Raw Carrot Cake

I don't have many thoughts on Bugs.

A few Mickey memoires here and there, Road Runner too, but I never really had time for Bugs Bunny. Cartoons were a thing we watched at our grandparents' house. The old school type. I loved them. Batman also, the one with the submarine and Adam West running around a pier with a bomb in his hands. Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb. Do you know the 1966 version I’m talking about? My brothers and I must have watched it a hundred times. I thought that sly Russian cat woman was fantastically mad and elegant.

My lack of appreciation for Bugs Bunny as a child is, I suppose, rectified by my mad love for carrots as an adult. I always have them on hand to grate into porridge, throw in my bag for a snack on the way home from work, roast for soup, bake into a crumble (whaaaat?) or smash with some ginger. And for raw carrot cake.

There are quite a few "healthy carrot cake" recipes out there, from porridge and baked oatmeal, to bircher muesli and smoothies. And raw cakes, like this one. Feeling inspired by endless carrot and walnut creations on instagram and blogs, I got to grating and made my version, with just as much sweetness and spice as I like.

The great thing about this recipe is you can taste as you go and adjust as you wish. This is a cake you'll make when you feel like something sweet but want it your creation to be obscenely healthy. I'm a fan of classic cakes with butter and flour and sugar, indeed, but sometimes I just want a whole bunch of nuts and fruit and vegetables formed into one delicious and only slightly pretentious "cake". You know?

My family adores this cake, and of course I'm nutty about it. It's breakfast, a snack and dessert, all in one. I hope you like it. Cut yourself a slice, put on some cartoons and feel both nourished and nostalgic.

That's all folks.

Raw Carrot Cake

Makes 2 tall cakes using 12cm springform cake tins or 1 larger and flatter cake using a 20cm springform cake tin. Use whatever loaf or cake tin you desire, but ensure it's a springform so you can remove it easily.

Note: this cake requires 2 hours chilling time before serving. Inspired by and adapted from The Healthy Chef's Raw Carrot Cake.

3 cups grated Carrot (350g weight before grating, ~3 large)
1 cup Cashews (unsalted)
180g pitted fresh Medjool Dates* (~10 large juicy ones)
1.5 cups Walnuts
1.5 cups Almond Meal
1/2 cup quality Desiccated Coconut
A pinch of Sea Salt
2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger (depending on your flavour preference)
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated Nutmeg
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Zest of 1 Orange
1-2 tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup (depending on your flavour preference)

Frosting: coconut whipped cream + vanilla bean (as per the photograph above), or cashew cream or yoghurt

*  Yes, it's a lot of dates. I've tried the recipe with dried dates softened in boiling water, and it's fine but certainly not as stellar. And you'll need more maple syrup. Sometimes I do half Medjool weight / half dried. But Medjool dates are just so good...

1. Add the grated carrot to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Pulse the cashews and pitted dates in a food processor until finely chopped, then pour into the mixing bowl. Pulse the walnuts until coarsely chopped (you want chunks!), then pour into the mixing bowl.
3. Add the almond meal, coconut, salt and spices to the mixing bowl along with the vanilla and orange zest. Stir well to combine. Taste and add maple syrup according to your preference, then stir well again. Amount required will depend on the sweetness (and moisture content) of your carrots and dates. Note that the cake will be served chilled, so the end result will less sweet than when you taste it now at room temperature (i.e. it should taste on the sweet side now, and this will be blunted upon serving).
4. Pour the mixture into your desired springform cake tin or pan, packing it down firmly with the back of a large serving spoon. Smooth the surface, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

Heidi xo