I‘ve been imagining writing this blog post for a long time. Like over 18 months.
Anyway here we are. And I have good news!
So last week I celebrated my birthday. And the best birthday present? Like, Ever?
I’m having another baby!
Yes, Fergal is going to be a big brother. (He’s really excited too!)
As is the tradition here at Stonesoup, I have a killer birthday cake recipe to celebrate.
Paleo Carrot Cake
Since my neighbour Heather gave me the recipe for her Stupidly Easy Banana Bread, I’ve been having a great time experimenting with baking without sugar or stevia and using fruit as a sweetener instead. Lots of fun!
This processed sugar-free cake uses dates pureed with a little water and I must admit, I love it even more than the sugar-laden original recipe! The dates add a lovely caramelly flavour. So good!
enough for 6-8
takes about an hour
200g (7oz) pitted dates
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
250g (8 1/2 oz) almond meal
250g (8 1/2 oz) carrots, coarsely grated
1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Grease and line a 20cm (8in) cake pan.
2. Place dates in a heat proof bowl. Cover with 150g (5oz) boiling water and allow to stand for a few minutes.
3. Transfer date and the soaking water to your food processor and whizz until you have a smooth paste. Stir in the oil, eggs, almond meal and carrots. Mix with a spoon until just combined.
4. Scoop the cake mixture into your pan and bake on the middle shelf for 45-50 minutes or until the cake feels springy when touched and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
5. Cool in the tin. Or enjoy warm.
nut-free / budget – replace almond meal with 200g (7oz) flour. And expect the baking time to be reduced.
different veg – grated zucchini are lovely or try using the same amount of roasted sweet potato or beets.
no coconut oil – use melted butter or an oil with a neutral flavour.
vegan / egg-free – your favourite egg replacer will probably work. I’d try 2 mashed ripe bananas to start but I haven’t done this yet!
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
I know this isn’t Paleo but it’s totally my first choice for those rare occasions when I do want to add some frosting to my cake. Normally I’m more of a ‘just serve it with double cream’ kinda girl.
enough for a VERY thick layer 1 x 20cm (8in) cake
500g (1lb) cream cheese
2-4 tablespoons maple syrup
1. Remove the cream cheese from the fridge to soften about an hour before you want to make the frosting.
2. Whizz the cream cheese in the food processor until smooth. Add maple syrup and whizz to combine. Taste and add more maple syrup as needed.
3. Spread on your cooled cake.
sugar-free – skip the maple syrup or replace with a teaspoon of vanilla extract or the seeds from a vanilla bean pod.
less thick frosting – use half the recipe or make a bigger cake!
paleo / dairy-free – just serve your cake without frosting. Or try chilling a few cans of coconut cream and whipping the solid cream that forms on the top.