Gluten free carrot cake with faux ‘condensed milk’
I was away on a ‘soul nirvana’ trip last week. Some go to spas for rejuvenations, others turn to yoga or pilates for relaxation. For me, it is spending time with family and meeting up with my parents, sisters and cousins that fuels my soul. It is indeed a bonus to have large family of cousins – my dad’s siblings and he number to 13 and we cousins are a close lot! To boot the joy, one of my young cousins got married last week. Three days of feasting and joy have not helped my waistline but put big smiles and lots of good memories for later times to recall.
Just before I started for the trip, Richa of ‘Hobby and more‘ asked me whether I could make a post on her blog during the ‘veganmofo’ month. I did. Richa writes a lovely blog, sharing her vegan bakes and lots of amazing bread recipes. I made ‘faux condensed milk’ to pour over the cake too.
Usually gluten-free baking call for the use of xanthan gum. I try to minimize the use of xanthan gum as the source of the bacterial strain is a cause of concern for me. But if that is what you would generally use please go ahead. I have used ‘dink’ or ‘acacia gum’ which is an easily available, local ingredient in India. Acacia gum is not suited for all gluten-free bakes, but works in most recipes. In this recipe it is perfect.
I made this twice, reducing the sugar the second time as I do not like my cakes or desserts very sweet. The second cake was perfect for serving with sweetened almond milk. The first cake which was a little too sweet for me, but deemed ‘perfect’ by everyone else is best eaten without a dusting of sugar or icing.
The cup measures refer to Indian cups which are said to be about 20% less in volume than cup measures used in the U.S. Please refer to the gram measures if in doubt.
Recipe: Gluten-free Carrot Cake
Yield: Serves 6 medium portions
Baking time – 30-35 minutes
Almond meal (I skinned and ground almonds at home) – ½ cup / 30g
Macadamia nuts, ground – ½ cup / 30g
Water Chestnut flour (Singhada atta) – ½ cup / 51g
Raw cane sugar – ½ cup less 1tbsp. – 55g
1 large carrot, grated in medium size – 1 cup, packed
A pinch of salt
Baking powder – 1 tsp.
Olive oil (or any neutral flavoured oil) – ¼ cup – 41g
Coconut milk (or any other vegan milk substitute) – ¼ cup (If thick, add 1/4cup of water. If thin use ½ cup coconut milk)
Corn syrup – 1tbsp.
Vinegar – 1 tbsp.
Oven temperature – 180 deg. Cel./350 deg. Fah./Gas mark 4
Tin – I used a 6” round pan and a small spring form pan for the left over batter.
Prepare pan by greasing with very little oil and dusting with flour.
Blitz flour, ground nuts, cane sugar, grated carrots, baking powder and salt together for a minute to incorporate the baking powder into the dry ingredients and aerate the flour. Do not wait for the carrots to get ground finely. We just want to add some colour to the flour while retaining the mouth feel.
Empty the mixture into a wide mixing bowl.
Next blitz the olive oil, coconut milk, water (if adding), corn syrup, and vinegar. About a minute. This will form a thick emulsion.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and beat well to mix everything. The batter should be smooth and molten like lava. Pour into prepared pan leaving some space for the cake to rise and fill the tin.
This cake does not rise as much as wholewheat or refined flour cakes do.
Bake for 30-35 minutes at 180 deg. Celsius. Check after 15 minutes to see whether there are any burn spots or over browning. If needed rotate the tin and bake further, or reduce temperature to 160 and bake for another 15-20 minutes, till a wooden skewer comes out clean.
Let cool for 10 minutes in pan before removing.
Optional dressing suggestion:
I like to reduce the sugar further in the recipe, using ¼ cup instead of ½. While the cake tastes less sweet, it allows me to drip sweet almond milk over it. That makes it tastier for me.