I had this idea to make a flourless carrot cake. Because I love carrots, but don't always love flour. Part of that eternal paleoish eater in me.
And so, ran to the store and started conjuring ideas. Almond butter could hold the batter together and lend fine taste and texture. A traditional buttercream wouldn't make much sense. If i was eating flourless, I should probably encourage my soul to steer clear of added sugar, as well.
So grabbed heavy cream. And that was that.
Until I walked near the cheese section, and the mascarpone called to me.
Mascarpone and I are old friends. Ever since I found this creamy Italian cream cheese, I was all, "hey BFF. Let's."
And Mascarpone was like "KK."
And it's been true love ever since.
So, okay. Mascarpone whipped cream. I mean, yeah. For sure. Because carrot cake usually has a cream cheese frosting. So whipping a little mascarpone into the cream: total sense here. Still paleoish. And stuff.
But then, I saw pears. And we don't go way back, me and pears. But it's the middle of January and they suddenly sounded so sweet and mild and lovely. Plus, pears and mascarpone and carrot cake sounded like a fine combo.
But know what pears like even more? Bourbon.
So, okay. Bourbon. And bourbon needs Luxardo cherries to lend pretty color and a hint of heythere.
And really, that's when this cake just took a turn for over-the-top.
Like, forget the 4-ingredient Carrot Cake thing. And let's put pansies on there, too.
And powdered sugar.
And pretty blackberries.
And pomegranate seeds.
And powdered sugar.
And more powdered sugar.
And...well...you get the picture.
So in the end, the cake isn't paleo. But it is flour free.
I mean, not flower free.
Or bourbon free.
Or anything that a cavegirl could ever conjure around a campfire.
But it's beautiful. (Wouldn't you say?)
And the flavors here are so, so BFF's. Like a new squad of Heathers. The nice kinds of Heathers.
The kind of Heather's you (and I) want to take to our next party.
We gluten-free-ish, paleoish, cake-loving, flower children, we.
Hey, grrrl. Let's.
Flourless Carrot Cake with Bourbon Caramelized Pears & Mascarpone Whipped Cream
YIELD: 8 servings | 60 minutes
- 16 oz almond butter (I used Justin's Almond Butter)
- 7 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup sugar or raw honey
- 2 large carrots, finely shredded
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon (I used this McCormick blend)
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1 cup organic sugar
- 2/3 cup bourbon
- 2 Tbsp Luxardo cherry juice
- 2 Bosc pears, peeled and halved
- 1 pint heavy whipped cream
- 8 oz mascarpone
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 6 oz blackberries
- 2 Tbsp chopped pistachios
- 2-3 oz pink & purple edible flowers (pansies)
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 2 oz fresh mint
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray three 8" cake pans with nonstick spray (or line with parchment.)
In a stand mixer (like the ta-die-for Breville 5-Qt Scraper Mixer Pro), mix almond butter, eggs, sugar or honey, shredded carrots, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and vanilla. Once well mixed, pour into prepared pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or just until the center of the cakes spring back when touched lightly. Remove and cool completely.
While the cakes bake, make the bourbon syrup. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, stir together sugar, bourbon and Luxardo cherry juice. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add pears and turn heat to medium. Allow to cook just until tender, then remove syrup from the oven, gently stir in blackberries. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a stand mixer, prepare the mascarpone whipped cream by whipping heavy cream to soft peaks. Add mascarpone (if the brand you've purchased is not incredibly soft, microwave slightly to ensure it's easily whipped and incorporated into the mixture.) Add just enough powdered sugar to make cream to desired sweetness. Whip until stiff peaks form. Store in the fridge, in a glass bowl, covered with plastic wrap, until right before ready to assemble and serve the cake.
To assemble the cake: Stack cakes with generous mounds of whipped cream between. Feel free to sprinkle bourbon syrup or fruit between layers for added color. Top with bourbonned pears, blackberries, flowers, pomegranate and mint. A soft sprinkling of powdered sugar is also welcome. Refrigerate until ready to serve. It's recommended that you don't make this cake to more than 24 hours in advance, for best flavor and texture.