I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.


Gluten and lactose are not my friends.


Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.


I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

September 4, 2012

Pretty Purple Carrot Cake


















Happy Spring Everybody!

The sun already feels warmer, birds are singing, blossoms are blooming and tendrils of scented air waft enticingly up sinuses rapidly stuffing them with seasonally induced hayfever



Have you ever noticed how so much of taste is linked to smell?

Apparently only about 20% of your taste experience comes from the tongue, and the other 80% comes from the scent.
This was discovered by Linda Buck and Richard Axel, the winners of the Novel Prize in Medicine 2004,  for their “discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system”.

They put forward a hypothesis based on the fact that if the aroma of foods is so important for the way we perceive them, then if the major volatile molecules of two foods are the same, they might taste (and smell) nice when eaten together.

This idea has been enthusiastically embraced by many of the gastronomic magicians of our time, including Heston Blumenthal, who love to perplex and amaze our tastebuds while screwing with our minds!






















I love to put together fun and interesting flavour combinations, and even have this great resource book The Flavour Thesaurus- Pairings, recipes and ideas for the creative cook, by Niki Segit, to help me come up with some awesome ideas and combinations indeed.
Some odd sounding pairings from the book include: Olive and white chocolate, Goat cheese and coffee, Oyster and nutmeg and Caviar and banana. These are ones I haven't tried yet, but they do sound bizarre, don't they?


Anyway one of the taste combinations that I found intriguing was Carrot and Violet (apparently Ionone is the main pairing molecule here), and I figured it would be in keeping with my recent floral theme, and a fitting celebration of the first week of Spring here in the Southern Hemisphere.



Now of course, if you are going to play around tricking two senses, you really might as well add a third, so I decided to use Purple carrots as they are both carrots and a violent violet hue. Taste, Smell and Sight- cool, huh?



















Now please don't worry if you don't have either purple carrots or violet flavouring. This recipe is just as nice with orange ones and some vanilla extract or perhaps some lemon zest instead. I don't want you to miss out just because you aren't as weirdly wired as I am.

















I have a lovely lot of violets, violas and pansies blooming at the moment, and have them scattered around the house in float bowls to bring a bit of the garden in. The cat however, thinks I have left out lovely little puddles for her quaffing pleasure. How nice to have floral flavoured punch on tap!





















Pretty Purple Carrot Cake


















5 Eggs
1 1/2 cups Castor Sugar
2 cups grated Carrots
1 cup Almond Meal
1 cup Pistachio Meal (or you could just use more almond meal)
1/2 cup gluten free Flour
2 Tb Violet Syrup (or 2 tsp vanilla extract, or 1 lemon zest)
1 tsp gf Baking Powder
pinch of Salt



Peel your carrots, I needed 3 nice big ones for the 2 cups
Aren't these pretty? The colour is nice and solid the whole way through. Last year I grew purple climbing beans, but as soon as I cooked them they sadly turned bright green. These carrots stay a gorgeous purple even after cooking





















Grate the carrots next. I chose to grate them very finely to let as much colour leach out into the cake batter as possible






















I ground the pistachios just in my food processor, it was very easy and only took about a minute. The smell of the freshly ground nuts was amazing!








































Separate the eggs





















Whip the egg whites until nice stiff peaks form, then set aside





















Beat all the ingredients together except the eggwhites, until nice lightened and a bit fluffy
My mixer is very strong so it had no problem with that, otherwise leave out the carrots until the batter is well beaten then mix through






















Stir in about a third of the egg whites to lighten the batter





















Then carefully fold in the rest of the whites. Don't knock the air out of them, they make the mix light and fluffy and help it rise






















Pour the batter into a well greased cake pan, then bake for about an hour at 180*C






















Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then move to a rack to cool totally before icing





















Violet Glaze

My lovely violets: syrup, candied flowers and fresh from the garden


























Roughly crush up the candied violets by bashing them in a mortar and pestle, or in a bag with a rolling pin





















To ice the cake I made a glaze with a cup of pure icing sugar mixed with enough syrup to make a runny mix to pour over the top, then sprinkled it with crushed candied violets while it was still wet.
Do this while the cake is still on the rack so it dribbles over the edge and looks pretty. Catch any excess drips on a plate underneath. Don't forget the plate though, or it will be a sticky mess!






















