Friday, February 22, 2008

Carrot Cake

I came home today miserable, broken down, and determined to forget all about my day (and basically my life). What is that you're talking about? I don't have an adviser. Graduate student, what? Thesis, huh? Masters defense in a week...? I don't know what you're talking about, you must be referring to someone else. I just bake. And cook. And babysit.

So I headed to the supermarket, where I bought everything I needed...except lentils. Yes, that was the basis for the dinner I was planning on making. I had somehow convinced myself that there was a bag of lentils in the cabinet, but of course there wasn't. Luckily, this just allowed me to make a quick trip to the little (only) natural foods store in our town.

I got home at 4 (turned on the nice loud "musica urbana" station on the tv (bonus points if you can name 3 artists who would be played on this channel...and please forgive my taste in music), I'm sure my neighbors love me), and in an hour I managed to do 2 loads of laundry, get dinner ready, make rice pudding, clean my bedroom, wash dishes & eat soup. Yes, I was convinced I could forget.

While I did not necessarily succeed in completely letting go, I did make a yummy carrot cake instead. And actually, I did a pretty good job of not thinking too hard about that stupid email & its consequences all night. Oh, and I also succeeded in eating more sugar than I have in months.

Without further ado, the fruits of my labor:

*The original recipe used a bundt pan...I of course didn't, because I don't own one. Also, sometimes I drain the carrots, but the author of the recipe didn't, so I didn't either, and the amount of moisture was perfect. I soaked the raisins in hot water for about 10 minutes before I added them to the recipe, and I also tossed them with flour so they wouldn't add too much additional moisture to the recipe.*

Carrot Cake
adapted from Cookie Madness
changes noted in recipe, original recipe found here.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 large eggs
1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup applesauce
1 heaping packed cup shredded carrot
1 cup plumped raisins
1/3 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9x9 inch metal pan. Sprinkle with some flour.

In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg.

In a second bowl, stir together eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Add oil mixture to flour mixture and stir with a mixing spoon until blended.

Add applesauce and stir just until mixed, then stir in carrots, raisins and coconut. Pour mixture into pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then flip from pan. In the meantime, make the icing (below) & let the cake cool completely. When cake is cooled, spread icing onto cake.

Cream Cheese Icing
(I just concocted this as I went)

8 oz cream cheese, room temp
1 generous cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsp butter, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract

Throw all ingredients into small bowl & beat with an electric mixer. (Ok, maybe you're supposed to cream the butter & cream cheese first, which I sort of did, but basically the throwing it all into a bowl & mixing it worked for me!)

Honestly, I thought this would be good, but it was AMAZING. I really liked it...if you've never made a carrot cake before, now's the time! And I HATE carrots, so you should believe me. :)

Oh, I almost forgot...with the extra batter from the cake (I probably could have fit it all in the pan, but I had other plans for that batter) I made some carrot cake "cookies". Basically, I just added flour to the batter until I felt like they were cookie texture, then I put the batter in the fridge for 1/2 hour. There is a recipe for carrot cake cookies on Epicurious here but I didn't really use that recipe, so I can't vouch for how good it is. The reviews are really positive.

Ok, I'm going a little tangential here. Anyway, so I added some flour to the batter, put it in the fridge, spooned scoops of it onto the cookie sheet, baked them at 375 degrees F for about 10 minutes, and let them cool. Then I creamed together the extra icing & some vanilla ice cream, sandwiched 2 of the cookies with the icing ice cream, and put them in the freezer for a few hours. Possibly even more delicious than the carrot cake! No, wait, it's a tie.


Gretchen Noelle said...

Sorry life got super hectic overnight. Wonderful cake. I have never been big on coconut so I have never tried it in carrot cake. Maybe I need to try it?

White On Rice Couple said...

The life of a grad student is very stressful, tell me about it! But glad you were able to find comfort in baking this delicious carrot cake...and the cream cheese icing is the best part! :)

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Hooray for baking therapy! It would be tough to choose between the carrot cake and the carrot cookies. I'll take...both.

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

Yum carrot cake! My favorite part has got to be the frosting : )

Gretchen Noelle said...

Sarah - I tagged you for a meme!