Royal Wedding – Carrot and Banana

February – the stores are decked out in red and pink hearts, furiously marketing in the name of love. Jewelers and bridal salons are having their best time of the year, measuring love in carats and yards of lace. It was in February, cold and gloomy, that King Henry VII, the first Tudor king, proposed to his widowed daughter-in-law, sixteen-year-old Princess Catalina of Aragon, known in England as Catherine.

Little more than a year has passed since a teenage Infanta, the proud and somewhat spoiled daughter of Their Most Catholic Majesties Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain (yes, those Isabella and Ferdinand!) stepped on the slushy English soil as a bride of Prince Arthur, Henry’s son and heir. As befits a princess, she was accompanied by a retinue of attendants, some of whom looked so exotic that commoners, gathered to welcome her entrance into London, ran into two opposite directions: some were pushing closer to get a better look, while others were trying to get away from the black faces of the Moors, never seen in England before. Was the future Queen a golden-haired angel or a vile sorceress who brought unthinkable evil creatures into the land? Both versions were hotly debated, especially when the poor Prince Arthur suddenly became ill and died just a few months after the wedding.

King Henry, the grieving father, was in a quandary. By all rights, the little widow should’ve been sent home to momma, but there was a matter of her dowry, or, to be exact, half of it that had arrived together with her, the other half to be paid..  well… to be paid. At some point in the future. Or so King Ferdinand had assured King Henry, and between the two of them, it’s hard to say who was a more tight-fisted, miserly manipulator. To be politically correct, let’s call them frugal and parsimonious. However, if Catherine were to be sent back, the half already paid would have to be refunded, and Henry just couldn’t bring himself to part with the money. Meanwhile, his wife, Queen Elizabeth, died, and suddenly, he saw a window of opportunity! If he marries his son’s widow, not only would he not have to return the first half of the dowry, but he’ll also be entitled to the balance – wow!

The temptation was great for a sixteen-year old widow: to become a queen, instantaneously. It was King Ferdinand who stopped this train in its tracks. “Wait a minute, – he said, – you have that little ten-year-old show off, that carrot-top kid with no civilized manners, who has now become your heir. What will happen to my daughter after your death? May you live long and prosper, Your Majesty, of course! Oh no, if my daughter is to marry anyone in your G-d forsaken, pardon me, great country, it will be your little pipsqueak, Henry-whatever-his-number-will-be!”  Several years of haggling and bickering between the two monarchs allowed Catherine to swear that the marriage to Arthur was never consummated, and thus receive a dispensation to marry Arthur’s brother. “The little pipsqueak,” who has been proclaiming his love and devotion to the golden-haired Infanta ever since he had escorted her to join his brother in holy matrimony, has come of age.

The wedding was kind of understated, by the standards or those times. It was understood, though, that both the bride and the groom were still in mourning, as Catherine’s mother, the all-powerful Queen-militant Isabella has just passed away as well. Henry, however, had a sweet tooth, and being in love with his bride, he offered her some of his favorite treat, carrot pudding. It was quite a novelty, since puddings were mostly meat-based, rather than vegetable-filled, and making a royal pudding that looked more like manchet bread found on a commoner’s table, was unheard of. Catherine, most probably, smiled in her customary reserved infanta-like manner, and took a small bite. Having grown up in the decadent luxury of the Alhambra palace, captured by her mother from the Moorish king, she was used to a variety of Middle Eastern fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices, and certainly sweets. As a good and dutiful wife, in time she would start an herb and vegetable garden and encourage the exotic fruit and spice trade. It would be a good and reasonable guess that at some point during the sixteen years of her marriage to Henry, her Moor cooks have happily married carrot pudding with bananas to create a delicious offspring – carrot banana bread.

car-ban-br-1

Since I have not been able to find any information about the origins of banana bread, and since all sources seem to agree that carrot bread had evolved from carrot pudding (Henry VIII’s favorite), I have taken all kind of liberties with the recipe. And why not? Look at the liberties Henry has taken with all his wives, starting with Catherine! I am using spelt flour (if you have an allergy to gluten or a celiac disease, please consult your physician), brown sugar, olive oil, baking powder, a dash of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Most importantly, I am abiding by My Own Rules of Dessert: Rule # 1. If it’s not chocolate, it’s not a dessert. Therefore, cocoa powder goes into it. I also add finely chopped walnuts or pecans, whatever I have on hand at the moment.

kulb-5

I have fallen in love with aquafaba. It’s that liquid stuff you get when you cook chickpeas, and it whips into a foam almost like eggs, but it has no cholesterol. Just to think that for years I’ve been pouring it down the drain!

car ban br 2.jpg

Contrary to all the established routines, we mix the dry ingredients first: spelt flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

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Then we whip aquafaba into a foam, whisk it with olive oil, and mash ripe bananas into it. I prefer to leave them somewhat chunky, but it’s up to you.

