I had a certainly intense week…
I spent time with friends I had missed and haven’t seen for a while. Funny enough even though one is now close to being married, two of them are pregnant, one is married and growing in her catering business, the other still speaks like a little excited chiwawa but is now a successful young entrepreneur within their family business, another still walks around with Venezuelan Rum but is now in a different state of mind, (I can’t tell where I stand) things seem like time hasn’t passed, like we were 5 years back (only skinnier – for everyone – ) as carefree and twice as excited… I love i!
I also got a professional proposition that definitely affected the direction in which I saw my life going so far. I had intense talks with my brother; we shared long laughter, a super American burger and of course had small fights. I helped a friend cook for the first baby-shower I go to (here, in Lebanon, we congratulate the mother after the baby is born rather than celebrate it’s future arrival). I also realized I missed dressing up (I was Cleopatra for Halloween).
I guess I’ve had so much junk food this past week that carrot cake for me today sounded like “salad plate”. But I promise you each mouthful of this little piece of heaven is worth every calorie…
Ingredients for cake:
- 450 g of carrots
- 2 1/2 cups of flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 3 small pinches of salt to put on the eggs before beating
- 1/2 teaspoon of ginger
- one pinch of grounded nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of cinanamon
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 340g of butter
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of walnuts (crushed or finely shopped)
- 1/2 cup of water
Ingredients for the cream cheese frosting:
I use less frosting than most people do! I don’t like it when there is too much cream! So depending on your taste, you might have to double the proportions here.
(NB: measurements cannot always be divided or multiplied. Here they can)
- 225 g of cream cheese (Philadelphia for example)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 110g of butter
- 400 g of confectionery sugar (fr.: sucre glace)
- Preheat the oven at 180C
- Peel and grate the carrots.
- In a large bowl: flour + baking powder + baking soda + 1/2tsp of salt + ginger + nutmeg + cinnamon. Whisk together.
- In another bowl: Butter + sugar + brown sugar. Mix on medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Reduce the speed and add the eggs (one at a time). When one egg is the mix, add a small pinch of salt on the egg before mixing. And Mix until well combined. Repeat the same process with the two remaining eggs.
- Beat well.
- Add the vanilla while still mixing, then the water, and then the carrots. Mix well until well combined.
- Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture.
- Then add the walnuts
- Butter the 2 similar (ideally round and not too big cake pans. between 18 to 25 cm should be ok. You’ll have a more or less pop-up cake). Add flour so that the flour will stick on the butter and the cake will not stick. Dump the remaining flour in the second cake pan.
- Pour in the batter in the pans and bake for about 35 or until toothpick comes out clean from the center.
- Turn the oven off and keep the cakes in the oven for a 3 to 4 minutes inside.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the frosting (if you have prepared the frosting in advanced, keep it in the refrigerator, but remember it should be used at room temperature):
- In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed: cream cheese and vanilla. Beat well.
- gradually add the butter (at room temperature) until well combined.
- Gradually add the sugar and mix on a low speed for at least 3 minutes.
For the layered cake:
- Remove the cakes from the pans.
- The lower level cake should be used up-side-down so as to have a flat area on which to spread the frosting.
- Spread with a spatula as much frosting cream as you feel is right. I would suggest not more than 1cup though.
- Top with the second cake and again spread frosting cream. I would suggest not more than 1 1/3 cup
- You can also spread the frosting cream on the sides if you have prepared enough for it. (To be able to spread frosting on the sides, you should have doubled the proportions I suggested.
- Serve Directly or refrigerate a bit before serving.
- Indulge with people you love…