Tuesday, January 19, 2010

cake that's not a cake

Sharing more yumminess. (Dedicated to Kaho.)

Okay, so this is a raw vegan recipe but I don't have a dehydrator so I've technically been cooking this cake, since my oven doesn't go low enough. But it is not only as healthy as dessert can be, it is also hands down the most awesome carrot cake I (and anyone I've made it for) have ever tasted. Note: I usually double the recipe as it keeps fabulously fresh and long in the fridge.

Raw carrot cake

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 1/2 cups grated carrot
1/2 cup pitted dates
2 tablespoons ground flax seed (or ground oats*)
8 tablespoons coconut
4 tablespoons ground cashews
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp vanilla
2 tablespoons agave (or maple syrup, or honey*)**
1/4 tsp salt
nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon to taste

(* technically oats don't qualify as a raw ingredient, nor does maple syrup or honey, but real raw foodies would know that anyway...
** In any case, I usually omit the agave/syrup/honey since the raisins & dates lend plenty of sweetness for my taste.)

Grind your cashews and then your flax seed with a mortar & pestle or in the food processor. Set aside. Process the dates until smooth (they'll clump up in a big ball most likely). Add all the other ingredients except a handful of carrots and the nuts. Process until everything is as finely chopped as it seems to want to get. Dump into a bowl with the last carrots and the nuts, mix well.

Now you form it into whatever shape you want. I tend to make smallish cakes or loaf shapes so it will 'cook' (ie, dry out) faster. Last time I pressed it into an oil-sprayed pie plate and then sliced it up and smoothed the edges of each slice with my fingers.

You're supposed to dehydrate the thing(s) at 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit) for I don't know how long because I can no longer find the recipe by James on Gone Raw since they changed their system awhile back. I leave mine in the oven at the lowest it goes (170F) until I find it looks/feels dry enough, but I think it usually takes a couple of hours.

I always make the original icing, which is a cashew cream. You make this as so: Soak cashews in water for several hours. Drain and dry well. Process them with a smidge of vanilla and a couple of teaspoons of agave until it's a nice smooth paste. Spread it on rather lightly since it's very rich.

But if you, like me, are not a real raw vegan, you could just as soon put a cream cheese icing on it.

Bet it becomes your fav too.


I will definitely try this out when we get a food processor - not a big fan of carrot cake or dates, but maybe this could reverse my decision on both! Would definitely be good to have more vegan options on my menu too! Would love to convert to veganism one day! :)
JJ - You're a brave thing, trying the recipe if you don't like two of the main ingreds! But honestly, you can't really taste either that much - it just tastes nice 'n sweet and nutty. If you added extra ground flax, the nuttiness would be even stronger too. Seriously, you could try doing it by hand by chopping the dates & raisins really well (or putting T's bigger arms to work to smush things up?) and then grate the carrots really fine and incorporate all of 'em well.

As for vegan stuff, check out Gone Raw and you'll find a world of yummy vegan stuff to add to your menu.
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