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And here it comes, the marriage of carrot and banana! Introduce the wet ingredients to the dry, add grated carrots and walnuts, and gently mix, just until moistened.

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It will be a thick, dense bread dough, rather than cake batter. Don’t worry, just place it into a greased loaf pan and bake it for about an hour.

Henry VIII might have been a notorious womanizer, a great scoundrel and a wife-murderer, but, if the legend is true, we have to be grateful to him for this delicious idea.

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Just look at what came out of my oven, crusty on the outside and moist on the inside – fit for a royal table! But I have to remember the second of My Own Rules of Dessert: Rule # 2. The more chocolate, the better.

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I served it drizzled with chocolate syrup and garnished with raspberries. That was one of the best Sunday brunches my husband and I have ever had, or so he claims every Sunday!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  •  1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • A dash of salt
  • 1 cup aquafaba (alternatively, 2 large eggs)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1 cup grated carrots (1 large or 2 medium carrots)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • Optional: chocolate syrup and fresh berries to garnish

PROCEDURE

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease loaf pan.
  • Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Put aside.
  • Whip aquafaba to foam consistency, whisk with oil, mash bananas into it.
  • Stir into dry ingredients, add carrots and walnuts, mix gently until moistened.
  • Bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Serve warm, drizzle with chocolate syrup, garnish with fresh berries.

Enjoy!

 

 

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86 Comments Add yours

  1. It looks very delicious, Dolly 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, dear Irene!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful recipe-interesting about the aquafaba too..enjoyed the history as well, thank you :)x

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am so glad you like it – thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. israelisalad says:

    Interesting history lesson and delicious, healthy recipe all in one! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad you like it – thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. voulaah says:

    Thnak you so much dear for sharing this recipe royal
    I want to try it so I note
    Kisses

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so glad you like it, ma cheri! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. lilyandardbeg says:

    I’m not sure if you can watch it in the US but there’s a good documentary (easy to follow, kind of entry level but better than most old depictions of Henry and all the wives) ‘Six Wives with Lucy Worsley’ 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I can watch anything I want to watch! Ha! We don’t have TV because we don’t want to waste time on someone else’s choice of programming, not to mention commercials. I pull up or download anything we want to watch on my laptop which is then connected to the screen by a cable. Thank you for pointing me to a good documentary. My story is based on historical research, of course, but characterization comes mainly from Philippa Gregory’s Tudor series, specifically “The Constant Princess.”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. lilyandardbeg says:

        It’s a BBC documentary and they can be funny with the legal rights and so on-it’s why we have to have the TV licence (but there are no ads on BBC). I like the trend of finding out more about the real people -not just historical figures with all the myth built around them through ages. The thing is, we are hugely influenced by Victorian historians, and for them everything was black or white. I never liked history till I realised I can do my own research and use my brain-and then argue with people about it 🙂 Well, I can’t say I like history even now but I enjoy reading about the past in various sources -without passing a judgement.
        Hah, I keep telling you I don’t like stuff (philosophy, history). I love physics. And sport (climbing, long-distance running, swimming, boxing -and generally most sports). I love analysing literature (poetry in particular). I love researching languages (mostly variations of a vowel in Germanic/Nordic languages). I like most ‘hard’ sciences, so I don’t mind psychology as long as it’s in cooperation with neuroscience or based on repeatable experiments. Just in case you thought I’m a grumpy old bore 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are a grumpy young bore; I am a grumpy old bore. Now that we got that straight, I’ve already found it online, and we are looking forward to watching it tonight. As you can imagine, history presented in communist Russia was pretty much orwellian. During Kruschev’s “ottepel'”, certain books had been published that were subsequently declared “anti-soviet propaganda.” However, those who had them already, hid them and treasured them. Thus to me history means a) mistrust to all official versions; and b) research. Add to that the typical Odessa urge to make fun of everybody and everything, and you get the formula for my posts.

