Friday, December 21, 2012

Rich Root Cake - #RecipeRedux

So, the end of the world seems to be a bit late in coming around. In that sense, it and I are fairly similar, since I made (and intended to share) this delicious, rich yet still somewhat nutritious spicy "root" cake back in October! My grandmother turned 80 this year and for the "big party" my dad asked me to make her cakes. Yes, cakes. I wound up toting the "main" slab (made of two 9x13" oblongs - one of this recipe, the other a French vanilla cake I'll share soon) and a batch of bittersweet chocolate cupcakes to feed the crowd - and not a speck was left!
Shredded Roots
When the posting call went out for this month's #RecipeRedux ("Gadget Gifts") though, I knew I had to wait to show you this cake, for the sheer fact that I did a huge part of it's prep work in one of my two favourite kitchen appliances - the food processor. Call me lazy, call it a cop-out, but honestly one push of a button turned an hour-long ordeal into a slap-bang half-hour task. Since this cake not only called for shredding raw carrots, but grating beets and chopping dates, dried pineapple and macadamia nuts too, I just kept it out on the counter and "fed" it the ingredients. The rest of the batter whipped up my hand in my mom's old mixing bowl without a problem.

The finished cake was moist, spicy, with a touch of earthiness and just enough sweetness and "chunks" to keep it interesting. People loved the "different" flavour and texture of this cake compared to standard carrot cakes from the bakery, since nobody I know of nearby uses spelt flour, coconut flour, peach butter, oats, macadamias and beets in their mixture! It's actually lower in fat and higher in fibre than many other carrot cakes too, without being "diet food" (it is cake, of course), and without any frosting the cake is dairy free too.

Rich Root Slice

Being that it was a fancy-pants birthday cake though, I whipped up a cream cheese frosting out of my copy of Dede Wilson's Cake Balls and crafted some woodland creatures out of a "special" marshmallow fondant I made (again, will share soon! I hope...). The rest of the scene played out with frosting, sprinkles, and sanding sugar, while sugar flowers and chocolate rocks added dimension. The crowning glory of the decorations was the "sand" - a mixture of instant cappuccino mix and cocoa powder that mystified everyone who looked at it until they took a bite! This has definitely been my favourite cake to date!

Birthday Cake

Rich Root Cake
Serves 12, one 9x13"cake
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
2/3 cup hot water
1 cup flour
1 cup spelt flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup quick rolled oats (not instant)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup demerara sugar
1/2 cup peach butter (or apple butter)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla
2 large eggs
11.5 oz (about 3 cups or 3 large) coarsely grated raw carrots
1 large beet, finely grated
8 dried dates, finely chopped, soaked in hot water and drained well
1/3 cup diced dried pineapple
1/3 cup dried cranberries, soaked in hot water and drained well
2/3 cup chopped toasted macadamia nuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9x13" baking pan with parchment.
  2. Whisk together the flaxseed and hot water in a small dish, set aside.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, salt, spices, baking soda and baking powder.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, peach butter, almond milk, oil, maple syrup, vanilla and eggs until smooth.
  5. Add the flax mixture and beat well.
  6. Add the flour mixture and beat in until smooth and fairly thick.
  7. Stir in the carrots, beet, dates, pineapple, cranberries and macadamia nuts.
  8. Pour into the pan, smoothing the top.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes, until tests done.
  10. Cool completely in the pan.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 408.8
Total Fat: 16.8 g
Cholesterol: 30.8 mg
Sodium: 72.0 mg
Total Carbs: 65.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.4 g
Protein: 6.0 g

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