It’s been a busy weekend! What was hoped to be an in like a lamb spring break, has certainly been a little more out like a lion around here. Friday, The Philosopher was off work and much needed spring cleaning commenced. As well as cooking for an NCAA watching party. It’s hard to cook for friends when you diet is so limited, but we did well. I made black bean burgers based on my knowledge from Mark Bittman and the Day 20 success. I roasted potatoes and made a papaya-cranberry juice “cocktail” for our guests. Friends were kind enough to bring cheese, buns, kale chips, and a huge salad to share. We started the second half with a pieces of gluten-free and vegan carrot cake with hopes of an OSU victory. Well. At least my cake was victorious.
Yesterday we took an impromptu trip to Toledo to visit The Philosopher’s family. Today we helped our neighbor move the rest of her belongings in and found ourselves again at Northstar for lunch. Wow. What a shame 🙂
Now onto that last meal. The veggie burgers used the same proportions as before. I used black beans, oatmeal, and onions as a base. I also added a chopped tomato, salsa, 2 jalapenos, chili powder, fresh cilantro, and cumin. I tripled the recipe. Don’t ask why. I was being ambitious. This time I baked them (I did make like 15 burgers or something crazy). They again turned out lovely. Some guests even had seconds. Two people wanted to copy the recipe. I made a batch of guacamole and had some salsa to top them. Delicious!
The “cocktails” were 2 parts papaya juice, 1 part cranberry-pomegranate juice, and 2 parts sparkling water. I floated a piece of lime top of each glass. Lovely!
Now, on to the interesting stuff.
Gluten-free, Vegan Carrot Cake
(adapted from Flying Apron’s Gluten-free and Vegan Baking Book)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment on the bottom of 2-3 round baking pans. I only had two, so I just baked mine longer. Either will be fine.
In a separate bowl mix 1c safflower oil, 2c water, 1t vanilla extract, 2c agave (or maple syrup or concentrated fruit juice, the author suggests pineapple-peach-pear).
Slowly whisk the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. In the empty bowl, add 5 medium, grated carrots (or about 1 1/4c), 2 1/2c shredded, unsweetened coconut, and 1 c golden raisins. If you can find walnuts or pecans you can have, add 2c chopped also. All the baking nuts I can find are cross-contaminated with peanuts–so I left them out.
Add the carrot mixture until combined. Distribute evenly in your pans and bake about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Mine took about 50 minutes as I used two 8″ cake pans and the recipe calls for three 9″ pans. My cake was still wonderful, so don’t worry about the equipment you have, I bet a 13×9 would also work, just keep watching the cake and testing with a toothpick. After the cake cooled for 15 minutes, I removed them from the pans to cool on a rack.
I iced the cake based on a recipe in the same cookbook for Coconut Heaven Frosting.
First, toast 4 1/2c shredded unsweetened coconut. Place on a cookie sheet (after you have baked your cake) in a 300 degree oven. Stir every few minutes until the coconut is browned evenly and fragrant. Be careful not to burn the coconut!
In a mixing bowl combined 3c palm or coconut oil, 1 1/2c agave (or again, use the fruit concentrate), 1/8t kosher salt, and 1 1/2T vanilla extract. Combine with mixer until all the ingredients are incorporated. I looked closely for chunks of remaining coconut oil. Add the shredded toasted coconut.
Make sure your cake is completely cool before icing. Oops. I skipped this step. Ah well. The good part? Coconut oil melted into the cake, making it one of the most moist, rich delectable things to have left my kitchen in a long time. The bad thing? It was surely not a pretty cake when I was done with it.
The cake was so rich in fact, that few of us could finish our pieces. Those of you that can drink coffee out there or those that love rich and moist baked-goodness, MAKE THIS CAKE. Then make some coffee. Enjoy together. Be happy.