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Posted on Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 11 a.m.

Sweet carrot latkes with chocolate rum sauce - ending the Chopped Challenge on a sweet note

By Mary Bilyeu


Mary Bilyeu | Contributor

Rachel at Diary of a Chocoholic is a girl after my own heart! Here is her dare for my "Chopped" challenge

Dessert (because it's my favorite!)? Carrots, chocolate and rum!"

Well, how can we go wrong with chocolate and rum, and with a hint of nutrition to delude us into thinking we're behaving ourselves?

Today is, sadly, the last day of the challenge, in which I had asked readers to suggest ingredients that I would then have to use in creating a dish for a specific course of a meal.It's been so much fun! But at least we're going out on a sweet note.

I knew immediately that I didn't want to resort to making carrot cake with the suggested ingredients. It is one of the great foods in the universe, absolutely! But it's too obvious.

I debated candying carrot sticks, turning them into gorgeous translucent rum-scented dippers with a chocolate fondue-like sauce. But adapting a candied orange peel recipe for a vegetable with a different consistency seemed to have too many variables to predict success — too soft or too hard or too gumdrop-y? A noble notion to tinker with some day when I have time to play.

So, being a girl with a Jewish soul and appetite, I then thought of latkes. They don't always need to be made with potatoes, and they don't always need to be savory; carrots offer an inherent sweetness that could be played up for dessert. The combination of mini spiced treats with a luscious chocolate sauce started to sing a Siren song to me.

These little pancakes have a fabulously enticing fragrance, and are utterly enhanced by the addictive sauce. (Pour it over ice cream and it thickens like fudge ... sigh. I'm almost — but not quite! — ashamed to admit that I made a full batch of the sauce, ate and enjoyed it with a few of the latkes, and then simply took a spoon and ate the rest of it "as is.")

Thanks to Rachel, we can all be chocoholics today while still eating our vegetables!

Mini Carrot Latkes with Chocolate Rum Caramel Sauce


1/2-pound carrots, peeled, finely shredded
4 ounces sugar cookies, crushed fine
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of kosher salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil, for frying

Combine carrots, cookie crumbs, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, salt, and eggs in a large bowl.

Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add batter by the tablespoon and cook 3-4 minutes per side, until nicely golden brown. Remove from pan, drain on paper towels, and continue with remaining batter. Makes 16 latkes.

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup half-and-half

Melt butter, brown sugar and rum together in a small saucepan over low heat.  Add chocolate and stir until melted.  Slowly stir in half-and-half.

To serve:
Whipped cream

Drizzle chocolate sauce over 4 dessert plates.  Place 4 latkes onto each plate, and top with whipped cream.

Serves 4.

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Mary Bilyeu writes about her adventures in the kitchen - making dinner, celebrating holidays, entering cooking contests ... whatever strikes her fancy. She is also on a mission to find great deals for her Frugal Floozie Friday posts, seeking fabulous food at restaurants on the limited budget of only $5 per person. Feel free to email her with questions or comments or suggestions:

You should also visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — on which she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related.

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers - when you come to visit here, may you always be happy.