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Steamed carrot cake with warm toffee sauce

You've never had carrot cake like this before.



Carrot cake

  • 1 ½ cups finely grated peeled carrots
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup packed demerara or dark brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • ½ cup raisins or crushed pineapple (well-drained)

Warm toffee sauce

  • 1 cup (250 millilitres) whipping cream
  • 1 cup (200 grams) packed demerara or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 millilitres) honey
  • ¼ cup (60 millilitres) whiskey or brandy


  1. Grease six (five-ounce / 150 millilitre) ramekins and place them in a pan with sides that are higher than the ramekins.  Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit), or place a large bamboo steamer basket over a wok of gently simmering water.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the carrots, oil, brown sugar, honey, ginger, egg and egg yolk by hand until evenly blended. 
  3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add this to the carrot mixture and stir by hand until evenly combined (the batter will be very wet).  Stir in the raisins (or pineapple). Divide this between the prepared ramekins.
  4. If steaming in the oven, pour boiling hot water around the ramekins so that it comes up halfway and cover the pan with foil or a lid.  If using a bamboo steamer, place the ramekins into the steamer basket and cover. Cook the carrot cakes for 35-40 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of a cake comes out clean.  Remove the ramekins immediately onto a cooling rack, and cool the cakes for at least 30 minutes before serving, or they can be served at room temperature. To serve, run a palette knife around the inside edge of each ramekin and turn the cake out onto a plate.
  5. The cake can be served on its own, or with a scoop of ice cream, crème fraiche and/or a quick toffee sauce (recipe below). A salsa of diced fresh pineapple tossed with a little lime juice and honey and fresh coconut is a nice addition.

Warm toffee sauce

  1. Bring the cream, brown sugar and honey to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for two minutes, to thicken it a little.
  2. Whisk in the whiskey (or brandy) and simmer another minute. Serve the sauce warm.

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