        Like

      3. lilyandardbeg says:

        which I probably am, by the way 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I am sure Brian holds a different opinion 🙂

        Like

    2. Joëlle says:

      And on a funnier note, have you ever heard this song? I used it with my French students to teach them about Henry VIII:

      Liked by 3 people

      1. No, I haven’t – it’s hilarious! Thank you so much for the link!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Dolly this looks fantastic. Inlive that you have put some cocoa in the batter and used aquafaba. I haven’t tried anything with aquafaba yet and it really intrigues me. Thank you for this great recipe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Myra! Coming from you, it means a lot! I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t put chocolate in it…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally agree. Chocolate is the best! I had it for breakfast today too, in my oats. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes!! Chocolate rules! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Inlive = I love 😊 ooops

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Carrots, banana and chocolate, what can one ask more of a cake??? Thanks funky cat ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure, dear Esme! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Balvinder says:

    Sometimes only vague information is available for the origin of recipes. I have never worked with aquafaba but am curious to do it. Every time I open the chickpea pan I feel like saving the thick liquid but then it goes into the drain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am a big history fan, has been since childhood, so I research extensively. But when all the research is done, I just take historical characters and situations and have fun with them.
      I don’t use cans, but when I cook chickpeas, I save the liquid and freeze it, then defrost it as needed.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Funny history lesson and yummy sounding recipe. I’ll have to try it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Samantha, I am glad you like it! Please let me know how it comes out!

      Like

  11. elliebleu says:

    I love the story behind the cake. Such a fun recipe and perfect for Valentines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dear, I am so glad you like it! I hope you have a very happy Valentine!

      Like

    1. Thank you again for reblogging.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for this historical recipe! But this statement “Henry VIII might have been a notorious womanizer, a great scoundrel and a wife-murderer, but, if the legend is true, we have to be grateful to him for this delicious idea.” because you should not make in Great Britain. 😉 ,-)
    And i really never heard about aquafaba before. Yes we will have to try it, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! And thank you for your concern. I don’t think I am going to UK any time soon, so I am safe from from personal attacks by the irate Tudor fans! 🙂

      Like

      1. Thx! Oh, i dont think the Tudor fan are so extreme, but people in GB often very sensitive this way. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am an equal opportunity offender. Everybody knows that I am only joking, and nobody takes offense.

        Like

      3. Oh, yes. we thought. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  13. panandnell says:

    Reading your recipe at this late night. I am so hungry 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I am sorry! I wish I could send you something!

      Like

  14. I love making banana bread and I love carrot cake. Sounds like a winning combination!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I am glad you like it – enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. randyjw says:

    Lucy Worsley wrote an interesting book on the Cavendish household, and more, as Chief Curator of the Historic Royal Palaces, in her interesting book: Cavalier: A Tale of Chivalry, Passion and Great Houses, which you might be interested to read. Here was my thoughts:
    (https://newsnotes1.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/cavalier-a-tale-of-chivalry-passion-and-great-houses-by-lucy-worsley/)

    Your recipe looks wonderful! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I am getting these references to Lucy Worsley from all sides. There is also a BBC documentary which I am downloading and will watch. Now, on to your article!

      Like

  16. Indeed a royal recipe. Looks so healthy and delicious. I hope to try this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad you like it – enjoy!

      Like

  17. Yum?? I love banana bread, but do not like carrot cake. So, I’m ambivalent here.
    BTW, Have made crock pot Great Northern beans, with ham chunks, onions, and brown sugar twice in the last week! Yumm!
    AND I’ve made gf pumpkin brownies in a mug. double yum!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, girl friend, you are cooking up a storm! So forget the carrots and grate a couple of apples instead, but not very juicy ones. Or just make a banana bread and enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the kudos, Dolly! I’m ridiculously needy of compliments!
        Aha! Apples sound better!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Suggestion: since apples are generally juicier than carrots, increase walnuts or pecans.
        P.S. I am happy to give you a ton of compliments, my friend – you deserve them!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks bunches!! Hugs!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Sumith says:

    Dolly perfect for valentines!! As usual blends well with this amazing story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you dear Sumith!

