Wednesday, 3 July 2013

A sugar-free carrot cake.

My husband loves carrot cake. Loves it. If it is on offer at a cafe, you can be sure that it’s what he’ll order with his coffee. It’s always his request for his birthday. And he wasn’t about to give up carrot cake just because we quit sugar!

I have made sugar free carrot cake for a few occasions lately, the most recent being the one that Peter requested for his 30th birthday. I’m pleased to say, I really think I’ve nailed my recipe. I’ve adapted and combined a few of our favourite pre-quitting-sugar carrot cake recipes, and substituted a fructose free sweetener, and come up with something really delicious, which has people from both sides of the sugar-fence raving! And that’s always a good sign. Oh and yes, I am aware that carrots contain fructose. We’ll live.

So. I thought I’d share the recipe! Here goes:

And just so you know, I use my mix-master with the whisk attachment for this recipe, but you could easily use your electric beaters, or your own muscle power if you’re so inclined!

Sugar Free Carrot Cake

Preheat your oven to 180C, and grease two cake pans that are the same size. I use coconut oil to grease my pans, with great success.

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Beat together 4 eggs, 1/2 tsp vanilla (I use vanilla bean paste), and 1 1/4 cups of oil. I have used olive oil, coconut oil, macadamia oil, rice bran oil, or a mix of any of the above depending on what’s in the cupboard, and once when I was really desperate vegetable oil (which I only ever use for playdough) and any of these work completely fine.

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Add to your mix 2 cups of self raising flour, 1 1/2 cups of dextrose (a fructose free sweetener, found in the brewing aisle at the supermarket), 2tsp of bicarb soda and 3 tsp of cinnamon (I actually use spekulaas spice, which is a Dutch spice mix). Beat until well combined, with no lumps of flour.

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Finally, add 1 cup of chopped walnuts, and THREE cups of grated carrot. 3, not 1. I made an oops on that picture. Sorry!! I usually just stir these through with a spoon until they’re evenly mixed in.

Next you pour your batter evenly between your two pans, then pop them in the oven! For some strange reason, this cake takes a different amount of time to bake every time I make it. Last time I made it half an hour was the perfect amount of time, but sometimes it needs more. If your cake is starting to go golden on top but is not cooked in the middle, pop some foil over the top to keep it from burning.

I find it best to leave this cake to cool in the tin. It tends to crumble or break apart if you try to take it out while it’s still at all warm.

In the meantime, you can whip up your icing! I also make this in the mixmaster with the paddle beater.

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Simply beat together 2 blocks (or 500g) of cream cheese, 1 cup of dextrose, the juice of two limes, and 100g of softened butter, until beautiful and smooth and creamy. This is a seriously delicious icing mixture, and if you have a daughter who is lactose sensitive, it’s probably best to not let her loose with the leftovers, unless you want to be woken in the wee hours of the morning with a baby in pain. Just saying.

Choose your flattest cake to be the bottom layer. You can use a serrated knife, or one of those fancy wire cake slicers (like the one I bought from Ikea) to make the top perfectly flat. Or you can just use icing to fill in the gaps. Either way, spread a nice and generous amount of your icing over the top of your cake.

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The plop cake number two on top! It doesn’t matter if this one is not flat.

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And then coat the whole thing in icing! You can sprinkle it in lightly toasted shredded coconut for something schmancy, or if it’s the centrepiece of dessert for a 30th birthday Pirate Party, you can decorate it accordingly.

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Enjoy! Make sure you get a piece… this cake has a nasty habit of disappearing before I get a chance to get to dessert!

Who ever said you can’t eat awesome food without sugar!

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