|No Bake Carrot Cake
This is Arianna Bundy's recipe from her book 'Sweet Alternatives, More than 100 recipes without gluten, dairy and soy'. It's not only delicious, it's healthy.
800g (1 and 3/4 pounds/5½ cups) grated carrots
175g (6oz/1½ cups) walnuts, finely chopped
45g (1½ ozs/½ cup) dessicated coconut
150g (5ozs) dried papaya or mangoes, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped orange zest
215g (7½ozs/1½ cups) dried dates, pitted and chopped
Juice of 1 large orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
85ml (3fl oz/1/3 cup) agave nectar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
Grated coconut and grated nutmeg, to decorate
Cashew nut purée frosting:
175g (6oz/1½cups) raw cashews, or any other raw untreated nut
3 tablespoons agave nectar
85ml (3fl oz/1/3 cup) fresh orange juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Take a 20cm/8 inch cake tin or loaf tin and line it with cling film, leaving a little extra hanging over the edge.
2. Mix the carrots, walnuts, coconut, papaya or mangoes and orange zest in a large bowl.
3. Place the dates, orange juice, vanilla extract, flax seeds, agave nectar, cinnamon and salt in a food processor. Turn the machine on and blend until the mixture becomes soft. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides if you need to, until you get a nice smooth purée.
4. Mix the purée with the carrot mixture. You may need to use your hands. So go ahead and mix it all up until it clings together.
5. Place the mixture in the prepared tin, and spread it around using your hands until smooth and level.
6. Cover with more cling film and leave it in the fridge overnight.
Before you serve:
7. Make the frosting by placing the cashews in enough water to cover them, and let them soak for about two hours.
8. Drain off the water and place the nuts in a food processor or blender with the agave nectar, orange juice and vanilla extract. Add more sweetness if you need to.
9. Blend the mixture until creamy and smooth.
10. Take the carrot cake out of the fridge and flip it over onto a serving dish. Remove the cling film and shape it a little with your hands if necessary.
11. Frost with the cashew nut purée, decorate with grated coconut and grated nutmeg and serve.
From 'Sweet Alternatives, More than 100 recipes without gluten, dairy and soy' by Ariana Bundy. Photography by Lisa Linder.
* Agave Nectar: This Mexican wonder sometimes goes by the name of agave syrup. In fact it looks like thick sugar syrup and is 25% sweeter than sugar. Use light agave, not the dark molasses kind.