See the gorgeous purple flecks through the cake?





















Such a lovely cake, the flavours worked together beautifully. The violet matched so very well and didn't over power the carrot-iness at all.

A perfect tribute to the taste and scent of Spring
















So Dear Readers, what do you think of the purple carrots, and what is the weirdest flavour combination you've ever tried?











.


48 comments:

  1. Bec, you have the most interesting books! Love the use of purple carrots in the cake. Delicious.

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    1. I love my cookery books Lizzie, especially the eclectic ones. Thanks!

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  2. You've done a fantastic job; very pretty, and I'm sure that cake tasted as amazing as it looks. :)

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    1. Thanks Awanthi, it was such a change from my usual one that's full of spice and pineapple :)

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  3. what a stunning looking cake. just love the look of the violet icing dripping down the cake. yum!

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    1. Thanks Christine! Sometimes it doesn't have to be 'perfect' to be pretty :)

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  4. Love the look of this cake and would love to try the carrot violet combo! My friend used to eat cucumber and honey sammies, which I've always thought was pretty weird but she loved them :-)

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    1. Cucumber and honey??? My daughters love vegemite and snowpea sprouts on their sandwiches though- so I guess each to their own!

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  5. Very nice, The combination sounds perfect, This looks like a nice light carrot cake ....and pistachios ...love must try

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    1. Hi Tania, it was much lighter than the usual type of carrot cake for sure. It would be even better with all pistachio meal- yummo!

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  6. Great idea using the purple carrots! looks scrumpticious!

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    1. Thanks guys! Just think of all those extra antioxidants as well :)

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  7. That is such a pretty looking cake. I just love it. And the purple carrots add such a pretty colour - and so perfect with the violets. I can't believe your husband smashing his collar bone like that. Unbelievable. Between the two of you, you are nursing so many injuries. I don't know how you're able to make cakes, let alone blog. Well done Rebecca! And I hope you're able to have your surgery soon as it seems it's been ages. I hope everyone in your family is being pieced back together for a swift recovery xx

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    1. Hi Charlie! He was a bit of a twit doing that, wasn't he? :) I have to do something to keep me busy apart form training the cat- she's up to 7 tricks now. We're doing OK, but I think I'm in for the long haul with at least another year off work :(

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  8. Hmmm...I'm having trouble with your captcha. I can't read it and it took four tries to post the comment! xx

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  9. What a yummy looking cake! I love the violet glaze - so pretty!

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  10. What a GORGEOUS cake, Rebecca!! And honestly, all the ingredients and flavours sound so wonderful together, a bit out of the ordinary but totally works! From the pistachio meal to the purple carrots and then the violet glaze. Love everything about this I need to find out where's the nearest place I can get all these ingredients, would love to make this for Mum. Thanks =)

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    1. Thankyou indeed Winston, I hope your mum likes it! I got the carrots just from Coles, but I've seen them at the markets as well. The violet syrup was from a catering supply shop, but a lot of coffee shops use the same brand sryup in their coffees and might be able to order it in for you if you ask nicely :)

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  11. Gorgeous :) Im off to buy that book right now!

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    1. I love it Nic, I love to flick through it and discover so many ideas :)

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  12. Dear IntolerantChef,

    This is a lovely looking cake and purple carrots have the most beautiful patterns when sliced cross-section too.

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    1. Thanks Chopinand, they are so pretty aren't they?

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  13. What a lovely looking cake! No oil or butter necessary?

