Invisible Voices

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Tag Archives: carob molasses

Carob Molasses Cake


A year ago, miranda chelala left me an interesting sounding recipe in the comments of my “If you had carob molasses” post.

Hi all you carob molasses lovers. Yes I live in Beirut so carob molasses is plentiful and used daily as a dip at breakfast or in the afternoon as a snack. You mix tahine (sesame seed paste) with the molasses in a small bowl and use pitta bread to dip and eat. Yummy. You can also make a cake with carob molasses. Here is the recipe

2cups cake flour
2 cups semolina
1 cup corn oil
11/2 cups carob molasses
21/2 teaspoons baking powder

Heat oven to 300 F or 180 C . Place dry ingredients in a bowl mix togther. Add oil and molasses. Mix well. Use our hands its perfect. Prepare a round cake tin by lining with greaseproof paper and smoothing some tahina over the paper . Put the mixture into the tin smooth the top with wet hands and bake for approx. 20 mins on 300F or 180 C or until it is cooked. Cut into small squares once cooled. Absolutely wonderful and so easy to make. No sugar, no eggs, no butter. It’s good for you . Enjoy

I made it tonight, and I’m hooked. I used white spelt flour, because I didn’t remember to get All Purpose flour last time I was at the grocery store, but I don’t think it had any impact. Or maybe it did. See, the 20 minutes was a lot more like 1 hour 20 minutes for me. Maybe it was done before then – it is a very dense fudgy cake, so it’s possible that I was over cooking it. Or maybe it was actually too low of heat, but … I think that the long cook time at a relatively low (for a cake) heat worked out well. Maybe someone with more cooking / baking knowledge can weigh in here!

It is rich and dense and just as moist as you’d expect with a cup (a cup!) of oil in it, and yet it has a nice crispy top. The flavor is earthy and a little (but not overwhelmingly) carob-y. It’s nothing like the fluffy frosted cakes that we tend to have in this country. It’s not a cake that you have huge servings of. It is almost-not-sweet, and yet it is, actually, sweet. Sweet in a way that is not from sugar.

It’s hard for me to describe adequately. It’s something of an addictive surprise, much the way the Dibis Bi Tahina was. So maybe it’s the carob molasses I love most of all.

I love that it is such a simple cake, and that it is fairly fail proof. (I think I proved that!) I love that it’s not at all the typical cake, though I know it would not appeal to everyone. For instance, someone recently told me in detail how much they hated molasses. This is not a cake for that person!

However, for those with a fondness for molasses and a liking of carob, give this cake a try.

And then tell me what dishes you’d serve at a dinner that would be followed by this cake!


Dibis Bi Tahina


Last year when I was participating in veganmofo I asked about carob molasses. I got some delicious sounding advice in the comments, which I never followed up on. In honor of this year’s veganmofo, it seemed only fitting that I give this carob molasses and tahini recipe a try! Actually, this is only one of two recipes given to me in the comments that I want to try.

One of the amazing things to me? Both recipes, with absolutely no modification and I believe from people giving traditional regional recipes, are vegan. There is something beautiful about that. But starting with this one recipe, as given by a commenter by the name of Lee:

I haven’t heard of the drink Kharoub, but my Lebanese in-laws make the dessert Dibis Bi Tahina you found out about, and it’s indescribably delicious. Like many wonderful things, it also couldn’t be simpler.

In a small serving bowl, start with more-or-less equal portions (say 1/3 cup each) of tahini and dibis el kharoub (carob molasses) and mix slowly together; they won’t want to mix together at first, so be patient. Keep stirring until fairly well mixed but still marbled. Feel free to adjust the proportions of the ingredients to your taste. Traditionally this dessert is served in a single bowl in the middle of the table along with a bowl of toasted pita chips for dipping as if it were a fondue.

