Monday, October 14, 2013

Carrot even haters will like

Here it is, after a few teasers here is the post you've been waiting for.  Carrot Cake for those who profess to hate it.  Nary a slimy raisin to be found in in it.  Perfect crumb and moistness, the latter enhanced with the pineapple which isn't usually found in a carrot cake.  Its part of the reason I really like this cake, that and the absence of a slimy snot like cooked raisin.

Different from a lot of carrot cakes is that this is baked in a slow oven that allows for very even rising with out a too terribly pronounced dome or high spot in the middle.

The addition of pineapple adds a nice tang to the cake as well as moistness.  I use crushed pineapple and you really need to let it drain well so you get an accurate measurement of pineapple without a lot of liquid to muck up the batter.  I poured a 20 oz can of crushed pineapple into a strainer set over a bowl for an hour to ensure it was well drained.  Et voila it did the trick.

I use a neutral vegetable oil for this cake as I don't want any stray flavors from the oil working its way into the cake. I've used corn oil in the past with good results and no funky flavor additions too.  I would refrain from olive oil or nut oils as they impart flavors that you might not want to the final product.

Carrot Cake

  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t allspice
  • 1 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 3 c (about 3/4 lb) grated carrot
  • 1 c crushed pineapple - well drained
  • 1 c chopped walnuts

cream cheese frosting

  • 2 8oz packages cream cheese at room temperature
  • 4 T (half stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 24 oz (about 6 c)  powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract or the seeds of one vanilla pod.

Grease and flour 2, 9" cake pans.  Preheat oven to 325f.

Combine flour, baking powder and soda, salt and spices in a bowl.  Set aside.

Beat oil, vanilla and sugar until well mixed.  Add eggs one at a time and beat well with addition.  Beat 3-4 minutes until light yellow and fluffy.  Reduce speed and fold in dry ingredients in half cup increments until blended.  Fold in Carrot.  Fold in Pineapple. Fold in walnuts. 

Divide batter between the 2 pans.  Bake 45-50 minutes until tester comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

To make frosting combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Beat until fluffy.  On low speed add powdered sugar a quarter cup at a time until all incorporated.  Beat on high 1-2 minutes until fluffy.  Thin with water if needed to bring to spreading consistency.  Frost cooled cake layers.
Cooling cakes on a wire rack ensures that the cakes don't have a soggy bottom.  Cooled cakes frost easier with no melting and running of the frosting.
 A dab of frosting in the center of the cake plate ensures it doesn't slip when  you are frosting the cake.  A nice thick layer in the middle ensures frosting in every bite.
The money shot.  All frosted and ready to devour.

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