Update & a Lactose and Gluten Free Carrot Cake

Hi everyone!

it’s been almost three months since I last posted something but I’m determined to give you more. This summer has been very fascinating in various ways. First of all… I GRADUATED! After years of hard work I now have completed two programs at the University of Groningen. This time, I graduated as a Master of Science (MSc) in Business Administration and I specialized in Organizational Change. After graduating, I moved from the north of The Netherlands (Groningen) to a slightly smaller town in the middle of the country, called Zwolle. To be honest, I do not know that many people in this town, so I’m starting all over again. I’ve been living here for two months now and I’ve been working part time and I enrolled in a photography course. Now, the course has finished, and I am thinking about taking part in a photography course which focuses on food styling and photography and I started ballet classes last week. Altogether.. a lot is going on. And, all of this happened while the Mr. was away (he’s an officer on a cruise ship). He’ll be back for about ten weeks as from the 21st of September, so I’m ms. impatient at the moment.

And what’s happening with the blog? I want to focus more on simplicity. From now on, I will only post recipes or informational posts related to eating habits, health and nutritional issues. Today, I want to share a recipe for a lactose and gluten free carrot cake I found on Lucy Bee’s website (slightly adapted by me). I started the search for a recipe like this after I had a gluten and dairy free carrot cake at a friend’s birthday. The bakery’s cake was very very very good, but this one … is a good contender. I hope you like it.

(photo credits: my photography teacher Gerben Rink)

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WHAT YOU NEED (yields 6-8 servings)
For the cake
– 190 gr coconut oil (room temperature)
– 200-250 gr sugar or replacement (caster sugar is advised, but do take a look at the infographic in this recent post)
– 160 gr (gluten free) plain flour
– 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1 large egg
– 1 egg yolk
– 60 gr walnuts (chopped)
– 50 gr desiccated coconut
– 150 gr carrot (coarsely grated)
– 2 egg whites

For the icing
– 175 gr (lactose or dairy free) cream cheese (room temperature)
– 60 gr coconut oil (soft, but not liquid)
– 40 gr sweetener of your choice (icing sugar is recommended)
– 1 tbsp liquid honey (or agave syrup)
– walnuts for decoration

– a 20-22 cm loose bottomed cake tin, greased and lined with baking paper
– mixing bowls (multiple)
– mixer
– sieve

THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO (procedure exactly like Lucy Bee’s)
For the cake
1. Preheat the oven to 170 C, 325 F, gas mark 3.

2. Place the coconut oil and caster sugar together in a bowl and beat together with a fixed head or hand held electric mixer on a medium speed for 5 minutes until very well incorporated.

3. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon together into a bowl and set aside.

4. Beat the large egg and egg yolk together with a fork and slowly beat them into the caster sugar and coconut oil mixture on a slow speed.

5. Fold in the walnuts, desiccated coconut and grated carrot.

6. Lightly fold in the sifted dry ingredients.

7. Whisk the 2 egg whites at high speed until stiff. Take one tablespoon of the whisked egg whites and stir this into the cake batter to soften it. Then carefully fold in the remaining whisked egg whites until well incorporated.

8. Spoon the cake batter into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour, approximately.  Insert a skewer into the centre of the cake to test it – it should come out clean if the cake is cooked.

9. Leave the cake in the tin until cool.

For the icing
1. Beat the cream cheese until light in a mixer and set aside.

2. Ensure that the coconut oil is very soft but not liquid and beat it together with the icing sugar and honey (if the coconut oil is too firm it will not incorporate fully with icing sugar. This will also happen if the honey is not liquid enough).

3. Now lightly fold the cream cheese into the coconut oil mixture.

4. Remove the now cooled cake from its tin, place it on a serving plate and spread the top with the icing and decorate with walnuts.

NOTE: if you prefer, you can substitute either the walnuts or desiccated coconut with sultanas.