Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (about 180 degrees C). Grease a round ring mold (9-inch or 23 cm diameter) and dust with flour. Remove excess flour!
In a blender, blend the carrot, oil, vanilla, eggs and yolk, and half of the sugar together very well until the mixture is homogeneous and smooth. You may have to stop the blender more than once and scrape down the sides. Reserve.
There are 2 ways to make this Brazilian carrot cake, depending on the texture that you choose: either super moist and dense, or slightly moist and fluffy.
Prepare the cake batter according to one of the desired textures:
For a moist and dense cake (more common in Brazil): Add all the other batter ingredients (other half of the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt) to the blended carrot mixture and blend just enough to obtain a homogeneous mixture. Youmay have to stop the blender and scrape the sides more than once). Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 40-55 minutes. The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let pan cool over a rack completely, slide a knife around the edges to loosen, and invert on a platter. Top with the chocolate sauce (recipe below)!
For a fluffy cake: Pour the blended carrot mixture into a large bowl. Then, add the other half of the sugar and sift the flour and baking powder in. Add a pinch of salt and either mixture everything very well using a spatula or whisk or beat on low speed until the flour has been incorporated to the batter. Please, do not overbeat!!!
Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Yes, it will bake a little faster than when completely blended in the blender.
Let cool completely on a wire rack. Slice a knife around the edges to loosen, unmold, and top with chocolate sauce. Decorate as desired.
You can also serve this cake plain or dusted with powdered sugar instead of topping with chocolate sauce.
This cake is moist without being oily!!! If you are intolerant of dairy, serve cake dusted with powdered sugar. To make this cake gluten-free, use a gluten-free all purpose flour (the same amount).
To prepare the chocolate sauce: In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients for the chocolate sauce, except the cornstarch and the vanilla, and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. The chocolate must melt completely.
When it starts to boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce has reduced and thickened a little bit, about 3 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch in water until combined and not lumpy anymore. Add to the chocolate mixture and whisk until fully combined and the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla extract, and let sauce cool down to warm. Pour over cake.
To decorate (optional): If you’d like to decorate your cake with carrot rosettes, peel half of a carrot and cut thin shaves in the mandolin or with a large vegetable peeler. Then place them in a medium bowl filled with water (enough to cover the carrot shaves) and microwave on high for about 2-3 minutes or until soft.
Remove from the bowl and place into another bowl filled with ice water (enough to cover the shaves). Let sit for about 60 seconds and pat dry. Then, cut in half lengthwise to make less wide strips using a pairing knife and roll them like a tight curl. I also used rosemary sprigs as a garnish.