I approached the carrot cake mission as I do many others: I did a lot of research, checked out several cookbooks, looked online and asked my Plurk buddies for assistance. I settled on a recipe from Food to Live By; the Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook, and then (you guessed it) I modified it slightly. I offer you the original and my adaptations - and a picture this time!
Carrot Cake: the original
Butter, for greasing the cake pans
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus a little more for flouring the cake pans
2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 packed cups peeled and grated carrots (about 1 pound)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon milk or water, if needed
2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
For the Cake
1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325. Heavily butter and flour 2 round 9-inch cake pans, tapping out the excess flour. Set cake pans aside.
2. Place the flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
3. Place the eggs, oil, and vanilla in a small bowl and stir to combine.
4. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Add the carrots and nuts and stir.
5. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the edges have pulled away from the side of the pans, 55 to 65 minutes.
6. Place the cake pans on wire racks a let the layers cool completely, about 1 hour.
For the frosting:
7. Place the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl and beat with an eletric mixer until very smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer running on medium speed, slowly add 3 1/2 cups of the confectioners' sugar and beat until it is fully incorporated and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat until just combined. If the frosting is too soft, slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. If the frosting is too stiff, add the 1 Tablespoon milk or water.
8. Remove cake layers from pans. Place one cake layer on a plate. Spread some of the frosting on top. Place the second layer on top of the frosting and frost the side and top of the cake. Press the 2 cups of nuts onto the side of the cake. Cake can be refrigerated, covered, for up to one week.
Now, Daisy's changes.
- Use 1 cup egg substitute for the eggs.
- Instead of the 1 1/2 cup oil, use 3/4 cup applesauce and 1/2 to 3/4 cup oil.
- I skipped the nuts in the cake, and mixed the nuts into the frosting instead of pressing them on top. That made for a lumpy (but delicious) frosting; I might do it the other way next time. Instead of a nut garnish, I sprinkled extra carrots on top.
- I had whole walnuts, so I put them in a small zipper bag and smashed them with a meat tenderizer on a cutting board.
The cake was pronounced "Good!" by Chuck and Amigo.
I didn't ask the rabbit.
Labels: kitchen stories