Carrot Cake – Part Deux

Hey, look! A post! Yes, I am back from my unannounced hiatus. Between work, sick cat, work, snowboarding, and work, I decided to take a little time off from writing. Actually, that’s the thing about having a food blog – it’s never the writing that consumes too much time, it’s actually the pictures. Looking through my stuff, it’s probably relatively obvious that I don’t have a fancy schmancy SLR. What I don’t have in equipment is made up for in food posing and creative (read: cheap) lighting.

I think maybe if I didn’t care about taking “food porn” worthy pictures, I’d be posting a whole lot more. But hey, I have a lot of fun with the photography anyway. I’d rather not skip it if possible. Sometimes though, in a hurry to either eat what I made or out of sheer laziness, my pictures come out something like today’s. Yes, I tried to ice the cake when it wasn’t cool enough. Who cares? I call this not carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, but carrot cake with cream cheese glaze. I win.

So what’s with this blurry carrot cake? Oh, it’s nothing really – just a spiced loaf of goodness that might make a rough day a little bit better.

When I go to bake something I normally don’t bake and therefore don’t have a recipe for, there are a few sources I will automatically check first. Among that short list is Cook’s Illustrated (I’ll save the other sources for another post). Not 100% satisfied with the carrot cake I featured last year, I went in search of the “perfect” recipe. I love Cook’s Illustrated because they apply the scientific method to recipe creation. The biologist in me loves it.

This carrot cake is amazingly moist (you can probably tell from the picture), but it’s not mushy (that’s just my poor photography skills). The balance of spices is very pleasant and not overpowering. All in all, I love this recipe. Oh, and the food processor with the grating attachment was a brilliant move on EB’s part. I need to get me one of those!

Carrot Cake | Cook’s Illustrated

Ingredients

2  1/2      cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
1  1/4     teaspoons baking powder
1     teaspoon baking soda
1  1/4     teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2     teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8     teaspoon ground cloves
1/2     teaspoon table salt
1     pound medium carrots (6 to 7 carrots), peeled
1  1/2     cups granulated sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
1/2     cup packed light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
4     large eggs
1  1/2     cups vegetable oil , safflower oil, or canola oil

Directions

1. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13 by 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment and spray parchment.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in large bowl; set aside.

3. In food processor fitted with large shredding disk (see below for mixer method), shred carrots (you should have about 3 cups); transfer carrots to bowl and set aside. Wipe out food processor workbowl and fit with metal blade. Process granulated and brown sugars and eggs until frothy and thoroughly combined, about 20 seconds. With machine running, add oil through feed tube in steady stream. Process until mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 20 seconds longer. Scrape mixture into medium bowl. Stir in carrots and dry ingredients until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain. Pour into prepared pan and bake until toothpick or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time. Cool cake to room temperature in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours.

4. For the frosting (See below for mixer method): When cake is cool, process cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla in clean food processor workbowl until combined, about 5 seconds, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add confectioners’ sugar and process until smooth, about 10 seconds.

5. Run paring knife around edge of cake to loosen from pan. Invert cake onto wire rack, peel off parchment, then invert again onto serving platter. Using icing spatula, spread frosting evenly over surface of cake. Cut into squares and serve. (Cover leftovers and refrigerate for up to 3 days.)

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks for the sharing! Your blogpost truly helped me.

  2. First of all, great post! I’ve got a small question nagging me, I really love the layout of your blog and tried to install the same layout on my WP site. However, there is some kind of weird php error in the sidebar. Do you have any hints, what settings are you using? Please PM me on Twitter @HealthTipz or per e-mail.

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