Tag Archives: cardamon cake

Carrot and cardamon cake (gf) and a barking competition

I was woken this morning to the sound of the dogs barking inside the house and Luc barking outside. Our land is a favourite haunt for hunters because apparently it’s ‘scenic’ and where the best game is to be found. Because of course game, when they’re looking for a place to hang out, always put beautiful surroundings above anything else… For some reason hunting involves, not only pretty scenery, but also lots of shouting. So there was Luc at the crack of dawn, wearing not very much and ranting about how we have to get up early every day of the week and the weekend is the only day we can lie in and why can’t they go and shout and be generally annoying elsewhere because it makes the dogs bark and wakes us up and then he has to come outside and shout at them when he could still be in bed. To be honest, falling leaves are enough to make our dogs bark, and the person making by far the most noise and waking everyone up was Luc. But whatever –  he seemed determined to shout himself hoarse.

I got up and made a piece of toast. We have a very small but fierce toaster with a powerful but woefully imprecise firing range and my toast was catapulted behind the fridge. Retrieving it involved rummaging through piles of crumbs, dust and a dead, flattened mouse. So far the morning was proving to be a real delight, further enhanced by the dogs who decided to embark on an energetic game of  ‘doors’. The principle of ‘doors’ is to ask to be let out by one door and then rush to a door on the opposite side of the house and scratch until your owners’ nerves are ripped to shreds. And repeat ad nauseum.

Christmas plans are off to a shaky start too: organised I am not. Due to a flu epidemic, we are not where we had planned to be, and there’s an ongoing controversy about whether maritime pines make for proper Christmas trees. Something to do with their needles being too long, amongst other sins according to Léo. Anyway, as it’s now 24th December and there are no trees with appropriate length needles left, we had to go and lop the top off a pine tree. Once the contentious ‘tree’ was in place, Léo’s arguments gained momentum, Hugo cocked his leg at it and Java took a flying leap and furiously attacked it with her little teeth. Also, most of the gifts I had bought to put under it are 1000kms away.  And to add insult to injury, Luc and I decided to go shopping together (something we very rarely do) and he forgot and left without me.

I had imagined a lovely photo of the dogs in front of the tree, gazing adoringly at each other. Ha! This is a Photoshop montage (thank you Léo), because they refused to be captured together in front of the non-regulation tree. Unfortunately, neither Photoshop nor camembert were able to make Hugo look at the camera. Happy Christmas everyone!

This cake contains copious amounts of cardamon, a spice that never fails to make everything alright. I’m currently mainlining it. It’s very fragrant and has a lovely, slightly crunchy texture. Delicious warm or cold, alone or accompanied by Greek yoghurt or ice-cream.

Ingredients (serves 12)

350g carrots, grated

50g raisins (pre-soaked in rum)

50g almonds, flaked

50g walnuts, chopped

5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

80g cane sugar

3 eggs, whisked

100g almond flour

100g polenta

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon cardamon powder

1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Combine the carrots, raisins, almonds, walnuts, melted coconut oil and sugar in a mixing bowl. Gradually add the almond flour and polenta, bicarbonate of soda and cardamom to the whisked eggs and blend until homogenous. Add the flour/egg mixture to the carrot/nut mixture and combine well. Transfer to a greased medium-sized baking tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

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Halwa and ice skating for dogs

halwa

HugojournoandJava

Until today, I neither shared nor understood Java’s enthusiasm for the cold white stuff that suddenly appeared the other morning. Mind you, she’s so foolish that I don’t understand much about her at all. I refused to go out all day on Monday in the hope that it would disappear. It didn’t, and there was even more of it this morning so, after much coaxing, I agreed to accompany Bossy and Java on a walk. I soon found out that if I ran very fast and then suddenly stopped, Java (who copies everything I do) was taken by surprise, skidded, lost her balance and fell over (what’s not to like?). How anyone with four legs can actually fall over is beyond me – it just goes to show how silly she is. Bossy lost her balance a few times too *canine snigger*, but in her case it’s more understandable as she only has two legs and I suppose she’s busy trying to control her mouth, always going at full throttle. These little bonuses mean that I’ve decided that the white stuff is not so bad after all. I may even look into skiing lessons…

Halwa is a deliciously fragrant Indian dessert cake. It contains ghee, or clarified butter. Having had all dairy residue simmered off, ghee is suitable for people with dairy allergies. It is a rich source of omegas 3 and 9 as well as butyric acid which has been shown to decrease inflammation, particularly in the intestines. It is also an excellent source of vitamins A, D, E and K.

Ingredients (serves 12)

350g carrots, grated

50g raisins

50g almonds, chopped

50g pistachios, chopped

5 tablespoons ghee, melted (you could replace this with butter or coconut oil)

2 tablespoons honey

3 eggs, whisked

200g almond flour

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Combine the carrots, raisins, almonds, pistachios, ghee and honey in a mixing bowl. Gradually add the almond flour, bicarbonate of soda and cardamom seeds to the whisked eggs and blend until homogenous. Add the flour/egg mixture to the carrot/nut mixture and combine well. Transfer to a prepared medium-sized baking tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.