3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup coconut oil (substitute vegetable oil if you don’t like the taste of coconut)
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup carob syrup
1/2 cup water
1 cup crushed roasted walnuts
1/2 cup roasted coconut flakes
1. Preheat your oven to 165C.
2. Mix the carob syrup and water together in a cup.
3. In a medium sized bow, mix together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients: carob syrup, water, orange juice, vanilla, coconut oil. Add sugar and whisk together until the sugar has dissolved.
5. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture, walnuts and coconut flakes so that they are incorporated.
6. Pour into a medium sized baking pan (mine was 9inches by 9 inches, but it could have been a touch bigger).
7. Bake for about 45 minutes. Pierce the middle of the cake with a toothpick, if it comes out clean it is done. Otherwise, cook a little longer.
This week I got my air conditioner fixed. Hurray! OK, while this probably means very little to you, for me, this was a very exciting day. You see, I had no air conditioner between June and September while the weather was consistently around 35C because 1. it broke 2. it was impossible to fix 3. so they had to order a replacement and I had to wait. Read: my summer consisted of me melting in my kitchen and drinking a lot of very cold water. The “new air conditioner” is, in fact, a second hand air conditioner that has the word “Wingo” written on it.
Anyway, cooking wise: it’s cool again in my kitchen which means I can make whipped cream without it forming a puddle-like mess at the bottom of a bowl. The connection between today’s recipe and the air conditioner, is that I made the coconut-carob cake while the air conditioner was being fixed. And the guys fixing the air conditioner loved it. They were both Cypriot and had not tried the combination of coconut with carob before, and I think it went down quite well because one of them asked me to pack him a couple slices for his wife. (As you can probably tell, the guys were there for quite some time so we got talking.) The cake smells pretty delicious when it is cooking; the smell will float around your kitchen tempting you to open the oven door and eat it before it’s done. (But obviously don’t do that, unless you like raw cake.) A lot of people describe carob as being a good chocolate substitute. But I actually think it has it’s own unique tastiness. If I had to describe it, I would say it’s a cross between salty chocolate and coffee – sort of like a “tootsie roll” for those who have tried them. When mixed with coconut, it gives a slight tropical taste to it. The carob & coconut flavours compliment each other well. The cake is not overly sweet and the roasted walnuts give a touch of crunchy-saltiness.
It’s super easy to make: you literally need two bowls, and you simply combine the wet and dry ingredients together. Ernie (my pug) also enjoyed sneaking a bite of this cake when I left a slice on a side table top. I couldn’t understand where it had gone, until I saw the culprit licking her lips. Naughty pug, and slightly dumb owner for leaving it out!
“Cyprus Cuisine” written by Christina Loucas is scheduled for release by Whitecap Books in 2o21 in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK and Europe. Christina Loucas shares over 75 recipes that showcase the very best of Cypriot cooking in Cyprus Cuisine.