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International desserts for the Winter Olympics: Switzerland carrot cake

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As the eyes of the world turn to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and we witness some of the finest athletes in the world compete in their chosen sport, there is no need to be watching on an empty stomach! As the world gathers in Sochi, Russia, we bring the world together in the kitchen and celebrate international diversity with some classic world famous desserts.

First of all let me admit to the fact I do not like carrot cake and I hate that gunk most people put on it and have the nerve to call cream cheese frosting. With that said, let me introduce you to a carrot cake I tried in Switzerland that simply blew me away (and no, there was no "gunk" on it).

While we were traveling throughout Switzerland doing research for One World - One Table, we came across a small bakery. As we went inside the aroma which enveloped our being was almost out of a fairytale. To our table was brought a myraid of their special dishes to try and once I tasted this version of carrot cake, I was in awe.

Though the Pastry Chef would not divulge his recipe, he did take me back into the kitchen to watch him make one of these true delights. I was amazed! Look at the ingredients. These ingredients are not supposed to work together!

This is not the carrot cake you have become used to (and this is a good thing). This is one of the most delicate and moist cakes I have ever encountered, so be very careful when handling it. Each bite will have strands of carrots and nibs of almonds. The secret, the Chef informed me, was to chill the cake before serving and thus when it is sliced, the textures will adhere.

Ingredients needed to make Swiss Carrot Cake (makes 1 cake):

  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 8 carrots, grated
  • 3 cups finely ground almonds
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder

Steps:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Line the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with parchment paper and lightly oil the sides.
  2. In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks and ¾ cup sugar until pale. Stir in the carrots, nuts, lemon juice and zest.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the flour and the baking powder. Stir the flour mixture into the carrots until well combined.
  4. In a large bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the remaining sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  5. Fold the egg whites into the carrot mixture.
  6. Spoon the carrot mixture into the prepared springform pan and even out.
  7. Place in oven and bake 70 minutes or until done.
  8. Remove the cake and let it cool in the pan 15 minutes.
  9. Very carefully remove the cake from the springform pan (it is VERY moist) and place on a serving platter. Place in refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour before serving.
  10. Before serving dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar.

The internationally bestselling cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in it's third printing and available worldwide in both hard cover and e-book versions. The paperback version will be released March 4, 2014.

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