Cardamom-Pistachio Carrot Cake

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Cardamom-Pistachio Carrot Cake

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cake, cardamom, carrot, pistachio

Ingredients

Cake

  • vegetable oil (for pan)
  • 3 medium carrots (peeled)
  • 1 c unsalted butter (cut into pieces)
  • 1 c raw pistachios
  • 3 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 c dark brown sugar (packed)
  • ¼ c granulated sugar
  • 1 ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ c all-purpose flour

Glaze and assembly

  • ½ c carrot juice
  • ½ c heavy cream
  • ½ c granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

Instructions

Cake

  • Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°F. Lightly coat bottom and sides of a 9"-diameter cake pan with oil. Line bottom of pan with a round of parchment paper and smooth to eliminate any air bubbles.
  • Grate carrots on the large holes of a box grater. Measure out 2½ cups (lightly packed; 250 g).
  • Set a fine-mesh sieve over a measuring glass and place next to stove. Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium until foaming, about 2 minutes. Add pistachios and cook, stirring often, until butter browns and nuts smell toasty, about 5 minutes. (Butter will get very foamy and it will be hard to see what’s going on, so once the foam is golden brown, remove pan from heat every 10 seconds to check how the nuts are browning.) Pour mixture through prepared sieve, scraping in all of the browned bits; set nuts and butter aside.
  • Crack eggs into a large bowl; add brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat 3 minutes (mixture should be thick, pale, and increased in volume). Decrease speed to medium-high and gradually stream in reserved brown butter (including browned bits); beat until combined. Coarsely chop reserved pistachios. Using a rubber spatula, fold in flour until almost completely combined, then add nuts and carrots and continue to fold until everything is incorporated. Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth surface. Place pan on a clean smooth surface and give it a fast 360-degree spin (this pushes the batter up the sides of the pan and minimizes doming during baking).
  • Bake cake until deeply browned and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50–55 minutes. Let cake cool in pan. Run a small offset spatula or butter knife around perimeter of cake to loosen. Place a plate upside down over cake and invert cake onto plate (leave flat side up). Remove parchment paper.

Glaze and assembly

  • Place a small plate in the freezer. Cook carrot juice, cream, granulated sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over high heat (do not stir) until thick like lava, 8–10 minutes. Mixture will initially bubble and foam vigorously and look like it’s going to boil over, but it won’t! Don’t be tempted to reduce the heat; the bubbling will subside and mixture will thicken. You want it to be thick enough to stick to the cake, but do not let it brown. Test glaze by putting a small dollop onto the cold plate: When you run your finger through the glaze, it should leave a defined trail.
  • Once the glaze is thick enough, remove pan from heat and stir in butter. Let cool until you can comfortably hold your finger in it (if it’s too hot, it will run right off the cake), about 15 minutes.
  • Stir glaze well and pour over center of cake, nudging to the edges with offset spatula or butter knife. Pop any air bubbles with a toothpick. Let glaze cool at least 10 minutes before slicing cake.

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