I am not a baker. I just spent 2 years in culinary school learning to cook savory food. Sure, I took a three week class on baking and pastries, but uh... I didn't measure like I was supposed to in that class.
Sometimes I wish I had the ability to make fancy cakes and desserts, but the truth is, I don't really fancy extravagant desserts. I like: pie, cobbler, ice cream, brownies, cookies and sometimes........ CAKE
Despite my history of not following the directions when it comes to baking things, I was in the mood to bake something pretty for my dad since he's been working so hard at work all day.
His favorite dessert is carrot cake. So you know I had to make it.
Since I don't trust myself to make up my own recipe, I used one from my mom's big ole' book of recipes.
And of course, I had to put my own twist on it. Pretty basic carrot cake with cream cheese frosting recipe, which you'll find below. I mixed things up by making caramel coated walnuts into a hard candy and crushing them to coat the outside.
Turned out quite pretty, actually.
3 layers x 3
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
2¼ cups sugar
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
20 ounces carrots, finely chopped (about 3¼ cups)
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 cup crushed pineapple, well-drained
(I added 1/2 cup of golden raisins)
1. To prepare cake, preheat oven to 350F. Line bottom of three 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Leave sides of pan dry—no cooking spray needed.
2. Combine eggs and oil in a large mixing bowl. Beat 2 minutes with a mixer on medium speed. Add 1 cup sugar and continue mixing 2 minutes. Add remaining sugar and mix 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (flour through nutmeg); add to egg mixture, beating on low speed until blended, about 1 minute. Add carrots, walnuts and pineapple; mix until well combined.
4. Divide batter evenly among pans.
5. Bake 60 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Run knife around edge of cakes and remove from pans. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
7. To prepare icing, place cream cheese in mixing bowl; beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add melted chocolate a little at a time, continuing to beat at medium speed. Add butter a little at a time. Scrape down sides of bowl; add lemon rind and beat until combined.
8. Remove cakes from refrigerator. Ice top of one layer. Place second layer on top; ice top. Place third layer on top; ice top and sides of cake. Press chopped walnuts into sides of cake.
Cream cheese Frosting:
3 sticks fat cream cheese
zest of 2 lemons one lemon
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy.
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup walnuts
1. In a non stick pot or saute pan, heat brown sugar until melted.
2. Add walnuts, stir to coat.
3. Spread nuts onto parchment paper and let cool
4. Once cool, buzz in the food processor until fine
And so folks, this is a great example that you do not need to be patient, or a baker to make a cake.