I do have to admit, though, that I am not about to pass up certain things if they cross my dessert menu. Chocolate cheesecake, molten lava cake and cherry pie are way up there, but in all honesty my adult self always gravitates towards carrot cake. I adore the lightly fruity, nutty and moist crumb as much as the thick cream cheese frosting, and as long as I don't bite down on a big honkin' chunk of nut or pineapple I'm pretty easy to please. Carrot cake isn't exactly an "every day" type of dessert, so I thought I would combine the flavours I love with the lightness of a fruit-based treat into something that offered versatility and decadence - Carrot Cake Butter.
Yup, a twist on the classic apple butter, I basically took the natural sweetness of apples and carrots, intensified the complex note with dark amber honey and, after it cooked down to a luscious, caramel-like spread, laced it with ground walnuts. It really does taste like my favourite cake... just in a more versatile form. In fact, not only did I serve this on graham crackers and mixed into vanilla fro-yo, but it's become a luxurious spread for morning toast and a "jar to mouth" spoonable snack (with the fridge door open, of course!).
This month's Behind The Curtain Dessert Challenge is focusing on the combination of honey and walnuts - a perfect pairing if you ask me! Be sure to check out all the goodies from the roundup and feel free to say hi!
Honeyed Carrot Cake Butter
Makes about 1 cup, 8 (2-tbsp) servings
3 medium apples, cored and chopped (no need to peel)
2 medium carrots, chopped
1/4 cup honey (I like a dark amber for this)
1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
3 tbsp ground walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Combine apples, carrots, honey and apple juice in a covered casserole.
- Roast for 2 1/2 hours, until carrots are very soft.
- Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree (or pass through a food mill). Return to the casserole dish.
- Re-cover and bake another 1 1/2 hours, then remove the lid and bake a further 30-40 minutes, until dark brown and very thick.
- Stir in the nutmeg and walnuts.
- Cool completely, then store in the fridge up to 2 weeks.
Total Fat: 1.4 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 11.2 mg
Total Carbs: 18.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g
Protein: 0.6 g