Sunday, March 8, 2009

Carrot Cake

I have been making carrot cake with our homegrown carrots for quite a few times already. They are delicious ;) Have you tried pulling the carrots off the ground just an hour before using them for baking?

To be honest, fresh carrots like this should be eaten raw, and yes we do eat them raw! Give a carrot a quick bath and get ready for a juicy crispy me, you really have to try growing carrots.

So why I want to use them in baking?

The carrot seeds were sowed since last summer (same as the beet seeds). Their fate is similar to our beets (see my previous post) and we really need to finish eating them soon. So today, I pulled a whole bunch of them (sorry, forgot to take a picture), made a quick carrot salad and for the not so good looking part of the carrots, I used them to make a carrot cake.

You can find carrot cake recipes easily in cookbooks or on the Internet. I have compared quite a number of the carrot cake recipes and found that the ingredients are more or less the same. So I'm not going to repeat the cake recipe here. The only difference that I made in my recipe was that I used FRESH carrots ;) I also used eggs that were purchased from my husband's colleague who raises his own chickens in his farm somewhere in the Fraser Valley (I think) . If you have farmers market in your area, you may want to buy eggs directly from them instead of those from the supermarket. The quality is much better, though the size of the eggs will vary. When you finish the eggs, give the egg carton back to the farmer so that the carton can be re-used.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Beet Chocolate Cake

Beets are root vegetables which are supposed to survive during winter in the ground. Unfortunately, we had a pretty harsh one last winter. Heavy snow storm hit the area with three feet of snow covered the ground. Many of the winter crops that we grow in our yard failed to withstand it. Beets are one of those.

They have to be harvested. Now what can I do with them? I made a batch of beet soup with homegrown carrots. The soup will go into the freezer and they will become our handy light meal. I still have a whole bunch of beets left after the soup. So after searching on the Internet, I found something unexpected:

Beet Chocolate Cake

Yes, you heard me.

But why not? I like chocolate cake, and I like beet. The reviews of the recipe are all very positive. So I decided to make one. And I made a couple adjustments:

  • used 2oz of semi-sweet chocolate
  • replaced 1/4 of flour with organic cocoa powder
  • roasted the beets in foil in the oven instead of boiling in water; added organic apple cider in the blender to help with the puree process

The recipe is right. I tasted the chocolate but not the beet. It is a fantastic recipe to use the extra beets. Next time, if I want to make it fancier, I may add a layer of choclate ganache or liquored icing.