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Friday, 30 May 2014

Carrot cake (healthy & sugar free)


Summer is coming, the sun is out, or at least it's trying, which means it's leisure cycling season in my house hold. Most weekends we go for a ride, and usually that ride involves; country roads, fields, country houses/farms, sun and sometimes cake in a tea room. As much as I enjoy cycling pretty much 75% of the reason I go is to see the houses along these random country roads. There's something about cycling in the sun that instantly brings on cravings for carrot cake, or is it just me? Maybe it's the many times we stopped at the church around Mildenhall every year and got carrot cake. I've only been on one bike ride this year (it was pretty horrific) but it instantly made me want carrot cake, and flapjacks, but that's completely besides the point.

I found this recipe on green kitchen stories after getting back from a ride, hat's off to them their blog is amazing, I made a few modifications because we can't easily get fresh dates here and I wanted it a little more carroty. I was a little apprehensive making this not really sure if it would be to stodgy or if it would turn out too bananary but I was rather impressed. Also I must mention, coming from someone who doesn't like cream cheese, this icing almost tasted like unset cheesecake mixture, I would have eaten it by the spoonful while I was whipping it up if it didn't have to go on the cake.

For the cake
1 ripe banana
10-15 dried dates/prunes
75g/6 tbsp of coconut oil
120g/1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
5 medium carrots (grated)
45g/ 1/2 cup desiccated/shredded coconut
a handful of pecans/walnuts (roughly chopped)
a handful of sultanas

Icing
200g cream cheese
60g/3 tbsp honey
1/2 the juice of a lemon

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4
Grease and line an 8" cake tin ad set aside.
Put the dried dates or prunes in a bowl of warm water and leave to soak for 10-20 minutes.
After the prunes have soaked take them out of the water and place them in a food processor with the banana and melted coconut oil until well blended.
Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a bowl.
Whisk the eggs with a hand blender and add to the flour stir in the banana until everything is wet.
Add the grated carrot, coconut, pecans, and sultanas and stir until evenly blended.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely.

Whip the cream cheese, honey and lemon juice together. Add the icing and serve with desiccated coconut or roughly chopped hazelnuts.

Once iced keep in the fridge. Serves 8-12 depending on greediness.

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