The farm is glowing after the lovely rains. All the vegetables are not only rinsed and refreshed but seem to have had a growth spurt. It is a blessing to have solid moisture in October when all the plants still have time to grow and take advantage of the moisture. I am looking forward to the green grass popping up everywhere.
This week's pick list:
- Pac Choy
- Sweet Peppers
- Hot Peppers
- Winter squash
- Green beans
- Basil, cilantro flowers, and dill
- Sunflower heads
- Pick your own flowers, frying peppers, cherry tomatoes, and tomatillos
Carrot Cake with Cider and Olive Oil, from smitten kitchen.com
- 2 1/3 cups (290 grams) flour
- 3/4 teaspoon (5 grams) salt
- 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground or a bunch of gratings of whole nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
- 3/4 cup (145 grams) dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sweet cider (235 ml)
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups packed coarsely grated carrots from about 9 ounces (2 to 2 1/2 meaty/large or 4 to 5 slim; about 255 grams) whole carrots
- Olive oil or nonstick cooking spray for baking pan
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan* with olive oil or a nonstick cooking spray. If yours is old and you’re nervous about the cake sticking, it cannot hurt to line yours with a fitted rectangle of parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, brown sugar, eggs, cider and vanilla. Stir grated carrots into wet ingredients until evenly coated, then stir wet ingredients into dry just until no floury bits remain.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out batter-free. Let cool in loaf pan for 20 to 30 minutes, then remove from pan and cool the rest of the way on a rack. Loaf should keep at room temperature for a few days, and longer in the fridge. It’s even more moist on the second day.
- Whatever you do, definitely avoid making a cream cheese frosting-like spread whipped together from 4 ounces of softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extra and 6 tablespoons powdered sugar, some of which can be replaced with honey or maple syrup but will make for a softer spread. It will unquestionably compromise this cake’s dairy-free status. It might be dangerously good.
*Loaf pan vs. cake size: This loaf, once baked, uses the whole cake pan. My loaf pan is exactly 9×5-inches (top measurements, base is tapered in/smaller) and holds 6 1/4 cups liquid (to the brim). If yours is even a little smaller, I highly encourage baking a little of the batter off as muffins, rather than risk overflow. If you’re nervous, you can also use a foil-lined pan underneath the loaf pan to catch any messes.