Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Apple-gingerbread cake and a flavour-packed carrot slaw (and Taste of Perth give away winner)

On Easter Sunday, we had my family over for a combined Easter / birthday celebration. Yes, Mr Bite's birthday has been quite prolonged! Two weeks of celebrations seems like a good run.

Apple ginger cake

I made a variety of dishes, including baked tofu parcels and chicken parcels, roast potatoes, carrot slaw, and a tomato rice and beans dish. My Mum brought a huge, packed green salad and there was also hummus made in the traditional manner.

I actually used my cookbooks for most of these creations (versus online recipes), and as a number of recipes were made without modification, I won't share them here. I am, however, keen to highlight the carrot slaw and apple-gingerbread cake.

I adapted the carrot slaw from a recipe in the Leon cookbook we got for Christmas 2012. There are many recipes in the book that I have marked but not yet made. I am very pleased to have finally made the carrot slaw.

Carrot slaw

The ingredient list is fairly simple and carrot clearly serves as the main component. Spring onions, garlic, coriander, mint, chilli and lemon juice provide bursts of flavour. Sultanas (raisins) add sweetness, although they could be omitted if you are someone who doesn't like sultanas in savoury dishes. I added more spring onion than the original recipe called for, didn't bother with seeds (although I think they'd be nice), and upped the lemon juice. It worked well. It was enjoyed by everyone present, and Mr Bite has already requested it again. I also liked using up the leftovers by mixing them with kale.

From vegetables we move to cake. Mr Bite's third birthday cake (after chocolate cupcakes and chocolate cake) was a veganised version of an apple-gingerbread cake that my mother first made some years ago. She got the recipe from a weekend newspaper magazine, and I took a copy at the time after we enjoyed it. Last weekend seemed like a good time to bring it out again.

This is a cake where appearances are deceiving. I will grant that it is not super attractive. Dim lighting with birthday candles probably suits it best! To try and counter the rather plain appearance (and the jagged edges, thanks to baking paper that wasn't pulled straight in the tin!), I decorated the plate with white chocolate medallions and provided frozen yoghurt and soy vanilla ice cream as side options. In truth, though, those accompaniments weren't really necessary. The cake is delicious on its own.

Carrot slaw
A flavour-packed side dish that serves 8
Vegan and low in fat

Food processor desirable (for grating only)

Adapted from the "happy carrot" recipe in the Leon cookbook

4 large carrots, grated
2 spring onions, sliced
1/2 small bunch fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped to equal about 1-1/2 tbsp
1/2 small bunch fresh mint, chopped to equal about 1-1/2 tbsp
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp sultanas or small raisins
3 tbsp lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. 


Apple-gingerbread cake
Pairing apples and ginger in the most delightful way, this cake is delicious without any accompaniment - but if you'd like some, vanilla ice cream works very well
Serves 8 to 10

Adapted from a non-vegan apple-gingerbread cake featured in the June 2009 edition of the Perth Sunday Times magazine

125g non-dairy spread (I used Nuttelex)
1/2 cup (90g) brown sugar
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp (140ml) golden syrup
2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 large apple, peeled and grated
Egg replacer to the equivalent of 1 egg (I used commercial egg replacer here)
1/4 cup non-dairy milk of choice (I used unsweetened vanilla almond)
2 large apples, peeled and quartered

Preheat your oven to 160'C and prepare a square baking tin.

Heat the non-dairy spread, brown sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan or microwave on low heat, until melted. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger. Add the melted sugar mixture, grated apple, egg replacer and milk and mix to combine.

Transfer the batter to your prepared cake tin. Cut a row of slits in the reserved apple quarters (as pictured) and press into the top of the cake.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

What food did you eat over Easter?

** I am also pleased to announce the winner of my Taste of Perth giveaway - Em! Congratulations! Please email me with your contact details.**


  1. oh that cake sounds just lovely to me - were the apples on top well cooked or still a bit toothsome? I wonder about trying it with the apples pre-cooked to make them really soft (in a similar way to that apple cider cake I made last year) I have a sourdough apple cake on the go at the moment so will be interested to see how it turns out. I am less excited by the carrot salad but would be very happy to eat it and the rest of the food you were serving - sounds like a lovely family meal

    1. The apples were quite well cooked - I thought sufficiently soft anyhow, although pre-cooking them would be lovely too. A sourdough apple cake sounds great and I can't wait to see how it turns out too!

  2. Two weeks of birthday celebrations seems like an excellent idea Kari! That IS a happy birthday :-)

  3. The apple ginger cake looks gorgeous - just my kind of cake.

  4. It sounds like a lovely time of being with family and celebrating big events. I love the look of the carrot salad - so pretty and what lovely flavours with the chilli and coriander added. I love the look of your ginger and apple cake - ginger and apple are a great combination. I laughed when you said it's best photographed in the dark - that's also one of my rescue remedies! xx

  5. I think celebrating a birthday for two weeks on end is totally normal! And makes it so much more fun for everyone. Your cake and slaw sound lovely!

  6. I started reading the ingredients for the slaw thinking it was for the cake and I got seriously confused. Glad I figured it out in the end :)

    1. would have been a funny cake :P


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