Saturday, August 7, 2010

Carob cake

Some have reported growing carob here in the Blue Mountains successfully. Did you know that the carob pods — from which we derive the powder usually used in cooking — are so reliable in terms of similarity in weight that the measure of a carat (e.g. of gold) derived from the carob pod?

Recently I adapted a recipe from Alan Wakefield's and Gordon Baskerville's The Vegan Cookbook (Faber&Faber 1996 edn).

To start with I smeared the inside of a 7 inch (18 centimetre) round pan with virgin olive oil and set the oven to 180 degrees C.
I sifted 1 cup of light carob powder and 2 cups of self-raising wholemeal flour into a large bowl, finally mixing half a cup of sugar through.
Then I added half a cup of oil, a teaspoon of vanilla essence and a heaping cup of warm water to the dry ingredients and beat it all in well.
The mixture was just a bit more moist than dough and so I made a bit of an indent after pouring it into the baking pan.
It took a good 50 mins to cook through, though you will find the size and shape of your cake tin as well as the temperature of your specific stove make a difference. I needed to cover it after about twenty minutes so it wouldn't burn.

Wakefield and Baskerville suggest a topping. We liked it as it was as well as with butter. We dreamed of ice-cream and the kind of fruits and nuts that might match the full and dark richness of its unique taste — dark cherries, figs, apricots and walnuts. I might try mashing an avocado for a future topping.

You can find out more about the carob plant at the Purdue University Centre for New Crops and Plant Produce site.

1 comment:

  1. I have a carob tree (Clifford) here in the mid mountains. I have had it for 12 months and it has come through this winter perfect.



We can harvest a wide range of fruits and nuts locally each season.

Local fruit and/or nut gardeners are invited to make additions or suggest modifications to the following work-in-progress compiled by Lizzie Connor.


Across the mountains: loquat, mulberry, rhubarb, strawberry and (in late spring) raspberry

Best in the lower mountains: avocado, jaboticaba, lemonade


Across the mountains: apricot, blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, currant (red, black, white), gooseberry, kumquat, loganberry, loquat, mulberry,nectarine, peach, plum, raspberry, rhubarb, strawberry and (in late summer) almond, apple, fig, hazelnut, passionfruit, pear (incl. nashi), pomegranate, youngberry

Best in lower mountains:lemon (Eureka), lemonade, lime, mandarin, orange, persimmon (non-astringent) and (in late summer) avocado, babaco, macadamia, rockmelon, wampee, watermelon

Best in upper mountains: jostaberry, lemon (Meyer), persimmon (astringent)


Across the mountains: almond, apple, chestnut, feijoa, fig, grape, hazel, kiwi fruit, kumquat, medlar, olive, passionfruit, pear (incl. nashi), plum, quince, raspberry (some), rhubarb, strawberry, strawberry guava, walnut

Best in lower mountains: avocado, babaco, cherimoya, grapefruit, lemon (Eureka), macademia, monstera deliciosa, orange, pine nut, pistachio, rockmelon, tamarillo, walnut, watermelon, white sapote

Best in upper mountains: lemon (Meyer), mandarin (Satsuma)


Across the mountains: apple, hazelnut, kiwi fruit, kumquat, pear (incl. nashi)

Best in lower mountains: grapefruit, lemon (Eureka), orange, tangelo

Best in upper mountains: avocado (Bacon), lemon (Meyer)