Fifty Dollar Cake: A Review

I watch a little daytime tv now. Mark O likes the background noise. One day, I happened to catch Dr. Oz, and he made Never Get Sick Chocolate Cake. That guy is kind of a nut, but I liked the idea of a sugar-less cake filled with nuts and vegetables. I've got a crazy sweet tooth and wanted to keep some sweets on hand. Remember what I said on Facebook about the gummy vitamins? Yup, I get desperate sometimes. Anyway, I failed to note that there are like fifty dollars worth of dried fruit and nuts in this cake. Not to mention beets and zucchini, which are not in season. Also, M and I happen to enjoy vegetables just on their own, so there is no reason to hide them in a cake. Laurel maybe could benefit from some sneaky servings of vegetables, though.

This cake was very complicated to make. As many gluten-free, vegan recipes are, lots of chopping is involved. My kitchen was totally clean when I started, and I used all the mixing bowls and measuring cups and two different blades on the food processor. The cake takes at least an hour to cook because it's so dense and wet. Mark O became bored with the whole process and decided he was no longer content to sit in his little chair. He made 3 wet diapers in a row, refused to nurse, and spit out his pacifier. He only stopped fussing when I held him. It was very hard to chop all those nuts and dates and currants and beets while holding a baby.

It was a very poor use of my Sunday morning time. Laurel was staying with my parents so I could have been doing any number of things that are very difficult to do when she's home. Sleeping. Writing. Cleaning. Finishing the taxes. Reading the newspaper. By the time the cake was in the oven, I was thinking that the next time I wanted to eat something sweet, I would just eat a date, instead of chopping them up and putting them in a cake.

Lesson learned.

Nonetheless the cake was pretty tasty. I especially liked the icing and will probably be making that again.

Here's the recipe by Dr. Joel Furhman, as posted on Dr. Oz's website. Note, I subbed out the wheat flour and used Trader Joe's all-purpose GF flour mix. I also used golden raisins instead of currants.

Serves 12

1 2/3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp baking soda
3 1/2 cups pitted dates, divided
1 cup pineapple chunks in own juice, drained
1 banana
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup raw beets, shredded
3/4 cup raw carrots, shredded
1/2 cup raw zucchini, shredded
3 tbsp natural, nonalkalized cocoa powder
1/2 cup currants
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups water
2 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Nut Icing
1 cup raw macademia nuts and/or raw cashews
1 cup vanilla soy, hemp or almond milk
2/3 cup pitted dates
1/3 cup brazil nuts or hazelnuts
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl. Set aside.

In blender or food processor, purée 3 cups of the dates, pineapple, banana and applesauce. Slice remaining 1/2 cup dates into 1/4-inch pieces.

In large bowl, mix sliced dates, beets, carrots, zucchini, cocoa powder, currants, walnuts, water, vanilla and flour mixture. Add the blended mixture and mix well.
Spread in a 9 x 13-inch nonstick baking pan.

Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

For the icing, use a high-powered blender and combine all icing ingredients until smooth and creamy. Spread on cooled cake.

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