Philosophical Carrot Cake
Yes, I’m aware. I just made mini muffins. Grandma’s little pan barely had a chance to cool off before I poured in more batter and baked up these babies. Truthfully, this recipe wasn’t even planned! It wasn’t typed into my iPhone’s “to-make list.”
But what am I supposed to do when I have three over-ripe bananas just sitting around? Seriously. I’ve made so many banana breads: 1 from Simply Recipes, 2 from Martha, 2 from cookbooks, 3 from Cooking Light, and 3 from blogs. Those are only the ones that I remember. I’m not the type to repeat a recipe, only if it’s absolutely amazing.
Last night, I was looking for a different approach. I clicked across my own favorite blogs and then I came to this carrot cake. Bingo, different! Surprisingly, this recipe calls for three bananas. And because it has three sweet tropical fruits, and a handful of dried dates, it doesn’t have any added sugar. That’s right, no refined sugar, another bonus if you ask me.
With the help of my cumbersome food processor, shredding the carrots was an easy job. Chopping the dates into a paste was actually easier than it sounds, just makes sure that you use the moist medjool dates, they are far superior. I actually giggled at the step when you add the dates to the melted butter, it just seed so sinful. . . . I’m different, I know.
The end result is great! (that exclamation mark is necessary) This recipe produces a very moist, and tender cake. Each bite is rich and satisfying. The flavor is perfectly sweet, and if you do want more sugar, you’re free to sweeten the frosting as much as you like. As the caked baked around 10:30 last night, both of my parents complimented the scent of the kitchen as they walked through.
The Moral of the Story
1) Don’t let your “to-make list” dictate your life.
2) Overly ripe bananas ≠ banana bread.
Carrot Cake Recipe
Recipe from 101 Cookbooks, one of my very favorite food blogs. Although, I made a couple of changes. For instance, I used an 8 x 4 inch pan and ended up with a loaf and four mini muffins. Also, I used 6 T of butter and 2 T of Olive Oil Earth Balance. Incase you’re curious, I used maple syrup in my frosting.
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
4 ounces unsalted butter, heated just until melted
1/2 dried dates, seeded and chopped into a paste
3 ripe bananas (1 1/4 cups), mashed well
1 1/2 cups grated carrots (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (2% of low fat is okay)
2 eggs, lightly whisked
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup (or to taste)
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9x5x3 / 8-cup loaf pan (or 8×8 cake pan) and line it with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the walnuts and set aside.
Stir the dates into the melted butter, breaking up the dates a bit.
In a separate bowl combine the bananas and carrots. Stir in the date-butter mixture, breaking up any date clumps as you go. Whisk in the yogurt and the eggs. Add the flour mixture and stir until everything just comes together. Spoon into the prepared pan. Bake for about 50 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean in the center of the cake – it’ll be less if you are using a standard cake pan. Remove from oven and let cool.
While the cake is baking whip together the cream cheese and agave nectar. Taste. If you like your frosting sweeter adjust to your liking. When the cake has completely cooled frost the top of the cake with an offset spatula.
Makes one carrot cake.