Carob and Orange Moist Cake

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I don’t know where you from, but you’ll probably disagree with the next paragraph.

The best oranges in the world come from the Algarve.

Many aromas and tastes remind me my country, but very few foods are best representative of the south of Portugal than the orange.

Orange is on of my favorite fruits. Even living in Norway, where basically all the fruit tastes like crap (yes, sorry to inform you, my norwegian friends, but it’s true), I’m still eating oranges on a daily basis. Unfortunately, and just as the great, great majority of fruit in Norway, it’s imported. Normally from South Africa, sometimes from northern Spain. And just like almost all the imported fruit, it’s crap. This have nothing to do with the country where it comes from, of course, but simply with the fact of being harvested too soon to be exported.

Everytime I go home and I taste an orange it’s like I remember the true taste of the fruit. “Oh yeah, that’s true, this how oranges taste like!”.

My region have many fantastic products, namely ALL the fruit. But some of my favorite are, undoubtedly, orange, carob, almonds and figs.

Food for donkeys

When I was in elementary school, I had a collegue grandson of a great farmer. They produced, among other things, carob. I know this because he used to tell us. But I had no ideia what carob was. He used to tell us that his grandfather used to feed the donkeys with it.

I never tried carob ’til I got into cooking school.

Unfortunately, and like many other products from my region, it’s not that popular over there. The great majority of it’s production it’s for exporting and the lack of popularity makes us pay more for it than we actually should. Fortunately this seems to be changing. Nowadays it’s starting to be more well known among the portuguese and having a shining place in our gastronomy.

Here, in Norway, it’s not a famous product at all. Most people never heard about it.

Tastes from the Algarve

When I attended to cooking school, I became a fan of these regional products. In one of my exams, I even made this thing we call queijo de figo (portuguese fig cheese) with carob, roasted almonds and medronho (everything from the Algarve), sided by papo de anjo (angel’s double chin) in orange light syrup and honey and medronho ice cream. Yes, very fashion, very gourmet. And really good for your health, if you’re planning to die from heart disease any time soon.

Ingredients:

Dry:

2 TBSP of grounded Flaxseeds
1 TBSP of Chia Seeds
1 Cup of Chickpea Flour (Besan/Gram Flour)
1 Cup of Oatmeal Flour (grounded oatmeal)
1/2 Cup of Carob Powder
1/4 de Cup of Raw Sugar
1 TSP of Baking Powder
1.5 TSP of Baking Soda
1/2 Cup of Roasted Almonds

Moist:

6-8 Dates (soaked)
1+1/3 de Cups of fresh Orange Juice
1 TBSP of Olive Oil
1 TBSP of Fig Compot
Orange Zests

Frosting:

1/2 Cup of Water
3 Dates (soaked)
3 TBSP of Carob Powder
1/4 Cup of fresh Orange Juice
1 TBSP of Fig or Orange Compot
1/3 Cup of Almond Butter (or grounded almonds)

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat the oven on 180ºC;
  • If you couldn’t find oatmeal flour, you can start by doing it yourself;
    • I use to grind the oatmeal in the coffee grinder, but you can also do it in the food processor or blender (if you have a high speed one);
  • In a big bowl, mix the oatmeal flour, chickpea flour, carob powder, baking powder and baking soda;

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  • Since you’re already using the coffee grinder, you can use it to turn your raw sugar in powdered sugar;

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  • Chop the roasted almonds with a knife;

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  • Rinse one or two oranges and zest it with that thing… to zest oranges… that thing that you can also use to shred carrots… you know;
  • Squeeze the orange’s juice;
    • I won’t tell you how many oranges do you need because not every orange have the same amount of juice. Instead, you have the amount of juice you need in the ingredients list. I’m a genius, I know;
  • In another bowl, mash the dates (pitted) with a fork and mix it with the chia seeds, flaxseeds, olive oil, orange juice and compot;
    • I used an all-natural fig compot, made solely with figs, apple juice and lemon juice;
    • You can use a homemade compot or any other you may fancy;

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  • Sieve the flours mix and start adding it, little by little, to the liquid mix;
  • At last, fold in the chopped almonds and orange zest;
    • I saved some of the almonds and zest to decorate the cake, but that’s not really necessary;

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  • In the meanwhile, you can start with the frosting;
  • Throw all the ingredients in the frosting list in the blender jug;
  • Blend it until you have a creamy texture;

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  • Pour the cake mix to a baking tin you like;
    • You can use a loaf tin or a spring form;
    • I used a small springform and wrapped it with parchment paper because I wanted to make sure the cake was not gonna stick to it;
    • If you’re not using a silicone tin, I recommend wrapping it in parchment paper, as the cake tends to be very moist;
  • Bake it in the oven, 180ºC, for about 1 hour;
  • Allow the cake to cool down before you remove it from the form;
  • Cover it with your carob frosting, orange zest and chopped roasted almonds;

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  • Happiness is a piece of cake;

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And keep it green. Keep it real!

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Caloric Breakdown:

(1 Service = 1/8 of the recipe)

Blue – 52% Carbs

Red – 38% Fat

Green – 10% Protein


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