Tuesday, April 22, 2008

TWD: Bill's Big Carrot Cake

This week at Tuesday's With Dorie the selection was Bill's Big Carrot Cake; Amanda from Slow Like Honey chose this.

I really like the cake in of itself. It was packed with carrots and rasiens and nuts which gave it a very dense healthful kind of taste to it. It also called for coconut, but I decided to omit that, I wanted the carrot taste to come through. I also substituted 1 cup wheat flour in for one of the all-purpose and changed it from one cup oil to 1/4c oil and 3/4 applesause - and it still turned out great. I also cheated and did not make the frosting from scratch. We are trying to conserve on our grocery bill and since I already had frosting in the pantry I went with that.

I didn't have three round pans and also I wanted to try out my square silicone pans. I have discovered that if the batter is thick enough that I need to do a better job spreading it out into the pans. Both cakes although beautiful were shorter in one of the corners then the others. I solved that by making sure to stack the short corners on the opposite ends. All in all, this turned out wonderfully.

This is what my six year old daughter said "I don't like the nuts, but I love the rest. I'm not kind of a nut person, I just like peanut butter."

Bill’s Big Carrot Cake

From Baking: from my homeYields 10 servings

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
½ cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs

For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound or 3 and ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional)

Getting ready:Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides, and tap out the excess. Put the two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.
To make the cake:Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins.Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. The cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.

To make the frosting:Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract.If you’d like coconut in the filling, scoop about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this position.

To assemble the cake:Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. If you added the coconut to the frosting, use half of the coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer (or generously cover with plain frosting). Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake stop side down, and frost with the remainder of the coconut frosting or plain frosting. Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the top- and the sides- of the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now while the frosting is soft. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.
Serving:This cake can be served as soon as the frosting is set. It can also wait, at room temperature and covered with a cake keeper overnight. The cake is best served in thick slices at room temperature and while it’s good plain, it’s even better with vanilla ice cream or some lemon curd.

Storing:The cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen. Freeze it uncovered, then when it’s firm, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.


Gretchen Noelle said...

Love your square cake! I like the healthy changes you made. And your daughter...haha!

Tammy said...

Your cake looks great!! I am a later starter this week and am going to make mine tonight

Mary said...

i really like the square version...great job!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

I think square cakes always look so sophisticated! Well done!

Shari said...

I like your square version with the nuts sprinkled around the edge. Looks good.

CB said...

haha. peanut butter is nuts silly daughter. ;) Love the square cake. Great job!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

LyB said...

I love the square shape of your cake, very lovely! And the things kids will say, right! So cute!

cruisingkitty said...

I think there's more cake in a square pan! hehe!

Amy said...

Looks great!

Hygeian Stew said...

Looks great! I wonder if you could make a peanut butter carrot cake? Sounds like an interesting mix!

Cecilia said...

Great job with the cake! You should really try Dorie's cream cheese frosting someday, though. It's amazing.

Mrs. Mordecai said...

Wow, that looks amazing! Yummy. I love how you made it square--it looks more contemporary and out-of-the-box than a plain old round one.