What a productive weekend! On Saturday it was my SIL’s kitchen tea, which just makes me realize how shocking it is to be in the second quarter of the year already *squawk*! In January one always has big plans and endless lists and here by June/July they’ve either been done and dusted or set aside with regret, relief, or a hearty combination. Luckily with this wedding I don’t think regret plays a big part of it – I’ve never seen two people more excited to get married :p By the end of our run of it, Dawid and I were so over it all that we relished the idea of putting aside the shackles of a wedding and getting back to the homely business of marriage with much glee, because the attention can be overwhelming. Rikke and Foxtrot, however, seem to have a well of poise, which they’ll need for the big trumpet up and down the central walkway! They also need fuel, and I’ve decided that cake is food group and therefore a source of energy. Because I’m totally a veggie-cal professional.
The kitchen tea was a bunch of cheer, with helpful hands everywhere. There were games organized and played, prizes dished out, and lots and lots (and lots) of food and treats! I was tasked with making some vegan treats for myself and another family friend who also eats a vegan diet, which caused a minor meltdown in the kitchen, after which all systems were on the go. Sometimes all the planning in the world doesn’t calm the inner crit beast that second-guesses everything that comes out the oven. Luckily Man-thing was very helpful and stepped up to grate, wash dishes, and be a tester. He says I shouldn’t give too much credit to his strange taste in case I miss out on making something amazing that he alone won’t enjoy, but he’s my baseline for the average fussy, full-0f-nonsense person; that’s who I want to give my food the thumbs up, after all – not the “food is fuel” individual who is sparing with their inner nom monster.
On a random tangent, I will say this much – self-rising gluten-free flour mixes are stupid. They leave the most ridiculous texture ever and are just completely uninspiring. Perhaps I don’t give them the proper respect or accompanying ingredients, but I baked this cake TWICE, the second time with my own flour mix, just because it was so silly and…odd.
This cake, however, is far from odd. It is the most normal tasting, flippin delicious carrot cake I’ve ever made, hands down! 😀 Moist, flavourful, simple yet satisfying…ye gods, I could eat this non-stop. I sliced the cake like a moron just so I could get more crumbs trying to “cut straight”. :p
Ingredients: (serves 8-12):
- 1/2 cup cannelini/white beans
- 2 vegan eggs (I was out of flax so I used vegan powered eggs/Orgran brand)
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup finely grated carrot
- 1/2 sugar of choice (I only had fructose granulated sugar on hand)
- 2 droppers NuNaturals liquid Vanilla drops
- 1 TBSP tahini
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 – 1 TBSP blackstrap molasses (depending on taste)
- 3/4 cup oat flour (check to make sure it’s GF)
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
I doubled the Vegan 8’s sweet potato caramel frosting with just a little less sugar.
- 1/2 cup pecan nuts, crushed
- 1 TBSP applesauce
- 1/2 TBSP NuNaturals Simple Syrup/1 TBSP agave
- Big splashes allspice
- Preheat to 180C and spray a springform 20-22cm round pan.
- Add the apple cider vinegar to the soy milk and let it curdle for a few minutes.
- Make your vegan eggs and let them rest for a few minutes.
- Blend wet ingredients (except carrot) in a food processor until smooth.
- Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add wet ingredients to bowl and mix well.
- Fold in carrots. You’re welcome to throw in nuts or 1/2 cup of chopped dates.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes until golden brown on top and it bounces back when you poke at it lightly.
- Let it cool on a rack in the springform pan. Do not turn off your oven!!
- Quickly spray some baking paper/silplat and mix together your garnish ingredients.
- Spread the syrup-y nuts across and bake for 10 minutes, stirring once.
- You can spring out the cake from the pan to let the sides breathe.
- Once the cake has cooled spread your frosting over.
- I like my cakes cool, but this will be just as tasty at room temp. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge, then let it rest outside before serving.
I made some other little sweets that I didn’t take along (because yikes, so much food!). I used the recipe for these amazing apricot nut butter freezer treats, sprinkled on some goji berries and peanuts, and melted chocolate around them. Super lovely little bites of joy when one’s hankering after a little nibble (but I ended up munching five straight up…whoops!).
Anyway, whew! Lots of labour (I also made some savoury treats I’ll share later on), but this cake by far captured my imagination, especially the delicious frosting! Even with less sugar it was really delightful and complimented the carrot cake awesomely, especially with the flavoured + spiced roasty nuts atop. This cake totally appreciates coming out of the fridge rather than room temperature, but that’s just how I dig my noms.
Finally, this weekend’s blessings were completely rounded off in the most spectacular way – Pabla was adopted! I didn’t take down my advert for her on the internet, and lo and behold someone inquired on Saturday as I was in the middle of some crazy stuff. A few hours later a guy drives all the way from Joburg to fetch her! ❤ ❤ We won’t be able to foster for a bit but it’s amazing how quickly one can call in love – all these kitties that have been adopted are all part of my heart’s family. ❤