Squash-Carob-Spice Cake

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Not being able to decide between Jae Steele’s carob spice cake or zucchini chocolate cake, I took it upon myself to make both simultaneously.  There was a fair amount of creative license in the process since when possible, I prefer sourdough cakes in order to make the nutrients from the grains more bio-available (and because fermentation is one of my favourite experimental activities…) I also did a swaperoo with the gourd used since it’s spaghetti squash that I’ve got coming out my eyeballs rather than summer squash.  Witness, the living room floor:

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So the result was this moist, spicy and decadent dessert that the whole family sat in front of the oven watching and willing to be cooked faster.

What you need:

  • 3 cups whole grain flour (I used a 3:1:1 combo of kamut, wheat and barley, but pretty much anything goes)
  • 3/4 cup carob + extra for the pan
  • 1 cup palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder (fresh grated would probably work too)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 5-6 twists of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup sourdough starter
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cups of cooked, mashed spaghetti squash, divided
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

What you do:

  1. In the morning, in a glass or ceramic bowl (don’t use steel – the sourdough is acidic and doesn’t play well with metal) mix together flour, carob, palm sugar, spices, salt and pepper, starter, water, 1/2 cup of the coconut oil (soft but still solid) and 1 cup of the squash. You should get a pretty stiff, uniform dough that resembles bread more than cake. That’s what you want.
  2. Cover the bowl with a wet cloth and leave in a warm place for 10-12 hours.
  3. Once the dough is done fermenting, preheat the oven to 375F. Grease a bundt pan and flour it using some of the extra carob powder.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, vanilla, baking soda and the remaining coconut oil and squash. You’ll want the ingredients at room temperature and the coconut oil liquid but not too hot for this.
  5. Fold/mix (it’ll be half-way between the two techniques) the wet ingredients into the dry ones until you have a uniform batter. Be careful not to over-mix. Work as quickly as you can without sending ingredients flying across the kitchen and yet still making sure that there aren’t thicker clumps of the fermented dough that haven’t found the sweet wet goop you just added.
  6. Pour it all into the bundt pan, smooth out the top a bit and pop it in the oven.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool in the pan and once it’s cool enough to handle ungloved, turn it out onto a wire rack. That’s also the point at which you want to taste test the first piece.

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