Monday, July 29, 2013

Carrot Cake Craving

Greetings, Blogosphere!
So, we have already established that my craving thus far in my pregnancy has been for cinammon. The other day, my cinnamon craving lead to something specific...carrot cake! I had some carrots left over from making a creamy chicken over mashed potatoes meal, so very good, and I was trying to think of something to do with the leftover orange root veggies. The natural combination that came to mind between cinammon and carrots lead me to pick a carrot cake.
I decided to go with a carrot cake recipe I have made before from Pinterest. It is from a blog called Cooking the Amazing, and while this is the only recipe from the site I have made so far, it is certainly promising of lots of yumminess to find! You can find the link to the original recipe here: Cooking the Amazing Carrot Cake. It is a super moist carrot cake, and it is full of flavor! I don't use the given icing recipe, but I will tell you all about that in a minute. Here is how I made the carrot cake.
 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel and trim about 5 small-medium carrots. You want about 2 C of shredded carrot, and I had exactly that from these puppies. I use a fine shredder because I like the smaller size, but feel free to use a larger grater if need be.

Shred away! I will totally count this as your Jane Fonda time for your arms if you would like. :)

In a bowl, put in your flour.

Follow your flour with your granulated sugar...

and your brown sugar.
Toss in your spices and baking powder and baking soda. Whisk these together to combine. This is your dry mix.
In a separate bowl (I use the bowl on my stand mixer), toss in your grated carrot.
Zest an orange. Throw about 1 T of the grated orange zest into your carrots.

To this, add in your sweetened, shredded coconut.
On top of that, add in your pineapple, eggs, and chopped pecans. Blend the wet mixture together.

Once combined, add the dry mix into the wet mix by about one third at a time. Don't overmix your batter at this point, just make sure everything is well mixed.

I poured this batter into a Pam Baking Spray sprayed (Can that be an acceptable way to say that, please?) 9 x 13 inch baking pan. I popped it into the oven for about 45 minutes, but you may have to leave it longer or for a little bit shorter time. Bake it until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, whip up some cream cheese icing. Here is where I deviate from the recipe and just wing it. I threw an 8 oz block of softened cream cheese into my cleaned mixer with a stick of softened butter. To this, I added about 1 t of vanilla extract and about 1/4-1/2 t of almond extract. I whipped this mixture together until combined and scraped down the sides of the bowl. Then, I added in about 2 C of powdered sugar with the machine running. Just add enough to achieve the sweetness and consistency you want.

After the cake was done baking, I pulled it out and cooled it for about an hour and a half before spreading the icing over the top. This cake is so delicious, and the spiciness of the cinammon, nutmeg, and clove really hit my craving spot! This cake also stores really well. We wrap the pan in foil and leave it on the counter, and it stays super moist. We leave a fork in the pan and work on it all week. The cake was large enough that I cut several pieces and delivered goody boxes to Prince Charming's parents, Bella and Bubby, and to his grandmother, SugarPie.

So that was my craving fix for last week. I am leaning towards whipping up a good, old fashioned Southern peach cobbler this week to take the edge off of that cinammon desire! If I do, I will definitely give you a tutorial on that one. My Mississippi born and raised great-grandmother, Big Mama, taught me to make peach cobbler, and it is so fine! Some things, NOLA can't touch, and peach cobbler is one of them. Maybe as a counter-argument, I can make a bread pudding next week. I do have a Creole Cooking Club meeting, and dessert is my dish. (You can find our website here: Creole Cooking Club. We have an awesome group of girls who are all about sharing good food and good times!)

I hope you have a chance to make this carrot cake soon. It truly is satisfying, whether your craving comes from pregnancy (like mine) or just from loving good food. Either way, eat up!

Y'all Come Back Now, Ya Hear?



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