BAKED GOODS,  BREAKFAST,  CAKES & MUFFINS

My Ultimate Healthy Carrot Cake

This carrot cake is so delicious and satisfying that you won’t believe me if I tell you it is gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and oil free! It is absolute indulgence without any guilt. Can you guess the secret ingredient in the frosting ?

It was a while since I’ve made my last cake and I started to miss baking! I’m basically not a very good baker, I’m better at cooking or preparing raw treats, but when it comes to baker’s yeast and raising dough I sometimes feel lost! I still struggle to understand my oven and one time over two my dough stay flat as a pizza even after 2 hours over my heater! I think bakery is something very touchy and complex, that asks for a lot of practice, smartness and patience. I’m always admirative when I see people making cakes that could be exhibited in art galleries. Anyways, I love baking! My cakes certainly don’t desserve their place in a museum, but they are simple so that anyone can make them, delicious and healthy!

It was a long time I wanted to make a carrot cake. It is one of my favorite cake, so moist with the shredded carrot and warming with all the delicious spices. But I’m often disappointed by the traditional carrot cakes I can find in cafés because they are too sweet, with a heavy sugar frosting on top, to the point that I can barely finish the piece – hopefully happy boyfriend is here. Once again, I love sweetness, but I prefer the sweetness to come from unrefined and more nourishing sources than regular white sugar. So I though making my own carrot cake recipe would be a nice opportunity to find ways to make it healthier but without neglecting its delicious and sweet taste.

Also I wanted to make a cake that everybody can enjoy, whether you are gluten intolerant, diabetic or vegan, or if you are simply caring for your heath but still want to eat good food. Here are the substitutes and tricks I used in the recipe :

  • Flour : traditional carrot cakes use regular flour. To make it gluten free, easier to digest and more interesting from a nutritional point of view, I used rolled oats (watch for gluten free certified ones if necessary). Rolled oats can be processed in a blender to make a fine flour that can be used in many types of preparations: cakes, cookies, crêpes …
  • Sugar : traditional carrot cakes include a lot of sugar in the batter and in the frosting. The beautiful white frosting is made of half cream cheese and half white sugar. For the cake batter, I simply infused medjool dates and raisins in the milk! Dry fruits are a very interesting alternative to refined sugars, they bring sweetness but also texture, good nutrients and a pleasant taste. The medjool date variety is my favorite, the sweetest and softest one with a delicious caramel like flavor.
  • Oil : traditional carrot cakes ask for butter in the batter. To make it healthier, I totally omitted fat and used carrot purée to bring moisture and softness to the cake. In the same way that mashed banana is used in banana bread, vegetable purées like carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin or beetroots are amazing options for moist cakes.
  • And what about the frosting ? Haha I hope you are well seated because you might be surprised by the secret ingredient in that frosting! Vegan cake frostings are often made of soaked cashew, which is absolutely delicious but also pretty heavy and very expensive depending on where you are living. So for a cheaper option, I used white butter beans! Once blended with coconut cream and vanilla extract I can promise you won’t even taste beans! They make the frosting very creamy and thick enough to be spread out, and also are a good source of plant proteins and fibers.


ULTIMATE HEALTHY CARROT CAKE

 

Prep time : 20 minutes
Baking time : 45 minutes
Serves : about 8 servings

 

INGREDIENTS :

For the cake :

– 1 + 1/2 cup almond milk
– 4 pitted medjool dates
– 3/4 cup of raisins
– 1/2 cup carrot purée
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 cups of rolled oats
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1 tsp ground nutmeg
– 1 tsp ground ginger
– a pinch of clove powder
– a pinch of salt
– 1 cup of shredded carrots (about 2 small carrots)
– 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

For the frosting :

– 3/4 cup drained canned white beans (butter beans)
– 1/2 cup of canned coconut cream chilled in fridge overnight
– 2 tbsp maple syrup / to taste (optional for a sugar free version)
– 2 tsp vanilla extract

 

INSTRUCTIONS :

 

For the cake :

1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 7″ round cake mold with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Combine the almond milk, chopped pitted medjool dates, half the raisins, carrot purée and vanilla extract in a large bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. The dates and raisins will soften and infuse their flavors and sweetness to the mixture. Note: you can do your own carrot purée by simply steaming and mixing carrots.

3. Meanwhile, make oat flour by mixing the rolled oats in a high speed blender until powdered. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove and salt. Mix to combine.

4. Transfer the liquid mixture to a high speed blender and blend until a smooth and creamy sauce forms.

5. Pour the date sauce over the dry mixture in the bowl and stir until combined.

6. Stir in the shredded carrots, remaining raisins and chopped walnuts and stir to incorporate.

7. Spread the cake batter in the prepared mold and tap the edges to evenly distribute.

8. Bake for around 40 – 45 minutes or until cake is lightly golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for at least 10 minutes, while you prepare the frosting.

