Saturday, April 19, 2008

TWD #1 BILL'S BIG (WRINKLE FREE) CARROT CAKE

This week was my very first week joining Tuesday's With Dorie! I was so excited when I first read about this group! I ordered my book and have been stalking the postman for it's arrival! So when I got the recipe, I wanted to make it right away!

So, you might be wondering why the title includes the words "WRINKLE FREE"...well, that would be because I left out the raisins. I'm not a big fan. At least not incorporated in my food. I'll eat raisins plain, but not in my breads, or cake! So there you have it.

Shredding the carrots (organic), I think, was the most time consuming part of the whole recipe, but fun, nonetheless. My son checked in on me from time to time to see if there was anything he could do to help.... but it always seemed like there was a more interesting part in THE BEE MOVIE that he was watching, so he never stuck around for long! He just likes to dump and stir things anyways.

So. I knew i didn't want to make a big 9 inch cake...so I pulled out my 6 inch pans instead. Then I prepped my cupcake pan for the leftovers. (I made 9 cupcakes after filling 2-6 inch pans)
I watched the batter like a hawk and noticed that the middles were sinking as it got close to the end....but I just figured I would cover up the sink hole with some icing!

Which brings me to the next part...the icing. I added a full 4 cups of powdered sugar and still thought the icing was fairly thin. But I didn't want to add any more sugar, so I put it in the fridge for a few minutes before I put it on the cake.

I slathered on a layer of icing between the two 6 inch cakes..with a spinkled layer of coconut for some added flair! Then I iced the entire cake with the rest of the icing, which ended up being the perfect amount after swirling some on my 9 cupcakes. I had big dreams of decorating the cake and making it pretty, but ran out of umph, and mommy time, so i just threw on some coconut flakes and called it good. My kids were ready for some attention, and I was burnt out.

My husband has been gone for two months doing some military training, so I am freezing the cake and we'll cut into it when he gets home this week! He loves him some carrot cake, so I'm anxious to see what he thinks! He will be the true judge!

I hope to have more creativity with next week's recipe! This was so much fun!

Bill's Big Carrot Cake
Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Yields 10 servings

Ingredients:

For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots (about 9 carrots, you can grate them in food processor fitted w/ a shredding a blade or use a box grater)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
½ cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs

For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound or 3 and ¾ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional)

Getting ready:
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides, and tap out the excess. Put the two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.

To make the cake:
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. The cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.

To make the frosting:
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract.
If you'd like coconut in the filling, scoop about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this position.

To assemble the cake:
Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. If you added the coconut to the frosting, use half of the coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer (or generously cover with plain frosting). Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake stop side down, and frost with the remainder of the coconut frosting or plain frosting. Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the top- and the sides- of the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now while the frosting is soft.
Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.

Serving:
This cake can be served as soon as the frosting is set. It can also wait, at room temperature and covered with a cake keeper overnight. The cake is best served in thick slices at room temperature and while it's good plain, it's even better with vanilla ice cream or some lemon curd.

Storing:
The cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen. Freeze it uncovered, then when it's firm, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.

34 comments:

Mary Ann said...

Great job! It looks beautiful- welcome to the group

Marie said...

Lovely looking carrot cake! I love raisins myself, but I know a lot of people don't really care for them. Welcome to the group!

April said...

Your cake looks great! Welcome to the group!

Robin said...

Great job! Welcome to the group, I just joined about a month ago myself :-)

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Welcome aboard! I also made 2 6-inch cakes and exactly 9 cupcakes...LOL! I think your coconut drenched cake looks great!

Rebecca said...

Welcome to TWD! Your husband's going to be so surprised. How cool!

Amy W said...

Hope your husband has a safe trip home!

LyB said...

The coconut flakes make it look all fluffy and light, quite beautiful!

Chris said...

Looks wonderful! Would have never known you ran out of umph...:)

Annemarie said...

You did a nice job! Welcome!

PheMom said...

I think the cake looks adorable as is. I know what you mean about lack of umph toward the end sometimes. Hope your fab hubby loves the cake (I'm sure he will). My dad was stationed in Hawaii (Navy though) when they were first married (ages ago - as in Korean War) and they lived there for 3 years. You reminded me of that and all the stories my mom tells about it. Good luck!!

Erin said...

Welcome to TWD! I love your mini cake and the cupcakes!

Amy said...

It all looks great - especially those cupcakes - YUM! Welcome to the group!!! :-)

Megan said...

Love the presentation, you did a wonderful job. I also will be reading your posts from the gluten free recipes, have someone in mind for those.

Katrina said...

Looks great! I made mine wrinkle-free as well, and I think the coconuts and regular nuts more than made up for it.

rebekka said...

Beautiful cake! Looks like a big, fluffy coconut cloud!

Bumblebutton said...

Nice job--and one your hubby will surely appreciate! If that is running out of umph, I wonder what it is like when you don't!

Melissa said...

Looks great! Did you at least eat the cupcakes? I left out the raisins too...they don't belong in carrot cake if you ask me!

Carrie said...

I also left out the raisins.
The cake looks great, I'm sure your hubby will love it!

CB said...

Welcome to TWD! Cake turned out yummy! I hope your hubbie loves it!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

kim said...

beautiful job! love the idea of freezing for your husband too:) i don't like raisins either, so i used cranberries, which were surprisingly good!

bakingwiththeboys said...

Welcome to the group! I am sure your cake will taste as good as it looks!

Jayne said...

Your cake looks so lovely!! Nice job! Welcome to TWD!

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

Lovely carrot cakes! Welcome on board - this is such a delightful group.

Shari said...

Looks great! Welcome to the group!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Very cute cupcakes! Welcome to TWD! Wrinkle free - haha!

Emily said...

This is my first week with TWD as well. Your cake is so cute!!

Chez US said...

Your cake is so pretty!

Jennifer said...

What a wonderful surprise for your husband. Welcome!

mimi said...

welcome to TWD! what a great cake to start out with, yours look terrific! your husband will surely enjoy the treat. i found the icing to be a little too thin as well.

Donna said...

Love your cake! Looks beautiful and luscious!

Sweet and Savory Eats said...

Welcome to the group. Great job on your first challenge.

Sharon said...

Welcome to TWD. That cake looks great. Yum!

Andrea said...

Really well done. The whiteness of your coconut looks so pristine. It was my first week with Dorie as well.