Gluten free Carrot Cake with Pecan glaze

In Peppina’s house, the whole family usually prefers to eat lighter food. Due to health restrictions she has to be careful with gluten & even accommodate a newly inspired vegetarian. When I ask about the pressure to accommodate all these demands and still stay innovative, she reassures me: “Luckily,  I have a good imagination & enjoy the challenge.  When possible I make sure to favor organic, but this is not a strict guideline! Plus nowadays a lot of ingredients already come gluten free ; so it’s not as hard as it sounds! “

The home is vibrant with life, people entering in & out, dogs barking joyously at any new arrival. The home is warm and beautiful and the smell is tantalizing!  The kitchen is at the heart of the home, the floor is lovingly marked by the movements and life of the family . I’m browsing distractedly at the piles of recipe books while eagerly waiting for the carrot cake to get out of the oven.

I make food everyday! I enjoy the challenge of catering for a diversified crowd, and still be able to bring new ideas to the table!


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Peppina’s gluten free carrot cake:

This recipe comes from Maija Silvennoinen’s recipe who is also the 1st lady chef in Finland. We worked together on one of Finland’s first TV food program, “Bon Appetit”. She is a very talented and creative chef and this cake is my take on a gluten free version of her original recipe. 

Ingredients:

  • 5 dl gluten free flour loosely measured (as the texture of the flour is not the same as regular flour)  -you can  substitute gluten free flour for regular flour as well and reduce the baking powder to 4 teaspoon
  • 4 dl of brown sugar, if possible prefer “Indian sugar ” (Intiannisokeri or Ruokosokeri)

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  • 5 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 dl pecan nuts roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon of good vanilla sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 4 large organic eggs
  • 1.3 dl good olive oil
  • 6 dl of shredded carrots (uses the big side of the grater)

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Steps:

  1. Oven is preheated at 180 C;
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together; in a separate bowl,
  3. Beat together the eggs, the olive oil and the shredded carrots,
  4. Combine gently the dry & wet ingredients together; do not over-mix
  5.  Place into a buttered cake tin or a bundt cake mould
  6. Leave to cook in the center of the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour

For the Topping:

  • 100 grams of cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of butter at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar or pure vanilla extract
  • 225 grams of icing sugar (Tomu sokeri)

Steps:

  1. Combine all the ingredients until smooth, use a spoon to press the sugar on the edge so that no clumps are formed
  2. Drizzle on top the cooled cake just before service, decorate with whole pecan nuts!

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We just met and I feel at home; The dogs are not barking anymore, the mood is calm. The cake has finally cooled down, and as she drizzles generous amount of glazing, the light feels dim and gentle. All is at peace! I take my first bite and the sweet embrace of the cake brings comfort, rapidly replaced by childish trepidation as the spices and pecans hit me with all their strengths! I could sit there forever, in Peppina’s kitchen, waiting for the next bounty to reach my plate!

This recipe is published as part of “Peppina’s Menu” – to find out more click on the links for each recipe!

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MENU: ( all the recipes are for 5 to 6 people)

 

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