 

For the frosting :

1. Rinse and drain the canned beans and transfer in a blender. Blend the beans until perfectly creamy, scratching down the sides time to time when necessary.

2. Open the chilled can of coconut milk and scoop the thick part that has formed on top : this is the coconut cream. Add the coconut cream, maple syrup (optional) and vanilla extract to the beans and blend until fluffy and perfectly smooth. Transfer the mixture in a bowl and allow to chill in fridge for 30 minutes before using.

 

Assembly :

1. Once chilled, remove the carrot cake from the mold and place on a serving plate.

2. Spread over the frosting using a spatula or a piping bag for more artistic patterns. Sprinkle some crushed walnuts on top and enjoy!

 


 

GATEAU A LA CAROTTE SAIN ET GOURMAND

 

Temps de préparation : 20 minutes
Temps de cuisson : 45 minutes
Quantité : environ 8 parts

 

INGREDIENTS :

Pour le gateau :

– 375 ml de lait d’amande
– 4 dattes medjool dénoyautées
– 120 g de raisins secs
– 120 g de purée de carottes
– 2 c. à c. d’extrait de vanille
– 160 g de flocons d’avoine
– 2 c. à c. de poudre à lever
– 1 c. à c. de bicarbonate
– 2 c. à c. de cannelle en poudre
– 1 c. à c. de gingembre en poudre
– 1 c. à c. de noix de muscade en poudre
– une pincée de clou de girofle en poudre
– une pincée de sel
– 70 g de carotte râpée (environ 2 petites carottes)
– 30 g de noix concassées

Pour le glaçage :

– 140 g de haricots blancs en conserve
– 150 g de crème de coco épaisse (à partir d’une boite de lait de coco placée une nuit au réfrigérateur)
– 2 c. à s. de sirop d’érable (optionnel pour une version sans sucre)
– 2 c. à c. d’extrait de vanille

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

 

Pour le gateau :

1. Préchauffer le four à 180°C et chemiser de papier cuisson un moule à gateau rond de diamètre 18 cm environ.

2. Dans un saladier, mélanger le lait d’amande, les dates grossièrement hachées, la moitié des raisins secs, la purée de carotte et l’extrait de vanille. Laisser macérer pendant 10 minutes afin de permettre aux arômes d’infuser et aux dates et raisins de s’attendrir. Note: pour une purée de carottes maison, faire cuire les carottes à l’eau et les mixer jusqu’à obtenir une purée crémeuse.

3. Pendant ce temps, mettre les flocons d’avoine dans un blender et mixer à haute vitesse jusqu’à obtenir une poudre fine. Transférer cette farine dans un grand saladier et y ajouter la poudre à lever, le bicarbonate, la cannelle, la muscade, le gingembre, le clou de girofle et le sel. Bien mélanger.

4. Après 10 minutes, transférer tout le mélange lait, dates et raisins dans un blender et mixer jusqu’à obtenir une sauce parfaitement lisse et crémeuse.

5. Verser la sauce de date dans le saladier d’ingrédients secs et remuer à l’aide d’une spatule jusqu’à obtenir un mélange bien homogène.

6. Incorporer les carottes râpées, le reste de raisins secs et les noix concassées. Mélanger.

7. Verser la préparation dans le moule chemisé et tapoter légèrement sur les bords pour bien la répartir dans tout le moule et lisser la surface.

8. Enfourner pour 40 – 45 minutes jusqu’à ce que le gateau soit légèrement doré. Vérifier la cuisson en insérant la pointe d’un couteau: si elle ressort sèche, alors le gateau est cuit. Retirer du four et laisser refroidir complètement.

 

Pour le glaçage :

1. Rincer et égoutter les haricots blancs et les placer dans le bol d’un blender. Mixer jusqu’à obtenir une purée parfaitement lisse et crémeuse. Si nécessaire, ne pas hésiter à grater les bords du bol à l’aide d’une spatule plusieurs fois durant le processus.

2. Ouvrir la boite de lait de coco préalablement placée au réfrigérateur et récupérer la couche épaisse qui s’est formée en haut : c’est la crème de coco. Ajouter la crème de coco, le sirop d’érable (optionnel) et l’extrait de vanille à la purée de haricots. Mixer de nouveau jusqu’à obtenir une belle crème lisse. Verser la préparation dans un saladier et placer au réfrigérateur pour au moins 30 minutes.

 

Montage :

1. Une fois refroidi, démouler le gateau et le placer dans un plat à service.

2. Répartir le glaçage uniformément à l’aide d’une spatule ou d’une poche à douille. Garnir de quelques noix concassées et c’est prêt !

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