Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chocolate Carrot Cake - what better way to begin

After the dessert I made tonight, I knew the blog had to start now and with this recipe - Chocolate-Carrot Layer Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting. It inspires me to think outside traditional baking with new ingredients and olds ones used in new ways! So begins the journey with my food blog. Glad you have joined me.

Chocolate-Carrot Layer Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting
*slightly modified from Laurie Sadowski's recipe in the St. Catharines Standard January 2010

3 Tbsp ground flax
¾ cup warm water divided
3 cups grated carrots (about 5 carrots)
¾ cup agave nectar
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp oil (safflower, canola)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 ¾ cup spelt flour or gluten-free flour mixture
1 ½ tsp xanthan gum
½ cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg (optional)
½ tsp salt
1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips (I used regular)

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil 2 – 9 inch round cake pans and lay down a coffee filter to help ease removal of the cake (or cut a circle from parchment paper).

In a small bowl, whisk together the flax with ½ cup warm water. The mixture will become thick and gel-like. This will replace the eggs in the cake recipe. Set aside.

In a larger mixing bowl, mix together the agave nectar, applesauce, oil, vanilla until well blended. Add in the flax mixture and combine thoroughly. Stir in the shredded carrots.
In another bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients.. Add the dry to the wet and mix until just combined. Gently stir in the final ¼ cup warm water.

Evenly divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake for 25 – 28 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool about 10 minutes before removing them from the pans and cooling completely on a cooling rack. Don’t forget to remove the filter or parchment from the bottom of the cakes.
½ cup dates (packed) or date butter
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 large avocado – peeled and pitted
½ cup cocoa powder
4 oz cream cheese (optional)
warm water

Soak the dates in the warm/hot water to soften them (15 minutes or until soft). Puree the dates in a food processor using the date water to create a date butter. Add remaining ingredients and process until the mixture is smooth. Add in the cream cheese for a milder flavour and it helps to create more icing cause you can never have too much!
Once the cakes have cooled, frost generously and enjoy!!!

What would I do different?
I likely would not bother using flax and water and just use eggs unless it was for someone who had egg allergies or was vegan.  It just removes a step and extra dishes.
I may try using just agave nectar instead of the date butter for the icing. While I do like dates, it does have a bit of a date taste.

Rating: 5 - Star
For a dessert of this nature and texture, and the fact that there is no sugar, I have to give it a 5-Star.