the most wonderful carrot cake ever of all time

Sometimes when things like this cake happens I just want to throw my hands up in the air and open a restaurant. I mean, this cake is so delicious, I could make a career out of it. Maybe not on its own, but the point is: this cake will blow your brains out.

It’s simple, healthy, packed with carrots and spices. Aaaaaaand best of all, ground cherries. Mmmmmm. Ground cherries. Saved and frozen from last summer’s late harvest. Thank you past Bee! Thank you Field Good Farms!

You can still make this carrot cake without the ground cherries but it’ll probably need a little something more. Like a pineapple bottom-slime-layer (whatever you want to call it). Or even apple. Maybe blueberries? Or maybe even skip the fruit-slime and go all out with icing. Your choice!

This recipe is not mine (I added ground cherries and substituted some things). I stole it from Sophie Mackenzie, who is a phenomenal Canadian food blogger. I love love love everything Wholehearted Eats, which is her blog. You can click here for the original recipe, if you want.

INGREDIENTS

3-4 cups of ground cherries

2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp. sea salt

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup non-dairy milk
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrot
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup chopped pecans

  • Oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a square pan with parchment paper.
  • Throw half of the ground cherries (or any fruit!) in a saucepan and bring to a boil until reduced to half the amount. 
  • Meanwhile grate your carrots and chop your pecans. Check on the cherries – when they’re ready, take a potato masher and squish them into a purée. Add the rest of the ground cherries and bring to a boil. Let the purée reduce to half the amount again.
  • Mix all dry ingredients together thouroughfully.
  • Mix all wet ingredients (including orange zest) in a separate bowl. Add to the dry mix, but do not overstir. 
  • Fold in carrots and pecans. 
  • Pour your ground cherry or fruit mixture to the bottom of your prepared baking square and spread it evenly.
  • Pour the cake batter on top. Spread it evenly. 
  • Bake for 45 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

* I like to eat it in a bowl with some non-dairy milk, but it can be totally dressed up with some coconut whipped cream like Sophie does in her version of the recipe.

deserted

I drew this when I was in the desert in India. I spent a week there, alone. Half of the time I stayed with a family that a friend of a friend had stayed with.  The rest of the time I spent travelling in the deep desert with an acquaintace that became an interesting friend, Salim. We slept under the starry night, with beautifully crafted heavy blankets and travelled in the morning and evening on camel-back. We set up camp and cooked together, which suprised Salim because he wasn’t used to white women that worked. I certainly showed him how hardworking I am. Hey, I’m a farmer, after all. I’m not going to sit there and watch you provide for me. 

Anyways. There are no words to describe the mystery and magic and treacherousness of the desert. The intense heat and the intense cold. The buzzing life, though I thought there wasn’t much that grew or lived there. It is definitely one of the most beautiful places in the wilderness I have connected with. 

I wrote a poem on my visit there.

deserted

gracious horses wispering across the land

singing wind, teasing the dancing sand

majestically horned beasts ruling this place unmanned

rebelling camels, seeking places unplanned

 

unforgiving arid discipline

merciless expanse, barren

famished goats on their knees

thorn seas and milkweed trees

 

shared lunch with two shepeard-boys

sinister vultures exhibiting poise

th evening calls for fireside chainsmoking

undulated dunes, perfect for stargazing

 

mid-night waking finds me surprised

unwanted touch, I am paralyzed

brutal intentions instantly recognized

despising request I have to vocalize

 

and the perverseness is reprised

its physical manifestation, clearly chastised

but the verbal aspect of it remains

my discomfort unimportant, he deigns

 

alone in the desolation I am guarded

I shorten my stay for fear of being exploited

taken aback I am deserted

bewildered that such is the life of a woman.

Those nights in the desert were the first times I have ever experienced my own fragility and powerlessness before men. Salim was a good man. With strong family values and ingrained respect for the women of his country. But his spending countless nights in the deep desert with women from all over the world that slept with him freely conditioned him to think I would do the same. I don’t blame him. I blame the tourist culture. I blame colonization and globalization. It’s a sad reality.