Tuesday, July 6, 2010

.. but it's good for your eyes...!

I've developed a love-hate relationship with Martha Stewart over the last 10 years. It only makes sense that a woman who churns out so many recipes would produce a few duds and an occasional doozie. For the moment, she's in my good graces. Martha might have to come to my home and probably throw out my Hari Raya Rendang or Roasted Chicken 15 minutes before the 'family get-together-makan' starts to undo all the good she has done with this carrot cake recipe.

Carrot cake isn't really something that's ever made me sit up in the middle of the night. The cream cream cheese frosting that typically adorns such a cake...yes. The cake itself... hmm...not so much.

Veggies for dessert - it's an oxymoron. And blasphemy..!

Anyway, this cake is simpe the best carrot cake I've ever baked AND eaten (clap..clap..).
The cake is moist. It isn't overly spiced - I thinks that the cinnamon and fresh ginger is perfect enough. The cream cheese frosting? ... Well, that just goes without saying.

Sharing the recipe:

with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Unsalted butter - to grease baking pan
3 cups - All Purpose Four (plus more for baking pan)
1 cup - Peacan / Walnut / Hazel (chopped)
2 1/2 cups - Carrot (peel & shredded)
3 large Eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk
(if you dont have buttermilk, you can substitute with:
1/3 cup milk+1 tbspn vinegar/apple cider - stir & let it rest for about 3 minutes)
1 tspn - Vanilla Extract
2 cups - Castor Sugar (I prefer less sweet, so I used Brown Sugar)
1 1/2 cups - Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 tbspn - Freshly grated Ginger
2 tsp - Baking Powder
1 tsp - Bicarbonate Soda
1tsp - Salt
1 1/2 tspn - Ground Cinnamon
Heat oven 375 deg. Butter a 8x2 inc round cake pan.
Dust pan with flour and tap out the excess. Set pan aside.
Roast all the nuts in the oven until lightly golden, and let it cool completely-chopped-set aside.
Place carrot, eggs, buttermilk, vanila, sugar, vegetable oil, and ginger - whisk until combined.
In another bowl, fold the flour mixture into carrot mixture until combined and add toasted nuts.
Pour batter in cake pan, and bake until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
Transfer to wire rack to cool (about 15 mins).
Then turn cake out onto rack - let stand until completely cool.

If desired, using a serated knife, trim tops of the cakes so surfaces are level (I'm not bothered 'coz it will be wasted).
Slice cake in half horizontally. Place a layer on a cake stand or board and spread 3/4 frosting.
Sandwich and assemble the cake. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and the side of the assembled cake. Transfer to refrigerator, and chill 3-4 hours.
3/4 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
500 gm - Cream Cheese (room temperature)
3 cups - Icing Sugar
1 tbspn - freshly grated Orange Zest
2 tbspn - freshly grated Ginger
Pinch of Salt
Splash of Orange Juice
Place butter in a bowl, beat with electric mixer until fluffy. Add cream cheese, beat until well combined and fully. Add the remaining ingredients and beat for another 5 mins more.
Use immediately or store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two days.

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