugar or castor sugar
1 teaspoon ground seeds of cardamom powder or cinnamon powder
1/5 teaspoon powdered nutmeg
2 cups all purpose flour or Maida
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons ground almonds
2 tablespoons dark raisins
Preheat oven to 350F.
Spread carrots on a baking sheet and bake on middle rack about 15 minutes until carrots have lost some of their water content and smell fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
.Set baking tray in lower rack.
Combine Mawa solids with ghee and cook in a non stick skillet on medium heat stirring constantly until mawa is warm and a little bubbly. Cool and reserve.
Sift flour, powdered spices, dark raisins, almond flour and sugar.
Add eggs, oil and vanilla and whisk thoroughly.
Add Mawa and stir. then add carrots and stir again to ensure carrots and Mawa are well distributed.
Add a tablespoon of boiling hot water to the baking soda and stir it into the batter.
Pour into a 12 by 9 inch baking tray. Baking 1.5 hours until edges of the cake start pulling away from the pan. Insert a toothpick in the center to check if the cake is baked through.
Cool completely and cut into squares.