Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lost in recipes

Last Friday evening I attended a raw food potluck dinner in Manchester, NH. I love this group, so lively, so personable, and of course the foods are so tasty. It's a great way to sample different foods as well as try out new recipes.

For that occasion, I brought a carrot cake. For the days preceding the event, I searched out various recipes for carrot cake. I noticed the different ingredients and preparations suggested. From them, I chose to make my own recipe.

Of course, carrots are the basis for carrot cake. I juiced some and kept the pulp for the batter. To the juice I added raisins and dates for sweetness and texture.

For the flour, I blended walnuts and coconut. I left some of the walnuts chunky because I like eating nuts in my cake.

I combined wet and dry ingredients and made a "dough" of sorts. To this I added spices: cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. I placed the batter into a cake pan. Into the refrigerator it went while I concocted the icing.

I used cashews and orange juice and zest for the topping. I added some orange extract because I really wanted a strong orange flavor. Then I iced the cake and placed it into the freezer to set.

The cake was such a hit that I made it again on Sunday. This time I had a lot more confidence as I combined ingredients. I found that I could add all the carrot juice to the batter without the cake being too wet. It was moist and delicious. I also thought that next time I would add pineapple, perhaps both to the cake and icing.

In view of Thanksgiving around the corner, I'm experimenting with more recipes. So I'm on the prowl for desserts, soups, pates, or other items. I made a no-bake pumpkin pie (no crust either).
Using the VitaMix, I blended raw pumpkin, some orange juice, and spices, primarily pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, allspice). Sweetener wasn't even necessary.

My latest effort is a chocolate torte. I'm mostly following a recipe from Chef Stuart Reiter from Cafe Prana in Newton, MA. My sister-in-law loves fine chocolate and I think she'll love this dessert.

I feel blessed that I can find so many recipes and ideas on the internet without having to visit a library or a bookstore. I'm spending hours looking and copying them. So more tasty treats are around the corner.

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