Let’s have a little fun with carob today!
It was my husband’s birthday today, so I did what any doting wife would do. I baked a cake. Two layers of ooey, gooey, carob-y goodness filled with homemade buttered caramel sauce. And because the oven was already hot, I made a small batch of lemon chia muffins, but they ended up like gigantic gumdrops instead of like muffins. So we’re only going to talk about the former.
The first year I visited Chile, I spent my 25th birthday there. My husband’s birthday is just over two weeks before mine, and when there wasn’t much of a to-do over his party, I felt relieved that there wouldn’t be any hubbub over mine. Turns out his mom likes entertaining and celebrating birthdays. It was pretty tame in the end, actually, because my in-laws were leaving to go out of town that very day, but what I didn’t realize was that my mother-in-law woke up extremely early to bake me a cake before their departure. A sweet gesture indeed, especially when I thought I wouldn’t have to share much of my cake. Then my sister-in-law, her husband, and their 5 kids at the time called to tell me they wanted to host a lunch celebration in my honor. So much for hoarding my cake! 😉
Anyway, my cake wasn’t carob. It wasn’t even chocolate. It was a homemade white cake with cream instead of frosting, and it was layered with manjar. Manjar is the Chilean version of dulce de leche, a sweet, sugary, caramel-like sauce eaten on everything and served everywhere. Who needs a spoonful of sugar anyway, Mary Poppins?
So, obviously this doesn’t work for vegans, but I wanted el papá’s cake to be extra special this year, so I worked on a little concoction of my own, using butter and a little milk to make a thick, creamy base, and adding jaggery, an Indian unrefined sugar block. I knew it would probably thicken up as it cooled, but I dumped a ton more brown sugar into the heat anyway, so the end result was a solid, crystallized mound. The flavor was not unlike caramel corn with the consistency of fudge, but in my opinion, the calories and cavities to be far outweigh the just-okay taste, so I’m opting not to post a recipe for this one. But, feel free to use the description as a guide and bake away! My recommendation for this carob cake is to layer it with homemade raspberry jam! That would be so delicious!
Some fun facts about carob:
- It’s a chocolate alternative
- It’s low-fat, low-calorie, and caffeine-free
- It’s related to peas
I don’t take any credit at all for this cake, since I followed the following recipe to the letter, times two: http://www.instructables.com/id/The-BEST-chococlate-cake-ever…that-happens-to-be/
We had some for the birthday, then for breakfast, then for dessert after today’s lunch. And, I imagine we’ll have it after pizza night, whether or not we are full! 🙂 Have a great night!