Healthy and cake aren’t two words that most people would associate with each other, but the more conscious we are of what we eat, the more our modern foods try to indulge and satisfy are desires for sweet treats, but at the same time aren’t only made of sugar, animal fats and white flour. A classical cake can not be replaced, but it also shouldn’t be eaten everyday. Here’s a tasty bar that makes a great dessert after lunch, goes really well with a cuppa tea, or even can be eaten for a quick but satisfying breakfast.
You can replace the Hazelnuts with Walnuts, or more Cashews if you like. If you don’t have Cocoa Nibs, then replace with Raisins, or Dark Chocolate Drops, or just leave them away.
You will need a tin approx. 20 x 15 cm.
260 g Carrots, weight after peeling
150 g Hazelnuts
100 g Cashews
100 g Dates
75 g Oats
60 g Coconut Oil
20 g grated dried Coconut
25 g Cocoa Nibs
1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground Cardamom
1/6 tsp ground Ginger
freshly grated Nutmeg
1 Orange (Zest)
1 -2 tsp Maple Syrup
1 Pinch Salt
1. Preheat the Oven to 150 °. Place the Hazelnuts on a Baking Tray, and toast them in the Oven for 10 Minutes. You should be able to smell their nuttiness, and the Skins should be coming away from the Nut. Place the Nuts in a clean Tea-Towel, bring up the loose Ends of the Towel so that the Nuts can not escape, and using your Hands rub the Nuts in between the Towel to loosen their Skins. Pick out the toasted Nuts, and once cool, grind them in a Food Processor with the Cashews. Alternatively you can buy pre-ground Nuts, but I find you will have a more intense flavour if you grind the Nuts fresh. If you do not own a Food Processor, you could put the Nuts in to a Measuring Jug and use a Hand Blender to grind them. Put the Nuts to one side.
2. If your Dates are rather hard, leave them to soak in Water for at least 30 Minutes. Once they have softened up, discard the Water, and squeeze any excess Water out of the Dates.
3. Grate the Carrots, and place in a clean Tea-Towel. Pull up the 4 Ends of the Tea-Towel and then twisting the Towel, squeeze out all the excess Water.
4. Gently heat the Coconut Oil so that it is in a fluid State. Put the Dates and Coconut Oil together in the Food Processor and blend to a Paste, alternatively use a Measuring Jug and a Hand Blender.
5. Grind the Oats to a rough Flour with either a Food Processor or using a Hand Blender.
6. Finely grate the Zest of the Orange, making sure not to grate into the white Pith as this is bitter.
7. If mixing by Hand take a medium sized Bowl add all the Ingredients together and mix well. If you would like it a bit sweeter, add some Maple Syrup. If using a Food Processor, add the rest of the Ingredients, and mix well.
8. Line a Baking Form with Baking Paper or Cling Film, and press the Carrot Cake Mixture into the Form and leave to firm up in the Fridge for an hour.
9. Remove from the Cake from the Form onto a Board and cut into Squares. These will easily keep for up to a week in an Airtight Container in the Fridge.