Now that the cookbook is up and out there it’s time to get back blogging. This has been sadly neglected in the past month.
I have recently rediscovered one of my original cookbooks. It was printed in 1973 ‘The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook’, and it is so well thumbed that it’s held together with sticky tape.
It was printed when cookbooks contained very few pictures which means there are in fact an awful lot of recipes. I reckon we probably tried near enough fifty percent – it was one of our only cookbooks – before it retired quietly to the back of the shelf. Rereading it is like a trip down memory lane – food’s like that – and I find myself remembering all sorts of gatherings and occasions. There was one recipe, which did have a picture , for a carrot cake.
This was before carrot cake became famous and in every cafe. What attracted me was not only the cake made with a vegetable but it was also orange. I thought that was so funky that I had to try it. I made it for a friends birthday. I vaguely remember it being an outrageously expensive cake to make – ground almonds were expensive and we were as broke as church mice. I was living in an apartment in Antwerp with a dodgy oven. It was before I owned any kitchen gadgets and the cake was made with the aid of a potato masher and a whisk .
On rediscovering this recipe I’ve realised that it is also gluten and dairy free which most carrot cakes aren’t and also is why the cake is orange. It’s made with eggs, almonds, sugar and carrots.
Here’s the recipe made with the help of a food mixer and a magic wand – aka hand held blender.
350g ground almonds
grated rind of 1 orange
1tbs brandy or similar booze
Peel the carrots and chop into equal sized pieces. Put them into a small saucepan, cover with water and a little salt and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for about fifteen minutes or until tender. Drain and buzz to a smooth puree. Leave to cool.
Pre heat the oven 170c
Line a 24cm cake tin with parchment paper
Separate the eggs.
Put the yolks into a bowl and whisk until they are pale and frothy, add the sugar and continue beating until the mix is blond and creamy.
Add the carrots, ground almond, orange zest and tablespoon of booze.
Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks then add a tbs sugar and whisk until stiff peaks.
Using a large metal spoon fold half of the egg whites into the carrot mix then tips the remainder of the egg whites onto the mix and fold them in.
Pou the mix into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 50minutes.
To test the cake is done poke skewer into the centre. If it comes out clean it’s ready