Sunday, 17 February 2013

Juuust Right: Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Sometimes size matters. A lot.

Sometimes, a cupcake just won't cut it. Too much frosting heaped on a disappointing little nubbin of cake. No.

Then again, a full-sized cake can be a challenge. A cake that sits around, challenging everyone in the house to break the one-slice-a-day limit of the post-holiday season. A cake that gets a little bit more dry every day, pressuring you to eat more than you really want. And cake is a terrible thing to waste.

Never fear! The geniuses of bake ware design have actually thought of this problem. Hello, 7 inch cake pan. My ideal, not-too-big-not-too-small cake pan, perfect for the Goldilocks within.

So this carrot cake recipe is for a 7 inch pan (it's pretty much my--slightly adapted-- carrot cake muffin recipe, baked in a cake pan and slathered with cream cheese deliciousness. I might possibly have mentioned that carrot cake is my absolute favorite cake. Ever. And this one turned out pretty darn well. It's delicately spiced and filled with scrumptious raisins and slivers of carrots. The aromatic orange oil is delicious, cutting creaminess of the frosting but orange zest and a little juice will do just as well.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
for a 7 inch cake pan

1 1/4 cups all purpose/plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon orange essence/oil
2 1/2 cups grated carrot
1/2 cup golden raisins

Preheat the oven to 350º F (180º C).

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs thoroughly, until light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar and combine well. Add the oil, vanilla, and orange.

Now gradually fold in the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Finally, add the grated carrots and raisins.

Pour batter into a greased pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

1/2 cup (1 stick, 113 grams) unsalted butter
4 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup superfine sugar
a couple drops of orange essence
a couple drops of vanilla extract

Cream the butter until it's light and fluffy. Add the sugar and thoroughly combine them before adding the cream cheese. Beat the mixture until it's all combined and has become smooth and then add the orange and vanilla.

When the cake has completely cooled, it can be iced. Store the iced cake in the fridge because the cream cheese in the frosting won't keep when at room temperature!

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