Saturday, May 2, 2009
Please pardon me for these crummy pictures. I made this delicious carrot cake during one of the South Park Wednesdays, and I barely had time to take photos of it before people started eating it. I tend to make my carrot cakes too rich-- I tried to lighten it up this time, and to some degree it worked. My old carrot cake was a heavy, thick thing and while I liked a lot of components it didn't go with what I like as much now. My dad was a big fan though-- I basically tailored my carrot cake to his taste.
He likes carrot cake.
There's a place in Colorado Springs that we would go eat at-- Oliver's. It was right next to TCBY, off of streets I don't quite remember the names of, but can remember the image of. It was a deli that made pretty good sandwiches and my brother and dad loved them. I wasn't a big sandwich person, so whenever we went I usually wanted TCBY instead. As I grew up I became more of a fan of Oliver's, and a big reason why was their carrot cake. It was a perfectly moist, raisin studded thing. It was like they took a carrot slaw and added some flour and eggs and made a cake out of it. I try to recreate it in some ways whenever I make it.
Mine, though is a bit different. I often do a buttermilk glaze with it, I usually cook it with buttermilk. This time I didn't use any buttermilk and no milk. I try to healthy-up my carrot cake (and I didn't really do that either this time).
Jeff isn't a big fan of all the raisins and coconut and chunks I put in a carrot cake. He likes a pure, unadulterated version, kind of like Alton Brown. I can see that, but as a girl with texture in the mind that throws me off. So I went for a compromise. No coconut, much less pineapple, half the raisins, and I think I only put the nuts on the outside of the cake. I didn't allow it enough time to rest and cool before frosting it (there were people waiting and South Park was over!). As you can see above, it kind of fell apart and melted my icing a little. But also you can see it's got a muffin like texture, just as carrot cake should (according to AB). I'm okay with this, but really, I should have let it cool more.
I used the same frosting I always use for my carrot cake: a honey cream cheese one. For some reason it's my carrot cake standard, as opposed to a regular cream cheese frosting. To me, honey and carrots go really well together. I could imagine peanut butter being a good frosting to carrots and spice too-- but that'd be pretty non traditional.
I still have a piece left in my fridge. Joined with all my birthday cake from Sweet Lady Janes. I've done a bad job at eating it all....
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 oz vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pineapple, 6-7 chunks, mashed between fingers
2 1/2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins
Oven at 350 Degrees Fahrenheit
Prepare cake pans.
Combine the spices, flour, salt, baking powder and soda in a medium mixing bowl. Toss the carrots in the dry mixture.
With a handheld beater, beat together the sugars and yogurt. When thoroughly combined, mix in the vanilla extract and eggs, followed by the melted butter. When all is combined, fold in the dry mixture, mixing it in with a spoon or spatula until completely combined. Fold in the raisins and pineapple.
Pour the batter into either one 9", really thick cake pan, or two 8" cake pans (I used two). Bake for 45 minutes, reduce the heat, and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Test the cake with a toothpick, if it comes out clean it's done.
Remove from the oven and allow to sit for ten minutes in the cake pans. remove from the cake pans and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Frost and decorate with walnuts.
Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
confectioners sugar to taste, probably about 1 to 2 cups.
Combine the cream cheese and butter in a small mixing bowl and beat at low speed until creamed together. Mix in the vanilla extract and honey, making sure that all ingredients are mixed together. Slowly sift in the confectioners sugar, adding and mixing until the flavour and consistency is at it's desired point. Frost.