What’s in a name? Cake, cookie, muffin – these Carrot Cake Macaroons could (and have) come under all of these guises during the long journey of recipe development that I unwittingly embarked upon for six – yes six – trials of carrot cake.
Sometimes, you just have to keep going until you get a recipe right. That, and a love for the flavour of carrot cake that makes you do such things (for proof, see my earlier foray into Carrot Cake Bites; if you haven’t tried them yet, you should).
This all began when my favourite maker of chocolate, Seed and Bean, asked me if I wanted to create a recipe using their glorious products (yes, of course I would). But what to make?
When the veritable parcel of chocolatey wonder arrived at my desk and I surveyed the flavours – Lemon & Cardamom, Salted, Lavender – I immediately picked out Just Ginger, for a spicy addition to my baking. And what better partner to carrot cake than ginger?
And so began the seemingly endless parade of carrot cake failures, which follows thus:
- a wholemeal flour carrot cake which refused to cook and made a big soggy mess;
- a spelt carrot cake that was so dry that it worked well as a brick;
- version 2 of the spelt carrot cake, which had the right level of moisture, but somehow tasted of cement. Start to have nightmares;
- an oat carrot cake cookie with a great taste, only slightly compromised by a crumbly structure;
- an oat carrot cake cookie with oat flour, which morphed into muffin top. Have more nightmares, dream of coconut;
- an oat carrot cake cookie with added coconut, which transformed into a macaroon: an excellent tasting, crisp & squidgy, carrot cake-flavoured delight.
What with the concurrent trials of frosting, chocolate melting and combining all three, I realised my quest was becoming other-worldly and I had reached the end of the carrot cake line. This is what happens when you’re not a natural baker (and one who won’t use refined sugar, white flour, dairy or eggs), and a stubborn perfectionist (control freak); and you decide you have to create a cake to satisfy your self-imposed standards.
So be prepared for a lot of simple, savoury, delicious recipes from now on in, because I just can’t cope with the number of carrots that have been shredded and baked to no satisfaction at all.
But in the meantime, make a batch of these delicious Carrot Cake Macaroons – the ginger chocolate really does work a treat with the orange and carrot. They’re also:
- simple and quick to make;
- super healthy;
- really, really carrot-cake like; and
- perfect for breakfast!
You also get a bonus vanilla frosting recipe with this one – because if you’ve read this far, you deserve one.
I now need to lie down and think of something other than carrot cake.
- For the Macaroons
- 100g rolled oats
- 100g puréed apple/apple sauce (see note)
- 100g grated carrot
- 25g dessicated coconut
- 2 tbsp tahini, or nut butter
- 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 3 medjool dates (or 6 smaller dates), chopped small
- 1 tsp orange zest (organic/unwaxed)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of good salt
- For the Frosting
- 75g cashews, pre-soaked in boiling water
- 90ml non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened soy)
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp solid coconut oil
- Seeds of 1 vanilla pod
- Pinch of good salt
- For the Chocolate
- 50g Seed & Bean Just Ginger Chocolate
- Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
- To make the macaroons, add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir until combined.
- Take spoonfuls of the macaroon mixture and form golf-ball sized balls, placing on a silicone baking mat or a parchment paper-lined tray. Press each down gently.
- Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden.
- While the macaroons are cooking, make the frosting. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you have a smooth paste. You will need to scrape down the sides a few times and keep going until it's all combined. Transfer to a sterilised jar until needed (any leftovers will keep in the fridge or freezer).
- Once the macaroons are cooked, leave to cool before decorating.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water on the hob, stirring until completely melted. Take a teaspoon and drizzle over the macaroons. Do the same for the frosting.
Use gluten-free oats if necessary.
Seed and Bean kindly provided the chocolate for this recipe, but all opinions are entirely my own.