Monday, July 30, 2012

Carrot and medjool date and spice cake

This recipe was inspired by one I found on the fat free vegan blog which I adapted to suit my own taste buds, (ones that don't care for cloves) and tweaked here and there. It works nicely served with a little fresh minty fruit served on the side and a hot cup of tea. Note the lack of sugar for extra brownie points! The perfect amount of sweetness comes from the dates, the grated carrot and the apple sauce.

8 medjool dates, pits removed
2.5 C grated carrot (~ 4 large carrots)
1 C apple sauce
1/2 C sultanas
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 T chopped walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cardamon
3/4 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
good pinch salt

Fruit side:
1 punnet strawberries, finely sliced
5 slices pineapple, finely sliced
5 mint leaves, finely shredded
1 tsp brown sugar

Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with baking paper or use a non stick silicone pan and preheat oven to 180 degrees. 
Pulse pitted dates in a food processor until they become a thick paste and battle through the task of scraping their stick mess into a bowl. 
Add the grated carrot, apple sauce, sultanas, vanilla, walnuts and all the spices and mix thoroughly with a fork. If you're feeling slightly frustrated, get in there with your hands, it's the fastest way to get things to come together.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and good pinch of salt into a bowl and then add to the carrot mix, combining everything well.
Spoon into lined baking dish and gently press the mix into the corners and smoothing the top.
Bake for ~ 45 minutes until a skewer comes out fairly clean, it may have a few crumbs on it, but no stickiness. The top will look a little dry, however when you turn it out, the top becomes the bottom, so disaster averted. And it doesn't taste at all dry. It's moist, subtly sweet with just the right amount of spice.

Just before serving throw the fruit together to serve on the side and make your cup of tea :) 
Delicious and guilt-free sweet treat!!

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