Gâteau aux carottes
Makes two 10-inch (23cm) cakes
(Adapted from Lulu’s Provençal Table* by Richard Olney, foreword by Alice Waters.)Although Lulu calls this a gâteau aux noix, I’m featuring the carrots, which appear in the cake as little orange flecks, hence the name change. I swapped out almonds for the walnuts since I like them better, but free to use either. Or another nut.When I get more time, I want to try this with different kinds of flour, as well as trying to make it a thicker, yet lighter, cake. In the past, I’ve played around, replacing one tablespoon of the butter with a tablespoon of a good nut oil. Walnut, plum kernel, or hazelnut all add a terrific nutty aroma to the finished gâteau.
8 tablespoons (115g) butter, salted or unsalted, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups (250g) sugar
pinch of salt
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups (225g) toasted almonds
2/3 cup (90g) flour
1/4 cup, packed, (40g) finely grated carrot
1. Preheat the oven to 325F (160C). Butter two shallow 10-inch (23cm) cake pans and line each with a circle of parchment paper. Then lightly butter the top of each circle of paper.
2. Beat the butter, sugar and salt until smooth.
3. Meanwhile, pulverize the nuts and flour in a food processor or blender until relatively fine, but not powdery. If you don’t have a machine, simply chop the nuts by hand and toss them with the flour.
3. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Afterwards, stir in the ground nut mixture and the carrots, mixing just until smooth.
4. Divide the batter into the pans, smooth it evenly, and bake for 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool, then release the cake from the pans and cut in wedges to serve.

Note: This is a rather unusual cake. More like a flat griddle-cake. Next time I might try it with one less egg and maybe a bit more flour since I think the recipe was written with American flour in mind, and French flour is quite a bit softer.

*The original edition of Lulu’s Provençal Table shown above, was originally published by HarperCollins, and subsequently re-published. It appears to be out of print, but one can easily find used copies available. I suggest if you get one, try for an original edition, which are not at all expensive (for now) and includes photographs by Gail Skoff.