Friday feeling: carrot and pistachio cake

A cake that lives up to its impressive appearance

As anyone who has ever ridden it will know, the road to the perfect carrot cake is long and paved with disappointment—thin, overly sweet icing, mainly, but gnarled walnuts, soft pecans and dry cotton wool-like sponge also crop up. It seems a simple enough concept: grated carrot, buttery sponge stuffed with the nuts of your choosing, frosted icing (mascarpone based, of course) and if you are inclined toward dried fruit, some raisins. Yet the reality as conceived by the majority of shops and cafes almost always leaves you wondering if you wouldn’t have been better off going without.

Step forward, Konditor and Cook’s pistachio carrot cake: a treat not just for the tastebuds (more on that later) but for the eyes too, the deep terracotta of the sponge contrasting joyfully with the woodpecker flashes of pistachio, the ivory mascarpone icing dotted with brilliant green gems. We worried the flavour wouldn’t live up to it. Appearances can be deceptive, as much with carrot cake as with anything else—but we needn’t have been nervous. “It’s been so popular, we sell out every day,” smiles Michael. “It’s even better than the carrot and pecan”—and that, regulars to the Stoney Street shop may recall, was pretty great.

It is, quite simply, the carrot cake you’ve been searching for. Case closed. Game over. All that remains, says Michael, is to brew yourself a steaming cup of light earl grey.