Well, this is a little bit exciting – my first post since the revamp of Fresh Home Cook! After a couple of stressful months trying to resolve technical issues with the site, I finally have everything back to a place where I can just work on cooking, taking a few decent pics and writing a post!
So, after much deliberation, teeth clenching, hand wringing, sleepless nights and finally resolve, here it is and I love it! My new logo is thanks to the very lovely Kendra from Key Lime Digital Designs and the cleaning up and fixing of the site is thanks to the very tech savvy and patient Rachana from Red Symbol Technologies – I really cannot thank them enough for the work they have done and the faith they have helped restore in me regarding technology and online relationships.
Okay – off my tangent and back on track – you came here for cake, did you not?
I won’t lie, I have been a very reluctant convert to the gluten free side of life. I lived with these ideas of tasteless, cardboard like slabs of pretend food that were going to make me miserable for the rest of my foodie-denied-food life! I really did. Can I just say for the record, I was so very wrong! Does it taste exactly the same? No, definitely not, but then a recipe I cook will not taste the same as someone else’s, with or without gluten now will it. My ever logical and patient partner J-man is the one who pointed out to me that you can’t compare apples and oranges, they are different and you just need to enjoy each for what they are, not wish they were something else. This applies to gluten and gluten free also, they are different, but that does not mean gluten free is worse, it really is just different.
This recipe came together amazingly well first try. I used my original Favourite Carrot Cake recipe as the starting point and replaced the gluten based flour with gluten free flour and some xanthan gum. For those new to working with gluten free flour, gluten is the sticky protein in wheat, rye and barley that helps bind a recipe together to give it elasticity and ‘chewiness’. Xanthan gum, which comes from corn, works like gluten to add thickness, stretch and stickiness to the recipe. If you don’t use it you are likely to end up with a pile of crumbs and not much cake! The best advice I can give , is measure carefully and try not to overdo it, otherwise you are likely to end up with a heavy, stodgy and slimy inedible mass. Very unpleasant indeed!
With the frosting, I replaced standard cream cheese with lactose free cream cheese. The only lactose free cream cheese I know of is Liddells. It can be tricky to find outside of the major supermarkets, but I have no hesitation in going out of my way to get some – it is amazing – just like the ‘real’ stuff, minus the gut aches!
Packed with fresh grated carrot and crunchy macadamia nuts, this cake went down an absolute treat with the whole family. It is sweet and light, moist in the centre, with just enough crispiness on the outside crust to give that perfectly wonderful balance of warm spiciness and toasty fresh texture. The little people did not even notice a difference between this and my previous version using wheat flour. It really is that good!
You could use any nuts your prefer, I am just nuts about macadamias (see what I did there!), add some sultanas or seeds, or even swap out some of the carrot for zucchini if you wanted to play with this – all would work well here.
So, with no further ado, I propose a toast to the new look Fresh Home Cook, soon to be packed with all my favourite old recipes made new, just for me and you, starting with this glorious cake right here. Join me won’t you? Here is how it goes;
#glutenfree, #lactosefree #lowFODMAP
- 1⅓ cups gluten free plain flour (I used White Wings)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 scant teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 cup unrefined sugar (I used Rapadura)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 cups grated carrot
- 1 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
- 1 cup light flavoured vegetable oil
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- zest of 1 orange
- 200 grams Liddells Spreadable Lactose Free Cream Cheese
- 1 cup icing / powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius (non fan-forced).
- Lightly grease & line a 20cm square or round cake tin with baking paper
- In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon & nutmeg.
- Stir in the xanthan gum & grated carrot.
- Make a well in the centre & set aside.
- In medium bowl whisk sugar & eggs until well blended.
- Gradually whisk in the oil until well mixed & glossy
- Pour wet mix into well in dry mix & stir until just combined.
- Gently fold through macadamia nuts & orange zest.
- Pour batter into prepared cake tin.
- Bake for about 1¼ hours - keep close check after about 1 hour, all ovens cook differently.
- Cake is cooked when skewer comes out clean.
- Leave in tin for about 5 minutes.
- Run flat blade around the outside of the cake before turning out onto wire cake cooling rack.
- Allow to cool completely before adding frosting.
- Place all ingredients in large bowl & mix together until well combined.
- Spread frosting onto top of cake using icing knife or flat bladed implement.
So there you have it, a Carrot and Macadamia Nut Cake that is completely free of both gluten and lactose, but full of wonderful flavour, freshness and taste. I hope you like it as much as we do!
Tell me, what do you think of the new look?
Is there a recipe you have you would you like to see transformed?
Thanks again to all those good people who have supported my little blog from the start and if you are new here, thanks for stopping by and taking an interest – it means so much to me.
Don’t forget if you want some exclusive gluten and lactose free recipes direct to you – just subscribe on the home page and my eRecipe Booklet – Old Favourites Made New is yours!