If we tell you it was a hot day when we visited Auroville your mind will check a box and move on. If we tell you it was the kind of hot where beads of moisture pop up on your skin and soon turn into little streams that dampen your clothes and have you mopping your brow, you will know how happy we were to take a break under the shade trees at Solitude Farm Café and enjoy a reviving lunch, concluding with Solitude Farm Cafe’s Raw Vegan Carrot Cake, a refreshingly light and satisfying dessert.
It’s a challenge to keep your energy up with such intense heat but the meal we enjoyed here —with foraged plants, freshly ground grains, and fruits and vegetables straight from the farm’s garden— was enlivening.
The cook at Solitude Farm Café, who simply goes by Sarah, builds recipes from a combination of taste instincts and trial and error. She knows how she wants something to turn out and tweaks as she goes. Her inspiration is the bounty from the farm. She uses fruits, vegetables, healthful oils and flours made of pulses, grains and nuts to nourish her clientele.
We were impressed with her freshly “unbaked” carrot cake. It was cool and refreshing with a golden orange body and silky white frosting accentuated with lime zest and decorated with edible purple flowers.
Sarah kindly shared her list of ingredients. Between that list and some basic instructions on the Auroville website, Pauli-Ann and I are happy with the version we’ve created. We hope you enjoy this truly nourishing raw and vegan carrot cake. It’s not often you can say that about dessert.
Solitude Cafe’s Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe
Yields 8 - 10
Prep Time 1 hour plus 2 hours pre-soaking time and at least 8 hours refrigeration
Total 8 - 10 hours including soaking and refrigeration time
Equipment: 8-inch spring form pan, mini-chopper or spice grinder, food processor and heavy bottomed pot with a lid.
Note: This is not a recipe you can throw together at the last minute. There are lots of steps but once you work your way through each of them, the cake comes together quickly and then rests in the refrigerator to firm up – no baking required.
For the Cake:
½ cup (75 grams) raw, unsalted cashews
¾ cups (125 grams) dry pitted dates
¾ cup shredded dried unsweetened coconut
½ cup boiling water
4 cups (625 grams) carrots
1/3 cup raw amaranth (to yield 1 cup puffed)
1 cup oats
1 teaspoon Sri Lankan “true” cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon lime juice
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 Tablespoon edible flowers
For the icing:
2 Tablespoons coconut oil or coconut cream from the top of a can of coconut milk
¾ cup icing sugar
1 Tablespoon lime juice
3 teaspoons lime zest (divided)
Place the raw cashews in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 2 hours.
Place the dates in a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Set aside.
Place the coconut in a bowl; add the half-cup boiling of hot water, stir and set aside.
Peel and roughly chop the carrots, then pulse them in a food processor until they are finely shredded to the same consistency as the coconut. Note: 625 grams of peeled carrots will yield 4 cups shredded.
Puff the amaranth by heating a heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and adding the amaranth 1 Tablespoon at a time. Place the lid on the pot to prevent the escape of the tiny amaranth. Listen for popping while sliding the pan back and forth on the burner. Empty the amaranth into a bowl when the popping slows. Note: it won’t all be puffed but you want to stop when most of it is puffed and the unpuffed grains are still golden not dark brown. Repeat this process 1 Tablespoon at a time until all the amaranth is puffed. Set aside to cool completely.
Place the oats in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Set aside.
Drain the water from the dates and heat them in a microwave on high for 1 minute and then blend them to a smooth paste in a food processor.
Drain the cashews and rinse them until the water runs clear, then place them in a food processor or mini-chopper with 1 Tablespoon of water and pulse until a smooth paste forms.
Combine the cashews, dates, carrots, coconut, amaranth, ground oat flour, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, turmeric, lime juice and vanilla in a large bowl and mix with your hands until it comes together and the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Press this mixture into an 8-inch spring form pan, cover with plastic wrap and place in a refrigerator overnight or for at least 8 hours.
Make the icing by placing the coconut oil or cream, icing sugar, lime juice and 1 teaspoon of the lime zest in a mixing bowl and blend until smooth. Cover it with wrap and refrigerate until the cake is ready.
Ice the cake, when ready, and decorate with the remaining lime zest and fresh edible flowers.
Enjoy with ice tea in summer or for a refreshing yet deceivingly dense dessert anytime.
Thanks for trying this facesplacesandplates.com recipe.