Fudgy carob cake with a moist, tender crumb. This Dairy-free, Gluten-free and Paleo recipe is made with olive oil, ground almonds, almond milk and honey.
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01. What is carob?
Carob is often billed as a healthy alternative to chocolate, due to the fact that it has a similar flavour to chocolate, but has less fat and no caffeine. However, this also means that carob is not as rich and intense as chocolate, so does not really offer a direct substitute. In Britain, too many of us have been programmed into viewing carob as a poor man’s chocolate, only suitable for vegan products and dog snacks. Yet in the Mediterranean, where carob trees grow, carob is a popular ingredient that is often used in cakes, such as the Portuguese ‘bolo de alfarroba’. This recipe makes a pleasingly simple cake, in which the flavour of carob takes centre stage. But you can fold in 100g chopped walnuts after you have added the egg whites if you want to add more flavour and texture.
02. How do I know when the cake is done?
The key to this cake is not to overcook it. If you cook the cake for too long, it will dry out and become crumbly when sliced. For most cakes, the test for doneness involves lightly pressing the centre of the cake, which should feel firm and springy to the touch. This cake is more similar to a brownie, in that the centre should still feel a little squishy, but not wobbly. The cake will actually continue to cook and set when it firsts come out of the oven, due to the residual heat within the cake radiating outward. This is called carry over cooking, and you can see the same principle in action when you make scrambled eggs on the stove top. The key to perfect scrambled eggs is to pull them off the heat just before they reach the the desired consistency, as they will continue to cook and set even as they sit on your plate.
03. Why does the cake pull away from the sides of the tin?
One tell-tale sign that a cake has slipped into the over-cooking stage is when the sides start to pull away from the tin. This indicates that the cake has reached an internal temperature that exceeds 100°C/212°F, and the moisture has been driven out by evaporation from the surface area. This causes shrinkage by reducing the volume of the cake in the tin – especially in cakes which contain a large proportion of liquid ingredients in the batter, such as this one.
Tips & Tricks
|Gluten-free Carob Cake|
for greasing the cake tin: