Sunday, October 5, 2008

Healthy Desserts: Carob Treats

I made my first batch of carob chips. It was so easy that I cannot believe I had not tried this recipe before now (also, of course, from Nourishing Traditions).

Carob Chips
makes 1 cup

3/4 cup carob powder
1 cup Coconut oil
1/4 cup Rapadura
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Chocolate Extract

Mix together in a glass container in simmering water until well combined.
Pour out onto a parchment paper lined sheet (or just parchment paper - I fold up the sides to contain liquids) and refrigerate overnight.
Break into pieces, store in refrigerator (coconut oil is completely liquid by 75 degrees)


A wonderful use of carob chips is to melt them back down and pour over ice cream. The primary use in our house is for a dessert recipe I created inspired from an EveryDay Food magazine (Jan/Feb 07 "molten mocha cakes"). My husband actually requests this treat regularly.

Molten Carob Cake (gluten-free)
Serves 2
Prep 10 minutes, total time 35 minutes

2 tablespoons butter
2 ounces carob chips (as in above recipe, store bought if you must - though I can make no guarantees on the gluten-free)
1/3 cup Rapadura
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 tsp finely ground espresso (grind #1) [ you can also use a mortar and pestle on regularly ground coffee]
sprinkle salt
3 tablespoons arrowroot powder (plus more for dusting - if you want to be fancy, add a smidgen of stevia to the dusting arrowroot powder)

Preheat oven to 400. Butter two 6 ounce ramekins with butter and dust with arrowroot powder.

Gently melt butter and carob chips together, then remove from heat. [If you do not make your own carob chips, then add a tsp vanilla extract and a tsp chocolate extract]

In a small bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolk, rapadura, espresso powder, and salt. Add carob mixture, whisk to combine. Add arrowroot powder until just combined (do not over mix).

Pour batter into prepared ramekins. (Carob cakes can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated, just adjust bake time to 14-15 minutes depending on carob - coconut version takes longer than store bought)

Bake until toothpick comes out clean 1/2 inch from the edge of ramekins, and toothpick in the center comes out wet, 10-11 minutes (again, depending on carob). Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Run knife around inside of ramekins to loosen. Invert cakes onto serving plates. Dust with arrowroot powder; serve immediately. For fun or special occasion, cut a heart out of the center of the parchment paper and sprinkle a heart onto the cakes.

If you want to double or triple this recipe for a bigger cake, just add 3 minutes or so to baking time - test by toothpick. [I should note that I have never tried this part!]

8 comments:

  1. Yummy!

    I've not tried the carob recipe...but I do make all sorts of crispy nuts all the time from NT. Today I made apple "pie" with a bunch of baked galas and some ground ginger, and then I mushed the apples up and spooned them over crispy nut crust--made of macadamia, hazelnut, sunflower seed, almonds, flax, and coconut oil. I did use some agave in this...I've been reading terrible things about agave though, so I think its days in my house may be drawing to a close...have you heard anything good or bad about it? I am compiling articles and things as I find them.

    Your salsa looks great, too!

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  2. Leah - Yes! I love the crispy nut recipes. Your pie sounds lovely...lovely enough to "happen to be in neighborhood" if you know what I mean.

    Agave...I don't know much about it. I think it is popular amongst raw foodists, but I think it is strange that WAPF doesn't recommend it. I think that in moderation it is fine, but I have heard that the Native Americans who used it had their teeth turn black.

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  3. 1. I don't know if I like carob, I *ehem* HATED it as a child. Say something to persuade me...

    2. I think I need to go down to smith family and find a copy of nourishing traditions...

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  4. Meg -

    1) I have heard from others who complained of childhood carob torture. I am curious to know if these faux-chocolate recipes included chocolate extract. I find it helps quite a bit. In the dessert recipe I shared, my husband doesn't notice a difference (perhaps because I have never made it with chocolate, or perhaps because the coffee flavor helps mask the carob). My switch to carob is mainly to avoid caffeine, especially since I have been breastfeeding or pregnant for much of the last 4 years. If you are not ready to dump chocolate, at least dump the sugared variety. Make your own chips, or buy Rapunzel's which is made with Rapadura instead of sugar.

    2) Yes! I wish I could buy every woman I know a copy. The first 63 pages and the chapter intro's are a near complete crash course in Nutrition. Beware, you may never eat the same again (but you'll like it)!

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  5. Okay, I have to subscribe to and remember to read this blog more often. Unsweetened carob chips were my favorite dessert (ask my family as they roll their eyes), until the Kiva's price became to exorbitant. And your molten cakes are gluten free! Gotta try them. The chocolate extract idea sounds great.

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  6. Deanna - I like carob too - though it is not really a chocolate replacement, more just good on it's own accord without the guilt of chocolate.
    I've been trying to label the gluten-free recipes for you, but I forget! I would guess that most of our dinners are gluten-free, except quiche, and if there is bread on the side, but that's easy to remove.

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  7. I tried this recipe for our dinner with friends (one gluten and chocolate free) and they all liked it - even the 9 year old. I tripled the recipe, and I left the cakes inside the ramekins for easy serving. (with optional strawberries and whipped cream to go on top.) I also substituted about 25% of the rapadura for stevia in the raw.

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  8. Jude - Thank you so much for this testimony! I am always glad to hear when children enjoy healthier treats. Adding strawberries and whipped cream sounds delicious. Your comment has reminded me to add this recipe back into my menu plan. My husband will thank you.

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Questions and Comments welcome! If you would prefer to contact me privately, please email mariannescrivner (at) gmail (dot) com.

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