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
1/4 cup melted butter
150 grams Mawa or Khoya solids
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.25 cups vegetable oil
1.25 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown 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.
Toss carrots and butter together. Spread on a baking sheet and bake on middle rack about 35-40 minutes until carrots have lost some of their water content and smell fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Reduce heat to 325F. Set baking tray in lower rack.
Combine Mawa solids with 1/4 cup sugar using a fork until completely incorporated. Reserve.
Sift flour, powdered spices and baking soda. Stir in raisins, almond flour and sugars.
Add eggs, oil and vanilla and whisk thoroughly.
Add Mawa and stir briskly. Add carrots and stir again to ensure carrots and Mawa are well distributed.
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.