When I say ‘proper’, I mean that there have been half-arsed attempts that invariably failed, and I kind of figured, eh, it’s no big deal, I can live without carrot cake.
But after Vegan MoFo 2014, when I was 99% sure I’d overdosed on chocolate (which even for me is saying a lot) and I didn’t want to look at a piece of chocolate for another month — and not two days later I was already dreaming up new chocolate recipes. (I had a piece of chocolate the day after Vegan MoFo. Yep. *unstoppable*) It was then that the crazy little baking genie in my head said: ‘Hey, you should try making a vegan chocolate carrot cake. I don’t know why, but you just should.’
I just can’t seem to stop baking. It’s like alchemy to me: part science, part mystery, and even after three years of blogging (three years already!) I still get into the kitchen with a vague plan in my head and no idea if my idea is going to work. It’s exciting. It’s my happy place. When I come home after a long day at work, and I’m stressed, tired, irritable and feel barely human, I know I can go into the kitchen, melt some chocolate, butter and sugar together and my soul is soothed. Baking is bliss.
I say this gorgeous recipe on gimmesomeoven.com (totally love that name) ages ago and knew I had to try that ‘proper’ vegan carrot cake. Ali’s cake decoration is also super cute and inspired me to add some colour in my own decorations — so I planted as many candles as I could find into the cake. My conclusion: cake-making is an art. And I love it.
Psst. The UK Blog Awards 2015 are coming up. I’d be so thankful if you took a couple of minutes to nominate me. You can click here to enter thevegancookiefairy.com for nominations in the Food/Drink category. You’ll need my Twitter handle too (@clemcookiefairy), my email address (clemencemoulaert at hotmail dot com) and name (Clemence Moulaert). Hugs and cookies to you if you entered me, I appreciate your support more than you know!
Oh and I hope you all had a fun Halloween! I dressed up as a black cat, because they are the most adorable creatures and unfortunately, the ones least likely to be adopted.
Chocolate Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Based on this recipe from gimmesomeoven.com
For the cake:
500g (1 lb) fresh carrots
375g (2.5 cups) spelt flour
250g (1 + 1/4 cups) brown sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 heaped tsp baking powder
50g (1/3 cup) cashews
30g (1/4 cup) ground flaxseed
175ml (3/4 cup) water
60ml (1/4 cup) almond milk
125ml (1/2 cup) coconut oil, melted
For the icing:
1kg (albs) icing (confectioner’s) sugar
300g (1 + 1/4 cups) vegan butter
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
juice of half a lemon
2 tsp vanilla essence/paste
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Grease a 20cm (8 inch) springform cake tin and a 12cm (5 inch) springform tin.
2. Mix the flaxseed and water in a small cup and set aside in the fridge. The mixture will gel to form a ‘flax egg’, which will bind the batter.
3. Grate the carrots into a large mixing bowl. Place a sieve over the bowl and sift the spices, flour, cocoa and baking powder into the bowl. Also add the sugar.
4. Roughly chop the cashews and add to the bowl as well.
5. Fold in the melted coconut oil, flax egg mixture and almond milk. Make sure the almond milk is at room temperature, for if it is cold it will harden the coconut oil when they come into contact.
6. Pour three quarters of the batter into the large springform tin and the remainder in the small one. Smooth the tops flat with a spatula. Bake the large cake for 30 minutes and the small one for 25.
7. Mix the ingredients for the icing in a very large bowl, either by hand or with an electric mixer, until the sugar is fully incorporated and the icing looks pale and fluffy. Refrigerate until needed.
8. Cool on a wire rack before slicing the cakes in half through the middle. Spread a generous amount of icing on top of each slice of the large cake tier, and between the small tiers, then cover the entire cake with the rest of the icing. There should be plenty, and even a little leftover. (I didn’t use all my icing, but I could have added more in between the layers!)
9. Decorate as you see fit and refrigerate until time to serve. Will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
P.S.: I feel like it’s been wayyyy too long since I shared a photo of my cat. He likes to show off, and insists on making more appearances on my blog. Meow or hissss? Lemme know in the comments below.