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    1. Hi Y, no, it was so lovely and moist that it just didn't need it. Maybe if the nut meal was older and a bit dry you could add in a tablespoon or so. It stayed moist for a good 5 days under a glass cover.The heavy glass cover is the best way to keep the children away- it acts like a cake force-feild :)

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  14. I so agree about taste and smell being linked. That's why I can't eat durian! :P This gorgeous thing however, I'd get seconds of! ;)

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    1. Durian is certainly a challenge indeed Lorraine! Maybe just get the flavour essence? I picked up a McCormick UBE flavouring yesterday that I've got to play with. I wish I could send you a slice, but I don't think it would travel well Sweetie :)

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  15. This looks like a delicious cake. Growing up I used to make a stiff paste of tomato sauce and powdered kelp and put that on my wholegrain toast. These days only the kelp is in my edible vocabulary. ;(

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    1. That's an unusual combination for sure! I know- it can be challenging sometimes coming up with a substitute for old favourites :(

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  16. I love the colour of this cake... Without smell our taste buds wouldn't work that well, so you are so right.

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    1. Thanks Tania. I lost my sense of taste with a really bad cold for a couple of weeks once, and it was HORRIBLE! My boss had the same problem last year with a nasty infection- a real issue when you run a commercial kitchen :)

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  17. Becca, this looks soooo good. What a clever idea to use purple carrots! I really like them, but the boys don't, so we just plant boring orange ones these days.. xx

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    1. Isn't that funny Celia! Last year littlej made me buy nearly all purple veggies for the garden. We had purple beans, asparagus, basil, lettuce, eggplants, capsicum, carrots, cabbage, and even a purple tomato! She loved it, but maybe that's more a girly thing :)

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  18. Love that you are 'weirdly wired' - thank goodness :)
    Happy to see purple carrot cake... I like using beets in baked goods, but with the quantity of chocolate I use, you can't tell in the end so not nearly as fun as yours. Your image of the egg whites was very educational. I now see why my cakes never come out very high. I'm a fairly lazy baker, and clearly, I bail on the egg white whipping too early. Great post!

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    1. I'm glad someone appreciates me :) Eggwhites are tricky little creatures aren't they? Too much and they can be dry, too little and ther's no air, can't stand any grease, and humidity plays hell with meringues! Fuss pots :)

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  19. Firstly I love purple carrots for many reasons but mostly because they just aren’t the norm and secondly I love mixing it up when it comes to flavours. I am going to grab myself a copy of that book. I have the Flavour Bible which is great but this looks like an excellent resource as well. And violet syrup - who would have thought.

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    1. The Flavour Bible is winging it's way to me via Amazon as we speak Sherilyn! It's been on my to-buy list for ages, but this one really is excellent too. A lot of cafes use the Monin brand syrups in their coffees, so one might order this one in for you- I've also got it in jasmin, cucumber and lavender flavours.Yummo!

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  20. Hehe good idea using purple carrots. Do you know what makes it purple?

    I bought a purple cauliflower the other day out of sheer curiosity and, while it tasted the same as normal cauliflower, the colour just weirded me out too much..

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    1. Hi Lucy! All carrots were originally purple, the orange was selectively bred. The purple cauli is so pretty isn't it? Maybe it would be easier to eat raw 'cause it can look pretty funny when it's cooked, can't it? :)

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  21. Thanks for sharing the recipe, it does look so divine. My toungue is urging me to say YUM.. Yum yummy

    ctfinebistro.com/blog/tag/beer-lovers

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  22. Wow, what a gorgeous and original cake! So lovely

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    1. Thanks Chompchomp! It's always nice to have a change form the ordinary, isn't it? :)

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  23. WOW! Such an amazing flavour combo. Absolutely loooove the shot of the whole cake with the icing dribbling down.

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    1. Thanks Christie! I like the rustic look- at least that's my excuse for not being 'picture perfect' :) Hope you're settling in to your new home :)

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  24. ok I adore this idea!! 1st time i tried purple carrots I wasn't that enamoured, but i've since had them again and I get it now. I find them so earthy, like beetroot. I am so so in love with the look of this cake.
    Heidi xo

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  25. I was thinking a lot regarding this topic, so thanks for bringing it up here. You certainly have a good writing style i like, so will be subscribing to your blog.
    religion and food

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