Friday, August 20, 2010

Carrots + quinoa = dessert??

I don't know about you, but I love a good celebration.  Frankly, any excuse to eat cake is a good day for me : ) That is why I am a huge supporter of a tradition we have at the office - every time someone has a birthday, we all take half an hour and have some cake.  There are only about 10 of us, but that's 10 mini-celebrations a year!  We try to have the favourite cake of the person being celebrated - there's been black forest, red velvet... and this week, the birthday girl wanted carrot cake!

Normally we just pick up one of these cakes at a local grocery store or bakery, but this time, I wanted to try my hand at something new.  In some exploration, I discovered this recipe (taken from Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming) and thought "hey, I bet I could turn this in to carrot cake".  Hahaha... at least I am crazy ambitious in the kitchen at least, if not talented!

So, I made some modifications (obviously) and came out with a pretty tasty creation!  It was super moist, and with the carrots, I'm pretty sure it counts as a veggie serving!!

Without further ado, I present...

Quinoa Carrot Cake!

2/3 cup white or golden quinoa
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup milk (whatever kind works - I used almond milk)
4 large eggs (I used egg whites)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 shredded carrots
1-1/2 cups white or cane sugar
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Bring 1 1/3 cups of water to a boil, add the quinoa, lower the heat and put a lid on the pot.  Cook until all the water is absorbed (about 10 minutes).  Stir with a fork and let it cool down.

Turn the oven on to 350 degrees and grease 2 8- or 9-inch pans.

Shred the carrots in to small or long pieces - whatever makes you happy!  In a blender, combine milk, eggs and vanilla.  Add the cooked quinoa, butter and carrots and blend.

In a bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Pour the quinoa mixture into the bowl and mix to moisten all.  Pour batter in to both pans and bake for 40-45 minutes (I baked for about 45, but probably could have done with 5-10 minutes longer to make it firmer).  Cool and ice the middle, then put the two cakes together and ice the top.

I used a basic cream cheese icing (cream cheese, butter and icing sugar).

The original chocolate version of this would be tasty too.  Definitely gonna have to try that!

Let me know if you give it a shot... would love to hear what you think!

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