April 25, 2011 § 5 Comments
First things first, I melted our food processor.
What does this have to do anything? Well, I wanted to make a carrot-bread for Easter morning tea, and I knew that using the processor would make it into a 6 minute job and save the laborious task of grating 8 carrots by hand. Fortunately the processor still works and for future reference it is wise to avoid placing the bowl directly onto a hot cooktop.
Easter is synonymous with many things, and gluttony is certainly one of them. I remember childhood Easters of eating myself sick with chocolate and the day would inevitably end in loud moans and cramping agony. My brother on the other hand was a hoarder. He would hide his loot around the house so I couldn’t raid his bag once I was finished and for the months that followed we would find bunnies and eggs tucked behind peg baskets in the laundry or stuffed in the cracks between the pantry and the fridge.
This year I decided to show some restraint and instead of creating some deliciously naughty chocolate concoction, I decided to bake a healthy loaf in the shape of a carrot. I took a regular carrot cake recipe as my starting point and then fiddled and adapted it until it became gluten-free, dairy-free, no-added sugar, and just really really healthy. When I mentioned my idea to NB he showed no mercy: “That will taste terrible, I thought you invited people over for cake!” I could see the potential for disaster if my crowd showed up for the promised ‘Easter Cake’ to be fed carrot-loaf. I quickly emailed a disclaimer before moving back to the oven – ‘please join NB and I for a HEALTHY Easter treat. Eat at your own risk’.
I tasted the batter as I was mixing and it certainly lacked a cake-like sweetness, but then I remembered the jar of apple-sauce in our cupboard and I was thrilled to be able to use some. I felt so American putting apple sauce in a recipe!
As it turned out the cake was a hit. Admittedly it became MUCH more indulgent when I covered the cream cheese in Reese’s Pieces (Peanut Butter filled chocolate shells (Gluten free, not healthy, very delicious). An alternative could be you wanted to mixing a few tablespoons of natural nut butter into the cream cheese for flavour and decorating the cake with edible flowers.
Tell me Blushers, what did the Bunny bring for you this year?
The Bunny NB delivered an Easter Basket filled with dark chocolate raisins, a mango and real Dutch carrots!
To create the shape I sat one loaf above the other and used a sharp paring knife. Using a hot knife to spread the cream cheese, I decorated the outside with Reese’s Pieces and orange jellybeans. The ‘fronds’ use cream cheese tinted green and sprinkles.
(Makes 2 loaves)
6 dates and 6 dried apricots, soaked in 1/2 cup boiling water for 5 minutes (reserve water)
2/3 cup almonds
2/3 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cups grated carrot
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup gluten free flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a food processor, process nuts to a fine meal. Place in a large bowl with flour, baking soda, oats, cinnamon, ginger and salt.
Process dates, apricots and water. Add eggs and vanilla and process to mix. Add wet mix to flour bowl with grated carrot and applesauce. Stir to mix.
Divide evenly into 2 baking paper-lined loaf tins and bake 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Cream cheese ‘frosting’
Combine in processor:
2x blocks low fat cream cheese
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 vanilla bean scraped