Fermented Carrot and Cacao Cake

By Michelle Chang 張怡

Michelle Chang was born in Taiwan in 1967. In 2012, she moved to France, and in 2017, opened her restaurant, La 5ème Saveur. Her cuisine is a revisitation of French cuisine through fermentation. She is also a writer and columnist for a Taiwanese health magazine. www.cheffemichellechang.com

Carrots are often used as a baby food after four months of age because they are a highly nutritious, but hypoallergenic ingredient. Li Shizhen (李時珍), a famous medical practitioner (acupuncturist, herbalist, naturalist, physician) of the Ming dynasty (明朝July 3, 1518 – 1593) in China, even called carrots the “king of vegetables”. They have many nutrients, can be eaten daily, are cheap, and are known as the “little ginseng”.

The carrot is a biennial herb of the Apiaceae family and can be found almost anywhere in the world, year-round, in a variety of colors, including yellow, white, orange, red and purple.

The edible parts are the fleshy root and leaves. Carrot leaves can be prepared by washing and draining the leaves, then pickling them with salt or shio koji for a few hours to remove the pungent taste of the leaves, then stir-frying them with other ingredients, steaming them, or cooking them in soup.

The roots can be cooked in various ways: raw, stir-fried, baked, stewed. Carotenoids are fat-soluble, so cooking them together with fats can improve their absorption rate.

Because carrots are rich in carbohydrates, it is very suitable for making desserts.
In this recipe for fermented carrot cacao cake, the lactic acid bacteria in the fermented carrots and fermented juice will further help break down the flour during the fermenting process. This not only makes the cake easier to digest, but also reduces the amount of honey (sugar) used and increases the flavor of the Maillard reaction.

Fermented Carrots:
20 minutes
1 month

Fermented Carrot and Cocoa Cake:
Preparation: 20 minutes
Fermentation: 3 hours
Cooking: 40 minutes



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For 4 Servings

1 cup Carnaroli rice
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 tablespoons of EV Olive Oil
½ glass of white table wine
1 pint chicken stock preprepared (or vegetable stock)
1 cup rinsed blueberries
1 cup roasted chestnuts or more, chopped in big pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese (optional)