While doing research on the carob, I learned a lot about its history and culture. This legume is touted as a healthy alternative to chocolate, as it has lots of nutrients and no stimulants such as caffeine or theobromine to give you the jitters. However, the bean has long been denigrated as an inferior chocolate wanna-be, nothing more than a poseur. I found a recipe that I have adapted to include orange juice and coconut oil. These two ingredients give it an amazing tropical vibe. This delicious cake is so moist it really doesn’t require frosting, but including it doubles the pleasure. And, it redeems the lowly carob!
2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar
2 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
½ c. high quality carob powder
½ c. coconut oil
1 c. orange juice
2 extra-large eggs
1 c. hot coffee
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 t. orange emulsion (or extract)
2 T. milk
Preheat oven to 350°.
Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine first five ingredients.
In a second bowl, mix the oil, milk, and eggs.
Pour liquids into dry ingredients and beat, starting slowly.
While beating, add the coffee and gradually increase to high speed.
Beat for two minutes.
Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick placed in center comes out dry.
Cool for 20 minutes, then tip cakes onto cake racks.
When cakes are completely cooled, ice.
In bowl of mixer, beat butter until creamy.
Gradually add confectioners’ sugar with mixer set to slow speed so that it won’t fly all over the kitchen.
Add extract and milk.
Increase speed to whip icing to a nice, fluffy texture.