Don't you love awesome people?
Well, I certainly do. And these super delightful people must be celebrated to the max!
I'm currently in Montreal (still), and my timing honestly couldn't have been better. It's getting chilly, but currently there's a sky full of sun. I got to catch my (very talented) friend dj, one of my university BFFs came to visit me, I'm making it to another pal's wedding, I'm getting to see Local Natives play, my mom is coming to visit...
AND my timing was spot-on to celebrate this dude's birthday!
I asked for a request, and all I really got was: no chocolate. Not because chocolate isn't the most delicious thing ever to have sprung from our beautiful earth, but because cake is for sharing, and someone wasn't able to eat chocolate.
So, solution? CAROB!
I've already made a banana cake with carob that turned out well, so I decided to step it up a bit and bake a cake (with frosting, too!) with carob. It's totally vegan and chocolate free.
Dig in, friends!
Carob Birthday Cake - What you need:
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup carob powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup white beans (I used canned, rinse them well!)
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup mashed banana (around 1 large banana)
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon agar flakes (or a 4 gram packet)
- 1/2 cup carob chips
- 1 cup boiling water
Carob Birthday Cake - What you do:
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees celsius (325 degrees Fahrenheit.) Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by greasing them (I used earth balance vegan butter, but you can use regular butter as well) and then coating the pans with flour. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, carob powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Blend together the beans, vegetable oil, and banana in a food processor until completely smooth.
In a large bowl, add the sugar and the bean mixture. Beat well until everything is incorporated and smooth.
Add the vinegar and vanilla, and again beat well.
Place the carob chips and the agar flakes in a small bowl. Top off with the boiling water and allow the mixture to sit until the carob melts. Once the carb starts to melt, whisk the mixture together until the carob is completely melted and the agar flakes are dissolved.
Add the hot carob and agar mixture to the sugar/bean mixture. Beat the two together well.
In 3 additions, add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Stir well after each addition. The batter should be smooth and thick.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting with...
Carob Frosting - What you need:
- 1 cup softened vegan butter (I used Earth Balance, or you can replace this with butter if you're not making a vegan cake.)
- 3 2/3 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1/3 cup carob powder
- 3 tablespoons coconut milk (or your favourite milk/milk substitute)
Carob Frosting - What you do:
With an electric beater (or massive biceps) beat the vegan butter until smooth and fluffy.
Add the confectioner's sugar one cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add in the coconut milk and beat well.
Finally, add in the carob powder and beat well until the frosting is completely smooth. If you're having trouble getting the carob combined in well, add another teaspoon or two of coconut milk.
Frost those cakes up!
You should probably add some sprinkles.
I mean, it is a birthday, right?!!
I actually pat myself on the back for this cake - it's one of the best that I've made... and yes: still vegan and due to the magic of carob - chocolate free.
Baking Soundtrack - Tunes to inspire your inner baker:
Alright friends, I may be (waaaay) behind on the times... but I just discovered this little nugget of delight, and I NEED to share.
So Arcade Fire + Chrome got together some time ago to produce a multi-layered audio-visual experience. I'm pretty sure you have to use Chrome to watch the video... but basically, you type in your address and the video is personalized to your home!
(Make sure to turn off your pop-up blocker!)