Vegan Carrot, Ginger, Black Sesame Loaf

It’s Fall!  For me, the baker, the best time for exploring all the possibilities with my favorite (or nearly favorite) root vegetable.  CARROTS!
OK, who doesn’t love carrot cake?  Yeah…but all that rich icing is always a big challenge to me.  Personally, the best part of the cake….is the CAKE!
So, onto the ultimate search for a carrot cake that is so very delicious it doesn’t have to hide under a mountain of sweet dairy!
I’m not a vegan, but I’m almost a vegetarian, and just don’t do very well with a lot of dairy, so when reading this recipe there sprang a mountain of possibilities.
The most important was discovered AFTER baking this loaf.  It’s incredibly moist, amazingly dense, and the toasted sesame seeds add a savory flavor that sets off the gingery cake.  YUM-MY!

carrot-ginger-loaf

My thanks to Jessica Koslow for this sensational recipe.  Typically, I usually put a bit of my own spin on recipes, but this one deserves to live on it’s own.
Thanks also to Food 52 at food52.com food blog for sharing.

Carrot Ginger Black Sesame Loaf

1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil plus more for the pan
2 Cups All-purpose flour plus more for the pan
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking powder
2 teaspoons Ground cinnamon
2/3 Cup Granulated sugar
2/3 Cup Packed Brown sugar
1/2 Cup Unsweetened applesauce
1/3 Cup Almond milk
1 – 2 inch pieceof Ginger, peeled & finely grated
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large Carrots (7 oz.) coarsely grated
2 tablespoons Black Sesame seed, plus more as needed

  1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Brush the inside surfaces of an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan with a little oil.  Dust with flour, tapping out any excess.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, applesauce, almond milk, ginger, vanilla and salt.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture, followed by the carrots and finally, the oil.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with the sesame seeds.  You want the seeds to completely cover the top of the batter.  Bake until the middle of the loaf has puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely in the pan before slicing.  Store, tightly wrapped, at room temperature for up to 3 days.

HELPFUL HINTS FROM PENNY

  1.  Instead of using oil and flour to prepare your pan, you may want to cut parchment to fit the pan.  There will be two pieces, one for the long side of the pan, the other for the width of the pan.  Make sure the paper is cut long enough to cover the ends or sides and bottom of pan along with 2 or 3″ more for drape over the sides.  Once you fit the paper in the pan, spray with cooking spray to coat the paper.  You’ll find that when cooled, the cake will lift out of the pan seamlessly.  Then, gently peel away the paper and you have a perfect cake.
  2. Don’t be afraid of the fresh ginger.  Use the smallest side of your grater to really grate down finely.  I love fresh ginger and used more than the recipe called for….it’s all about taste!!!
  3. Although the recipe calls for baking 1 hour 10 minutes, I found that my cake required 1 hour 25 minutes.  Remember that fresh carrots contain moisture and when really fresh are really full of liquid.  Be prepared to bake a bit longer than expected.