The flavour is so marvelous and surprising, I laughed out loud when I first tried it! Give it a try…it’s a great close to a Middle-Eastern meal, or anytime; my mother-in-law keeps some made all the time, leaves it covered on the kitchen counter and eats it as a snack. Enjoy!

I made some tonight, and it was great. The description of “marvelous and surprising” are exactly right. There is something about it, I sat with for a second to try to assimilate, before just grinning and enjoying the hell out of it.

This is definitely going to be a common part of my life, now that I have tried it! And it is the perfect kind of recipe: add two things together in equal amounts and stir. Perfection in its simplicity.

southern bowl and (carob!) molasses cornbread

Tonight was another “Get It Ripe” night, and it actually surpassed the other recipes I’ve made from this cookbook. I swear, I do use other cookbooks, it is just that I tend to get into the habit of using one for a while, and then I eventually switch to another….last month it was “Eat, Drink and Be Vegan,” so there you go. VeganMoFo just happened to fall in my “Get It Ripe” month!

I actually picked out the recipe for “Southern Bowl: Chipotle black-eyed peas, mashed sweet potatoes, and collard greens” primarily because it incorporated greens into the recipe, and Jae herself had reminded me last week to make sure I eat greens with dinner.

Getting my greens is definitely a weakness of mine, and though I bought some greens (in addition to the collards for the southern bowl recipe), and had every intention of steaming some each night with dinner (and adding lemon juice and herbamare, as suggested by Stephanie, a great suggestion as it turned out!), I lasted just one night before forgetting again.

Best intentions and all that.

So the meal that incorporates the greens is definitely a safer bet for me! Plus it sounded delicious.

And it helpfully suggested making the molasses cornbread to go with it, and hey! I’d been looking for a recipe to use my carob molasses in, so it all came together.

I only wish I’d made this on the weekend, because it took me 90 minutes from start to finish, which is a big chunk of a weeknight evening. I am slow, so take that time with a grain of salt.

It was all quite easy, and the timing (started the beans, then did the cornbread, then did the mashed potatoes, and then the collards) worked out perfectly, so that everything was ready at the right time through no talent of my own.

And the taste? Fantastic. Each part of the southern bowl would taste well enough on its own, but the combination of all the flavors and textures practically made me swoon. Or would have if I was southern, rather than just living in the not-so-deep south!

The cornbread came out wonderfully as well – firm and moist, slightly sweet, and slightly different thanks to the molasses. I will make it someday with blackstrap molasses to see whether the carob made a difference. This cornbread went straight to my “favorite cornbread” ranking!

This meal also converted me to black-eyed peas. Not that I had anything against them before, but this was the first time I’d made them from the dried peas. I get frustrated cooking beans because it always seems to take about five times as long as everyone says it will. These babies, though? 40 minutes and they were well and truly done. Granted, I had soaked them overnight, as recommended, but that never helped me with other beans.

And so, black-eyed peas have become my new favorite bean to cook. Or are they peas? What is the difference, I wonder?

if you had carob molasses…

A while ago (years, likely) I was in a middle eastern grocery store, looking for something specific. I can no longer remember what!

I browsed around the grocery store, feeling like I’d been handed an unexpected gift. I think that’s when I realized that I love grocery stores. Not the big box grocery stores, but the little ones…the health food stores, natural markets, co-ops, specialty stores, the little mom and pop places that have an odd assortment of exactly what their customers want, regardless whether it makes sense to a regional manager of a big box store.

These places are filled with hidden treasures and adventures. (No surprise there, since I didn’t really start cooking until I went vegan, so most everything has at some point felt like an adventure!) I’ve ended up bringing home so many things that I haven’t a clue what to do with but couldn’t resist trying!

The carob molasses is one of those things. I’ve had people tell me to just use it the way I would regular molasses, but I keep thinking there must be some kind of recipe somewhere where this mysterious carob molasses would be the key that brings all the flavors together. Or something.

It is about time I give it a try. I just wish I had a clue what to do with it!

Anyone use it before?