Cocoa-carrot cake, and scary movie round-up

I should have taken a picture. After winding up with too many grated carrots (a small handful of which went into some carrot cake gingerbread muffins from the Practical Paleo cookbook, a tome that continues to inspire and delight), I was looking for a way to use up the remaining 2ish cups of the orange fluff in my food processor. I came across a layered cake with caramel and apples, which I might make one day when I’m motivated. But last night, I wasn’t; instead, I adapted the recipe based on what I had lying around and a little dose of experimentation. This cake, with Halloween colors to boot, was a hit at work and deserves a repeat performance.


Cocoa-carrot cake loaf (adapted from this recipe)

  • 1 cup flour (I used a half cup each of rice flour and all-purpose white flour)
  • 3/4 tsp. guar gum (optional, but useful if you’re using rice flour)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar (caster for the Brits, granulated white for the ‘mericans)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil (make it a good-tasting one. Quality is important here!)
  • 6 tablespoons milk (I used soy because I was out of regular)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated carrots (I used my food processor)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut powder (I get it at the Middle Eastern grocery store nearby, but desiccated coconut would work as well)

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan (no need if you’re using a silicone one like the one I found at IKEA)

In a large bowl, stir together the flour (and optional guar gum), spices, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

In a separate bowl, mix sugar, oil, milk, eggs and vanilla until you wind up with a smooth, almost caramel-like texture. 

Add wet ingredients into dry, with a rubber spatula, to incorporate. Fold in the carrots and coconut powder.

Pour half of the batter into your loaf pan. Sift the cocoa powder into your remaining batter. Pour that batter on top, and then swirl a knife through the pan to create a marbled pattern.

Bake on middle rack of oven for 35 minutes, or until the top develops a golden brown crust, and when you stab it with a knife (still going for the Halloween theme here), it’s not gooey anymore).

Let cake rest in pan for about 15 minutes, then invert and loosen onto a cutting board. Let cool completely before slicing.



Scary Movie Review Time!

So, I only made it through 3 movies. I’m still in the middle of the third, but can effectively rate them in order from least terrible to nearly unwatchable. These are all on Netflix Instant for your viewing pleasure.

1. Splinter 

A geeky guy and tomboyish girl couple gets held hostage by some meth-loving hillbillies. A parasite infects the hillbillies, and surprisingly decent special effects abound. This movie actually had some heart, in addition to a a good dose of suspense and not-over-the-top gore. Not one for the squeamish, but then again, none of these are.

2. V/H/S

Who doesn’t love a movie with gratuitous forward slashes in its title? This is more or less a collection of shorts, wrapped into a mediocre plot (a group of guys break into a house and steal some tapes; we see snippets of the tapes for most of the movie). The format reminds me of those Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books, which I loved, like I love all things 90s. The short “stories” are nothing spectacular, but definitely made me jump, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to sleep tonight with the lights off.

3. Sinister

I thought I’d like this one, because it’s about a writer and a haunted house (sounds promising so far, right?) Spoiler alert: Ethan Hawke’s daughter turns out to be a demon-child or something to that effect, and there are various plot components that never come together: hangings and something to do with family members moving across the country, thereby creating more “haunted houses” (so nonsensical I can’t even explain it here), Ethan’s teenage son who has night terrors, and his wife threatening to leave him over something he did in the past that isn’t really explained, or maybe I just fell asleep). See, I’m getting frustrated even trying to sell you on this movie, because it really isn’t worth mentioning at all. Let’s pretend I never watched it.

To leave you with one last link, here’s something I just found on Jezebel (which I never read anymore). Real stories are always the scariest. I don’t really believe any of them. (Kidding, I totally do, because I’m gullible and do believe in spooks, I do I do I do believe in spooks).



One thought on “Cocoa-carrot cake, and scary movie round-up”

  1. Sounds yummy…may have to pop over for some and a spot of tea.
    God if only I could, still waiting to win the lottery…as well as a million other suckers, the saying is you can’t win if you don’t play….I actually would not know what to do wtih all that money……nahhhhh yes I would.
    Few more days and your honey will be home. Uncle John taking him to airport,
    More later,
    Aunt Nancy

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