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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Carrot cake

How did you spend your Saturday?  I spent it....wait for it....waiting in line.  But not just any line.  I was waiting in line for an "audition" for a reality baking show!  Holding a cake, which after 3+ hours was VERY heavy.


I was told to bring my best dessert to the trials, but what I didn't read was there there would only be two taste testers....but I brought an entire two-layer carrot cake...with homemade cream cheese icing. 

I didn't make the first cut, but I'm OK with that.  Despite the fact that I didn't want to actually end up on the show, I wanted the expeirence of having tried out.  I also learned something important -- I'm not nearly dramatic enough to be on a reality show!  But I did make a delicious cake, and I'm sharing it with you!


Triple Layer Carrot Cake (I made mine two layers this time)
Adapted from several different carrot cake recipes, and prefected (in my humble opinion) by me.

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar
1.5 cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground ginger
3 cups freshly grated peeled carrots (I prefer to hand grate mine, but a food processor would work, too.  Don't use bagged, pre-shredded carrots).
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325°F.
Lightly grease three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides.
Line bottom of pans with waxed paper.
Lightly grease waxed paper.

Using electric mixer, beat sugar and vegetable oil in bowl until combined.
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into sugar and oil mixture.
Stir in carrots, chopped walnutes and raisins.
Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing equally.
Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and cakes begin to pull away from sides of pans, about 45 minutes.

Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes.
Turn out cakes onto racks and cool completely.
Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic and store at room temperature.

Cream Cheese Icing
(From epicurious, a long time ago, and committed to memory....and the original is nowhere to be found on the website now)

Ingredients:

3 8oz packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 stick butter, room temperature
3-4 cups of powdered sugar
Vanilla to taste

Directions:

Blend cream cheese and butter.
Add vanilla to taste.
Add powdered sugar.  I add about 1/2 cup at a time until desired sweetness and consistency.  I usually end up with about 3 cups of powdered sugar.

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