I have been thinking a lot about desert lately. Maybe it's because people around me are fasting (it is the time of the Lent after all) or because it is still freezing cold outside in the middle of march.
The cold always makes me crave sweets. But why should Lent make me think of desert, you'd ask?
Well, this is just pure psychology: Things you are not "allowed" to have, become more attractive. And you want them NOW! Although I am not fasting, my boyfriend does. And since we are together quite often, it feels as if I am fasting, too. No sweets, no meat, no alcohol. If it was up to me, he could eat like this all year round. At least the no-meat, no-alcohol thing would be to my gusto.But this is still up for debate.
Maybe we can talk about that later, darling ;) ?
I digress. Why did I start with Lent anyways?
Actually the carrot cake should be the focal point of interest. What is carrot cake all about? That's right. Easter!
Oh, I get excited about this one.
Easter without some kind of carrot-dish would be quite sad for me. Other people have lamb (so so sad..), vegetarians have carrots. Or is this just me?
Of course there are endless things to cook with carrots, but why futzing around with new things when being very content with the basics? Carrots cake is a basic at our house. When I was younger, my mum used to bake some kind of carrot cake for Easter Sunday, decorated it with a sugar crust and sappy sugar carrots.
I loved it!
Now that I am a grown-up (cough) I tend to "healthify" old favorites to make them even more charming.
The recipe I am presenting to you today actually came together by accident.
I was experimenting with a new (to me) sweetener: date purée.
What can I say? I am in love!
It makes the cake slightly, but not overly sweet and it complements the natural sweetness of the carrots wonderfully. I ended up having a moist, and oh so flavorful carrot cake, and I knew I had to share.
Since no cake/blondie is complete without some kind of icing, welcome Coconut Honey Icing.
It is a perfect plant-based alternative to cream cheese frosting. What am I saying? In my opinion it is superior to cream cheese frosting! Creamy and rich, slightly sweet. That's how I roll.
Ingredients for small round baking pan (18cm):
1 cup (130g) wholewheat spelt flour
2 tsp cream of tartar (Weinsteinbackpulver)
½ tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of fleur de sel or sea salt
9 Tbsp date purée (instructions below)
6 Tbsp plant milk
2 Tbsp light olive oil
Seeds of ½ vanilla bean
Zest of one small organic lemon (1 tsp), minced
1 cup (approx.130g) grated carrots
Small handful of raisins
½ cup (90g) pitted, dried dates
1 cup (250ml) boiling water
Prepare the date purée:
Coarsly chop dates and put into a small saucepan.
Pour the boiling water over the dates and let them soak for 10 minutes.
Then bring dates and water to a boil , reduce heat and simmer for additional 10 minutes.
Set a strainer over a heatproof bowl and drain the dates. Reserve the cooking liquid!
With a handheld blender or a high speed blender purée the dates and 8 tablespoons of the cooking liquid until completely smooth. Add more of the liquid if needed.
The date purée should have a consistency similar to applesauce.
Prepare the cake:
Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and oil the sides of the pan. Set aside.
Add dry ingrediets to a bowl and mix to combine.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the date purée, milk, oil, vanilla seeds, and lemon zest.
Slowly add to the dry ingredients, mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon to combine. Add grated carrots and raisins and fold in quickly.
Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake at 175°C for 30-35 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and the sides have pulled away from the pan.
Place on a cooling rack and carefully remove cake from pan.
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp honey
Put can into the fridge for about 1 hour.
Open the can and only take the cream from the top of the can (about ½ a cup). It should be solidified by now.
In a bowl beat cream and honey with an electric mixer until creamy.
You may have to add some of the coconut water left in the can. Just add tablespoon after tablespoon to and beat thoroughly until the cream reaches your desired consistency.I liked mine a bit runny, because it is so pretty to have a cake with icing that teras down the edges a bit. Reminds me of gingerbread houses. Know what I mean? Gorgeous.
Decorate the cake with icing, additional honey and crushed walnuts.