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Wake and Bake: Raw Carrot Cake "Muffins"

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[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

A lot of people discard "raw" cooking as nonsensical hippy food of the worst degree. And yet all of our "No-bake" dessert recipes get a flood of clicks and love. Yes, no-bake desserts typically contain baked items and are the opposite of healthy, but it's also an issue of semantics and nostalgia. No-bake desserts like ice box cake are the realm of the masses, your grandma, and diners all across Route 66. Raw cooking is for rich people, health freaks, or spas.

What the two share is a hint of magic. Usually we rely on the oven or stove to transform a set of ingredients into something totally different (and delicious) but no-bake and raw desserts have to rely on something else.

As Gob Bluth would say: "Illusion, Michael. A trick is something a whore does for money."

The illusion here is that these raw "muffins" taste almost scarily like carrot cake. The sweetness of carrots is there, as are the occasional punch of grape-y raisins and crunchy walnuts. Dates are a primary ingredient but you don't taste them—along with a touch of honey, they simply add sweetness. Cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg mimic the spices in the well known cake. The slightly dense texture obviously isn't the same as fluffy muffins, but your brain knows where it's tasted that flavor before.

The most important part to successful "muffins" is getting as much liquid as possible out of the grated carrots. It's also the only part that requires any effort—the rest is all up to your food processor.

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Raw Carrot Cake "Muffins" »

About the author: Carrie Vasios is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios

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