      Like

  19. Timelesslady says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I make banana bread quite often, but am excited about giving it a boost of vitamins with the carrot. I just bought some overripe bananas on sale…I’m baking today…can’t wait to eat it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment – I am so glad you like the recipe! Let me know how it comes out, please!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, dear – enjoy!

        Liked by 1 person

  20. I happy to inform you that I have now concluded and released the compilation for the February Share and Inspire Feb 2017 – Bread Sweet and Savoury post.
    Link: https://cookandenjoyrecipes.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/february-2017-share-and-inspire-others-bread-sweet-and-savory/
    As of now up to and inclusive of February 20th – Promote please proceed to do a post/reblog on your own blog, linking back to the original post.
    Thank you again for your participation, and do not forget to keep an eye out for our new theme which will be released on 1st March. Please promote the Share and Inspire Others! Recipe Exchange and maybe your followers will also participate in the coming months.
    Take care and Happy Blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Joëlle says:

    Dolly, do you have any spare time? Because I am ready to hire you to write my posts on my sulfitefreecooking blog!
    You have a way of making these past “grand” historical figures sound like the average Joe, with not-so-grand faults! Maybe Henry VIII took after his father for constantly eyeing other people’s properties? I’m thinking of the way he confiscated Hampton Court from Cardinal Wolsey…
    Anyway, I need to keep your recipe in mind: a couple of months ago, I tried making a gluten-free carrot cake and it was quite a failure! (Otherwise it would already be on my blogs 😉) Adding ripe banana, as you do here, might help. So, once more, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll make time for you, dear Joelle, whenever you need me. However, in my opinion, you are doing great with your blog – I love it!
      I think our friend Henry took after his father in more ways than one; his father grabbed the entire kingdom as his property AND managed to hold on to it!
      If you try a carrot /banana GF cake, please let me know how it come out.
      Love,
      D

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Joëlle says:

        I promise I will. I don’t think it is going to be very soon though: for us Lent is coming up and I will drastically reduce the number of cakes I will be making until Easter!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, are you not supposed to have cakes during Lent?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Joëlle says:

        Well, we are supposed to make a sacrifice during the forty days of Lent, each one deciding for himself what it will be. This way even children can be in the” Lent mood”. We are supposed to fast on Fridays, and special treats should be reserved for Sundays only. So I decided that for us there would be no cakes this Lent season. It will be hard for me, even with cutting down on our sugar intake I still have a sweet tooth!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I see. From what I know of the Russian Orthodox Lent, they abstain from meat, but they compensate for that “sacrifice” by increasing the sweets, rather than limiting them.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Joëlle says:

        Sounds like I should temporarily move to Russia! I could do without meat very easily for 40 days!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Yes, it turns into a vegetarian festival.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Joëlle says:

        But then it wouldn’t be a real sacrifice, would it?

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I don’t think they have ever looked at it this way, and anyway, for old-fashioned Russians, it would be.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Joëlle says:

        I mean, in my case this kind of sacrifice (no meat and plenty of desserts) would be meaningless: I would not feel deprived!

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Yes, I understand, but I don’t think they had a concept of being deprived; rather, a set of rigid rules to follow.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Banana bread used to be one of my favorite recipes. Can I freeze the acquafaba and use it later? I just made a batch of chickpeas. Great story too! 😍🍌

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sure you can. I usually cook a great big batch of chickpeas, portion them out and freeze in portions, and do the same with aquafaba. Actually I do that with all beans, but for some reason aquafaba only comes from cooking chickpeas. Liquids from cooking other beans are good for flavoring some soups and sauces.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Great! I am going to freeze it in 2 cups quantities which I guess is equal to 2 eggs. Have you ever made a kugel with it?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 1 1/2 cup = 2 eggs. Sure, I’ve made kugel, but we sort of prefer pashtida, which is essentially the same thing.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Now I am going to have to look that up…🤔

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Do look it up, but it also depends on the size of eggs.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Hmmm…. I will check. I only learned about this trick recently and I never tried it.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Once I tried it, I got hooked on it.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. oldpoet56 says:

    You are a master at bringing two stories together that seem to have nothing in common and turning them into one very coherent enjoyable read. That my friend takes talent, one of the many things I missed out on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No you haven’t missed out on talent; you have plenty! Thank you for your kind words.

      Like

  24. oldpoet56 says:

    I forgot Dolly, I am going to reblog this article for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much!

      Like

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