I have a friend, she’s crazy, super awesome and I probably spend way too much time with her. We laugh in the same way, we talk in the same way, and our inside joke list goes on for literally a whole wall:
She laughs at my pronunciation of words and my ‘disappointed face’ which I make when she fails at general knowledge or understanding (she once texted me asking how to make the ‘big brownie’ into ‘little brownies’ i.e. that you need to cut the baked batter into separate portions – I never replied), and I supply her with many, many cakes, hugs and opportunities to laugh at my fails too. I’ve also spent pretty much 6 years teaching her how to bake.
Therefore, I thought she pretty much knew about putting vegetables in cake, seeming as carrot cake is something I’m sure she had eaten, mainly because it has cinnamon in it (oh yeah,she loves cinnamon too – maybe even more than me). But apparently, not only had she never eaten it (how could this even be possible for anyone!?), but she was completely grossed out by the idea of putting vegetables in cake.
Normally, she’s quite reasonable about this kind of stuff, but when she has a serious opinion about something, there is actually no way of changing her mind at all.
Not even with cinnamony bribery,
The only way I would be able to get her to eat a vegetable infused cake (is that a thing? can it be a thing now?) was to just not tell her about the vegetable part until after she had eaten 2 slices and said that she liked it. Me telling her went something like this:
Me: Hey, Sarah, so you liked that cake yeah?
Me: Do you want to know what was in it?
Sarah: Oh God, what the heck did you put in it!? Some kind of voodoo magic or something?
Me: Er, not quite. ……it was pumpkin
Sarah: NO! vegetables and sweet things DO NOT MIX. EVER.
Me: But you liked it yeah?
Sarah: …eh, no, it was gro-
(cue my disappointed face)
Sarah: okay fine it was quite nice
So the result of my experiment?
She took half of the cake home.
I win. Mix with the victory!
* Super random side note: Ever wondered what my actual voice sounds like? last week I was exploited as a brownie judge by my friends on YouTube! You can watch the awesomeness unravel here with the benefit of actually hearing my voice (complete with English accent) and awkward laugh – for realsies!
**Super cool side note: spell check didn’t even red underline ‘awesomeness’. Spell check, I have trained ye well.
3/4 cup (6 oz / 170g) light brown sugar
1 cup (250 ml) butternut squash or pumpkin puree
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup (1.6 oz / 45g) rice flour (white or brown)
1 cup (4 oz / 110g) ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (3 oz / 85g) roughly chopped macadamia nuts, brazil nuts or pecans
1/2 cup (125 ml) of roughly mashed banana
banana slices to decorate
1/4 cup (2 oz / 55g) butter
1/2 cup (4 oz / 110g) light brown sugar
3 tbsp boiling water
Dulce de leche to serve
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C), and line an 2″ (5cm) deep, 8.5 ” (22cm) square pan with baking paper, and grease the paper a little.
In a large mixin bowl, wisk the eggs and sugar until they’re a pale cappucino colour (about 5 minutes). Beat in the butternut squash/pumpkin puree and vanilla. Whisk in the flour, round almonds, baking powder and salt. Then using a spatula, fold in the chopped nuts and mashed banana.
Pour the cake batter into the lined pan and decorate with the banana slices placing them flat onto the cake batter. Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes when the cake should be springy and cooked all the way through.
Leave the cake in it’s pan to cool while you make the syrup.
Put all the syrup ingredeints into a small saucepan and heat on medium, until everything has completely melted together. Turn the heat up and bring the mixture to the boil. Let it boil for 3 minutes, then remove it from the heat and immediately pour it all over the surface of the cake.
Let the cake absorb the syrup for 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving with dulce de leche.