So it was my birthday yesterday as you may well know; I turned 19. It's been an interesting year - big in some ways. But then they always are, aren't they? We never really do much for our birthdays anymore so my mum and I just took Prune out to village nearby. To walk by the river and watch the yachts; sailboats skirting the reeds and the wind teasing the willows. The sky was a sort of pale, washed out blue; the sun mellow and subtle, so warm I sat outside all afternoon, with a slice of cake and a book. Nothing much, but I felt lucky anyway. The last of the Indian summer seemed like enough. That's how I wanted it to be, reflective and promising.
"I want to remember us this way - late September sun streaming through the window, bread loaves and golden bunches of grapes on the table" Peter Pereira
I felt a bit weird about making an epic layer cake for my own birthday so I made a loaf cake instead; carrot cake is probably my favourite kind. This recipe is adapted from the brilliant Everything I Want to Eat by Jessica Koslow of the LA cafe Sqirl - when I get the chance to visit LA, Sqirl is so on my list. Anyway. I made a few adaptations: using spelt flour, so you could use AP if you wanted; and also halving the sugar. It's still sweet, kind of soft and dense, infinitely snackable, with a little kick from ginger which is so so good. And this loaf is naturally vegan somehow. One of my new favourites - I still have some organic carrots in the fridge and I see another loaf in my future. My first cake as a 19 year old, huh?
Love you xx
carrot - ginger loaf
Adapted from Everything I Want to Eat by Jessica Koslow // makes 1 8x4 inch loaf // vegan
2 cups (220g) spelt flour (or unbleached AP: 240g)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tspn ground cinnamon
1/3c (80ml) coconut oil, melted
1/3c (80ml) almond (or whatever) milk
1/2c (120ml) unsweetened, all natural applesauce
3/4c (150g) coconut sugar (or muscavado) (you could go up to 1 1/2 cups if you like it sweet)
1 tspn pure vanilla extract
2 inch (5cm) piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
2 large carrots (200g - try to find organic if you can), coarsely grated
Preheat the oven to 175'C, 350'F and line an 8x4inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, except sugar.
In another large bowl or liquid measuring jug, combine the milk, oil, applesauce and sugar; beat in the vanilla and ginger until smooth.
Pour the wet mix into the dry and gently fold to combine - don't stir too much since once the carrots are in the mix you'll need to seriously stir. Add your carrots and continue to fold gently until they're incorporated.
Scrape the batter into your prepared pan and bake until the middle of the loaf has puffed (maybe cracked) and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean; 60-70 minutes.
The loaf will keep tightly wrapped for around 3 days but also freezes and defrosts well. It's better warm/room temperature than cold, personally :)
all kinds of cakes