This Semolina Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze is crunchy sweet because of pistachio nuts in the cake. The orange glaze is the finishing touch; it gives this carrot cake the zest it needs, to not be ordinary.
Will you believe it, if I say that this is my first carrot cake worth showing. Not that I made so many; never crossed my mind to make a carrot cake. I know this sound absolutely crazy, but when I grew up, we were making jokes about a carrot cake, rabbit jokes that I cannot really repeat, they are too lame; and nobody was actually making a carrot cake. Since then, a lot has changed; you can bury yourself under all the different recipes. And I am adding one to it: a Semolina Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze.
Many carrot cake recipes call for a cream cheese frosting, but since I am not a fan of that, I made a cake without a frosting. You know there are so many beautiful cakes with cream cheese frosting or butter cream frosting and I am most of the time in awe with the looks of them, but I am often not in awe with the flavor. Too sweet for me, too overwhelming for me. Some of those cakes it is more about the frosting and I am always more about the cake; so that’s why my carrot cake started of like a carrot cake, no frosting no nothing.
The cake is a mix of semolina flour, ground pistachio nuts (shelled and salted), sugar, butter and ricotta cheese. Baked in the oven for about 1 hour and the result is a very colorful cake; you can see the carrot and pistachio pieces clearly defined. The flavor is sweet as you expect and crumbly without being dry. The cake turned out nice, color wise, but flavor wise it needed a little zing. That’s why I added the orange glaze, just a little bit, just enough to make the carrot cake sing or is it zing.
Semolina Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze
- 3.5 ounces salted pistachio nuts shelled and salted
- 1 whole orange
- 2 whole eggs
- 9 ounces sugar
- 5 ounces butter
- 4.5 ounces ricotta cheese
- 10 ounces carrot
- 9 ounces semolina flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 ounces powdered sugar
- 1.5 tablespoon orange juice
- 1/2 tablespoon orange zest
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the shelled pistachio nuts in your food processor and pulse until fine.
- Wash the orange and zest the rind, squeeze the fruit and collect the juice. Reserve 1/2 tablespoon of zest and 1.5 tablespoons of juice for the glaze. Transfer the zest for the cake with the eggs, sugar, butter and the ricotta to a bowl and mix for a couple of minutes until smooth.
- Peel the carrot and grate them.
- Mix semolina, baking powder, salt and pistachio 'meal'. Add the ricotta mixture to the dry ingredients and then add the grated carrots. Mix well.
- Grease a cake form (8x9x3) and then coat with parchment paper. Transfer batter to the cake form and bake for approx. 60 minutes in the middle of the oven.
- Allow the cake to cool in the form for about 15 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
- Make the glaze by mixing powdered sugar and orange juice. When well mixed poor over the cake and then sprinkle with the orange zest.