Carrot Cake Recipe

This brings back memories of my sweet Mamaw Hunt. I don’t use the pineapple or applesauce, and I don’t add raisins to my carrot cake. Mamaw never did, so I don’t. I looked forward to my birthday every year because I knew Mamaw would be making me a Carrot Cake!:) She’s been gone for almost 24 yrs, but I still remember those Carrot Cakes!

Carrot Cake never goes out of style. One bite will tell you why. This rich and moist spice cake, full of grated carrot and toasted nuts, has great flavor, especially when covered with a tangy and sweet flavored cream cheese frosting. The interesting part is that while those pretty orange flecks of grated carrot give the Carrot Cake color and texture, along with sweetness and moisture, its’ flavor is almost indistinguishable. I think the biggest debate surrounding the Carrot Cake is whether crushed pineapple or applesauce should be added to the batter. Adding either of these ingredients will give the cake more flavor and moisture, so if you like, add 1/2 cup of either crushed pineapple or applesauce to the batter, right along with the oil and vanilla extract. Take note, though, that you may need to bake the carrot cake a few minutes longer than the recipe states.

Carrot Cake Recipe:
1 cup (100 grams) pecans or walnuts
3/4 pound (340 grams) raw carrots (about 2 1/2 cups finely grated)
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar
1 cup (240 ml) safflower, vegetable or canola oil (or other flavorless oil)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.
Butter or spray two – 9 x 2 inch (23 x 5 cm) cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper.
Toast the pecans or walnuts for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
Peel and finely grate the carrots. Set aside.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
In bowl of electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light colored (about 3 – 4 minutes). Add the oil in a steady stream and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. With a large rubber spatula fold in the grated carrots and chopped nuts. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 5 -10 minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pans and parchment paper, and then cool completely before frosting.
To assemble: place one cake layer, top side down, onto your serving plate. Spread with about one third of the frosting. Gently place the other cake, top of cake facing down, onto the frosting, and spread the rest of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. If desired, press toasted and finely chopped nuts on the sides of the cake and decorate the top of the cake with marzipan carrots (see below). Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
Serves 10 – 12.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups (230 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (outer yellow skin)
Garnish: (Optional)
1 cup (100 grams) toasted and finely chopped walnuts or pecans
Marzipan Carrots, optional

In bowl of electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese and butter, on low speed, just until blended with no lumps. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated and smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract, and lemon zest.
Marzipan Carrots:

To make the carrots you will need: Marzipan and orange and green icing colors (can use liquid or paste food coloring). Knead a small amount of orange food coloring into the marzipan until the color is distributed and is the desired “carrot” color. Shape into carrots, using a toothpick to make veins. Knead a small amount of green food coloring into the marzipan and make the carrot tops.
Marzipan is a cooked mixture of finely ground almonds, sugar, and water. It is slightly sweeter and firmer than almond paste and has a smoother texture. It comes in plastic-wrapped rolls.


http://www.joyofbaking.com/CarrotCake.html

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