Sunday, March 21, 2010

Carrot Cake

In my efforts to explore and taste all the different types of food in the world, I made a vow to myself that I will try at least one new recipe each week. Sometimes, there are exceptions when I just don't have the time, or don't have the ingredients. Sometimes, the results are absolutely delicious, and I put that recipe into a special file labelled 'Good'. Other times they are quite disappointing. Then there's recipes which I couldn't give a damn about. It may not be a bad recipe, just one that doesn't appeal to me, for some reason or another.

Such recipes include yesterday's carrot cake. I was browsing recipes for bundt cakes to bake in my fluted tube pan (yes, I'm still psyched). I made a list of cakes that I want to bake, and I was planning on having some sort of Bundt Cake Marathon. First up was a carrot and walnut bundt cake, with cream cheese frosting, from Epicurious. I had no idea what carrot cake tasted like, and after extensive research, I gathered it did not taste anything like carrots. I then bought a carrot slice from the school's canteen, but that tasted random. I reckoned it tasted bad because it was filled with artificial crap.

I'm still learning the ins and outs of my fluted tube pan, and still haven't managed to find a reliable technique to stop things sticking. Before, I've buttered it and floured it, but that didn't work. This time, I sprayed it with cooking spray, but a piece of cake still stuck to the pan. I've got a feeling that this contributed to my neutrality to this cake. I was glad the glaze/frosting covered up the cracks, but it was tooth-achingly sweet. When I was pouring the 3/4 powdered sugar over the measly-looking pieces of cream cheese, I said to myself, 'This is gonna be sweet!' Guess what? I was right. The lemon juice and zest cut off a bit of the sweetness but ow it was sweet. I hope the rest of my cakes turn out better.


Obtained from here.

Makes 8 servings.

Carrot Cake

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup olive oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups grated carrots (about 3 large)
3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Cream Cheese Icing
3/4 cup powdered sugar (I'd put less)
3 ounces (85 grams) cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup (or more) whipping cream.

1. Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.
2. Grease 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan.
3. Whisk flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in medium bowl until well blended.
4. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, oil and eggs in large bowl on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add flour mixture, beating just until blended.
5. Fold in carrots and walnuts.

6. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.

7. Cool cake in pan on rack 1 hour.

8. Meanwhile, blend softened cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla until combined. Add enough cream to form a thick but pourable icing.

9. Invert cake onto plate. Cool completely. Drizzle icing over top of cake, allowing icing to flow down sides.

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