Carrot cake

A light but deeply indulgent carrot cake from Ion Patisserie

We understand your misgivings. In an age when spaghetti is made of courgettes and dates passed off as chocolate, it’s often safer to steer clear of any treat food that’s been near a vegetable. Don’t get us wrong: we like a ripe avocado as much as the next Londoner—but we also know that there is, really, no alternative to a sweet, buttery, slab of homemade cake filled with butter cream.

Enter Ion Patisserie: the stall whose decadent cheesecakes, truffle chocolate tortes and éclairs bursting with crème anglais are the work of Romanian bakers Crysstyna and Georgeta. Clean eating doesn’t come into it: these are, undeniably and utterly deliciously, treats.

Luxurious wafts
“I love sweet things,” says Crysstyna. “I love baking them, I love eating them, I love that people enjoy them.” She’s at her happiest when a cake is in the oven, gently releasing luxurious wafts of liquid butter melding, rising and oozing into fresh flour and organic eggs.

Her carrot cake is “just classic carrot cake, made to our recipe”—yet to some customers it is the best carrot cake they've ever tasted. They come back just tell her so. “They often ask where the recipe is from,” she says happily.

The answer is: her own creation. There’s no great grandmother, no Damascian moment. “Everyone loves a good carrot cake,” she says, "so we decided to make our own.” The three pillars are there, of course: walnuts, carrots and cream cheese icing “made from the same cream cheese we make our cheesecakes”, a sure sign of sumptuousness.

Light in texture
Indeed, there’s no mistaking the sweet and luscious tang of Ion icing when we come to tuck in. The cake soon follows: nutty, malty, luxurious and yet light in its texture; a result, Crysstyna says, of the inclusion of olive oil.

It’s moreishly moist, the vivid orange carrots lending enough juicy crunch to make their presence felt, without taking over. This is a true Friday feeling: a taste of pure joy, a glimpse of the weekend, a slither of naughtiness, a decadent sugar kick. For your five a day, please see elsewhere.