Sunday, December 10, 2017

Rustic Italian Carrot Cake

This cake brought to mind the home delivery food service: Imperfect Produce - "Ugly Produce. Delivered." It claims that 1/3 of the world's food goes to waste, often for its looks - enough to feed 2 billion people. But some good news: Whole Foods & Walmart are going to start selling this type of produce! And here in Marin, there's a group called ExtraFood that delivers food from markets and restaurants to non-profits several times each day. Everything helps.

But back to the cake. Yes, it's a bit of an ugly cake. But like most Italian desserts served at home (except for Sicily*), it's simple and earthy and delicious. Mostly carrots, plus one half cup of coconut sugar, almond flour, eggs, and spices, the cake is perfect in the morning, afternoon or at night. A dollop of coconut whipped cream with orange zest on top is optional (sort of).

My Paleo Marin Rating: 4.5 Persimmons

Ingredients:

Unsalted butter, for coating the cake pan

2/3 cup gluten-free flour, preferably Cup4Cup
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup coconut sugar
5 large egg yolks

3 cups shredded carrots (about 4 medium carrots)
1 teaspoon vanilla paste

5 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Directions:

Put rack in center of the oven,  and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly cover the bottom and sides of a 9” springform pan with unsalted butter.

1. In a large bowl, whisk the gluten-free flour and baking powder together. Add the almond flour and whisk again to mix. Set aside.

2. In another large bowl, use a hand mixer (preferable to get rise) to beat the sugar and egg yolks until pale yellow and thickened, about 2 minutes.

3. Gradually stir in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon, followed by the shredded carrots and vanilla. The batter will be thick; set aside.

4. In another bowl with clean whisk attachments, beat the egg whites and salt together until the white form stiff, but not dry, peaks.

5. Using a rubber spatula, add about 1/4 of the egg whites to the cake batter and gently fold in. Gradually fold in the remaining whites, and transfer to the prepared cake pan. Spread batter into an even layer.

6. Bake the cake for about an hour, until the top is golden brown and has shrunk slightly away from the sides of the pan.

7. Cool the cake on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely on the wire rack. When fully cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and let sit, preferably for at least 12 hours, before serving.

Cake will keep for several days in plastic wrap.

*paleoinspired #glutenfree #dairyfree #cake #Italian #lowsugar #coconut #almondflour #snack #dessert #ImperfectFood #ExtraFood

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn website here.

*According to Marcella Hazan in The Classic Italian Cookbook: "Italians take their sweets and aperitifs away from the dining table, at a pastry shop or cafe....Sweets [at home], save those from Sicily, are both in substance and appearance, modest, earthbound creations."

My Paleo Marin Rating 1-5 Persimmons
I try out these recipes so you don't have to (and modify them for Paleo where possible). The rating will reflect my opinion of the final result in terms of taste, ease of preparation, nutrition, and sometimes, cost.