|I have really become fearless when it comes to food these days.... I just have a new attitude on it all. If it works out great, if not, no biggie. At least I have tried it... and who knows I might just pull it off....|
I have been flipping through the Donna Hay Modern Classics 2 book lately, lusting over the food porn, and settled in on the lovely Carrot Cake recipe. I needed this Carrot Cake. I needed the familiar comfort of it... the cinnamon, the walnuts, the cream cheese. I just wanted something old fashioned and something to which my family wouldn't say " What is that??" I didn't feel like having to explain the dessert... I just wanted it to be. And it was.
I used the Donna Hay recipe as a jumping off point; adding in pineapple, coconut and walnuts. I love this cake... I had to give it away so I wouldn't stand in the kitchen, hovering over the stove at 2 am and inhale it all....
The frosting was (finally) perfect. My mother called me after I dropped it off to tell me that she was tempted to lick all the frosting off the cake. Wow... now that is a bold statement! Usually I just get a "Yeah Sister (they call me sister) that is pretty good" and it is left at that. I am not sure if they are becoming jaded to desserts or if my baking is just really that bad....
The cake was (finally) moist and light and yet dense all at the same time. Hearty. I think the pineapple along with the VERY coarsely grated carrots added quite a bit of moisture...
I topped it all off with toasted coconut and it was the perfect addition. Again, nice and clean and simple and old fashioned. Just what this girl needed.....
Here is the Donna Hay and Chan collaboration, for Sweetnicks!
1 cup pecans or walnuts
2 1/2 cups grated raw carrots
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cups crushed pineapple
1 cup shredded coconut
Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz (2 pkgs) cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Finely grated lemon zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Combine brown sugar and vegetable oil in bowl of electric mixer and beat until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time, and beating well after each addition. Combine dry ingredients in bowl and sift well. Add dry mixture to sugar mixture and mix until incorporated. Add in carrots, pineapple, walnuts and coconut. Mix until combined.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter or spray two - 9 x 2 inch (23 x 5 cm) cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 5 -10 minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pans and parchment paper, and then cool completely before frosting.
Combine all ingredients for frosting in bowl of electric mixer. Mix on medium speed about 3-5 minutes LONGER than you think is necessary…. This gives the frosting fluffy lightness. Spread onto cooled cake and garnish with toasted coconut…..