People often ask me why I switched from being a four-star-restaurant pastry chef to making pastries in a bakery . If I could give them only one example of why, it would be a slice of this carrot cake. Restaurant desserts are like the popular kids in high school: beautiful, dressed up, suave, well put together on the outside ... and on the inside sometimes they are truly wonderful and sometimes they still need a little more work. Bakery pasteries, on the other hand, don't hide inside a fancy exterior. You can't gussie up a cookie or a scone or a slice of cake. What you see is what you get, so whatever you get had better be pretty darn good on its own. Like this carrot cake. It is the best version of carrot cake I've ever eaten: incredibly moist crumb; loads of shredded carrots, raisins, and toasted walnuts; and a sweet-but-not-too sweet cream cheese frosting. One bite and you'll know why it always gets voted
"most popular"- based on its taste alone.
Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch cake pan (or line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners).
Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or a handheld mixer), beat together the eggs and brown sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mixture is light and thick. (This step will take 8 to 10 minutes if using a handheld mixer.) In a small bowl or pitcher, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. On low speed, slowly pour the oil mixture into the egg-sugar mixture. This should take about 30 seconds.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the eggsugarmixture. VVhen most of the flour mixture has been incorporated., add the
carrots, raisins, and walnuts and continue to fold until the batter is homogeneous.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan (or divide evenly among the prepared
Bake the cake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes (or the cupcakes for about 50
minutes), or until the top is golden brown and splings back when pressed in the
middle with a fingettip. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
To make the frosting: VVhile the cake is baking, put the cream cheese in the
stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on medium speed for
about 1 minute, or until smooth. If you have forgotten to take the cream cheese out
of the refligerator 4 hours in advance, you can soften it in a microwave on medium
power for 30 seconds. Add the butter and continue to beat for another 1minute.
Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the confectioners' sugar. Beat for 1
more minute, or until well mixed. You should have about 31h cups.
Cover the frosting and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before using to allow it to finn
up enough to pipe and spread. (The frosting can be made up to 5 days in advance
and stored in an ailtight container in the refiigerator.)
To make carrot strips (if using): Peel the carrot with a vegetable peeler. Then,
using the peeler, press firmly to cut lengthwise paper-thin strips from the carrot.
Depending on the size of the carrot, you should have 6 to 10 long ships.
In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar and water and bling to a boil
over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the carrot strips and boil for 10
seconds. Remove from the heat and let the ships cool completely in the syrup. (The
strips can be stored in the syrup in an ailtight container in the refiigerator for up to
Remove the cake from the pan and split it into two layers (see Splittin~ a Cake
into Lavers). Place the bottom layer, cut-side up, on a cake plate. Spoon about half
of the frosting onto the layer and, using an offset spatula, spread it evenly to the
edges. Place the top layer, cut-side down, on top and press down to adhere. Spoon
on about 1 cup of the frosting and spread it over the top and down the sides of the
cake. This is the crumb coat (see Applvin~ a Crumb Coat), which will keep any
loose ctumbs from migrating to the surface of the finished cake. Spoon the
remaining frosting on top of the cake, and spread it evenly across the top and down
the sides. If using the carrot ships for decoration, lift the cooled strips from the
syrup and blot gently to remove the excess syrup. Coil the ships into little spirals
and place them whimsically on the cake.
(If you have baked cupcakes, remove them from the muffin tin. Fit a pastly bag
with a 112-inch star tip and fill the bag with the frosting (see Fillin~ A Pastrv Ba~),
then pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. Or, spread the frosting on the cupcakes
with an icing spatula.)
The cake (or cupcakes) can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator
for up to 3 days. It is best served a little cooler than room temperature, so remove it
from the refrigerator about 2 hou
View line-by-line Nutrition Insights™: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.
|Serving Size: 1 Serving (208g)|
|Recipe Makes: 12 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 470 (56%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 52.2g||70 %|
|Saturated Fat 19.1g||96 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 18.3g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 10.3g|
|Cholesterol 73mg||22 %|
|Sodium 466.5mg||16 %|
|Potassium 210.3mg||6 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 93.8g||28 %|
|Dietary Fiber 0.9g||4 %|
|Sugars, other 92.9g|
|Protein 5.3g||8 %|
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Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.
Calories per serving: 845
Get detailed nutrition information, including item-by-item nutrition insights, so you can see where the calories, carbs, fat, sodium and more come from.
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