Monday, August 06, 2007

Damn this was great
--Martha Turner’s Carrot Cake

Martha Turner’s Carrot Cake
Perfect Cakes Copyright 2002

Cake batter:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cups vegetable oil, such as corn or canola
2 cups peeled and finely grated carrots
One 8-ounce can crushed pineapple in juice
¾ cup pecans, coarsely chopped I omitted these

Cream Cheese Icing:
Since I made a 9x13-inch cake in the pan, I used 8 oz cream cheese, 1 stick butter, 1 box confectioner's sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla (no nuts) to frost the cake. It was plenty of frosting.
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped and lightly toasted
6 cups confectioners sugar, sifted after measuring

1. Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Prepare three 2-inch deep 9-inch round cake pans, buttered and bottoms lined with buttered parchment or wax paper. I greased and floured a 9x13-inch pan.
2. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a bowl, mixing well.
3. Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the sugar and continue whisking briefly until light, about 1 minute. Whisk in the oil in a slow stream.
4. Stir in the carrots, the pineapple with its juice, and the pecans, then fold in the dry ingredients. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the tops.
5. Bake for about 45 minutes, switching the position of the pans top and bottom and back to front, once during baking, until the cake layers are firm and golden and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean.
6. Cool the cake in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto racks to finish cooling. Remove the paper before icing.
7. To make the icing, in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla on medium speed until very soft and light, about 5 minutes. Decrease the mixer speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Once all the sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes longer.
8. To assemble the cake, place one layer on a platter or cardboard round and spread with one-third of the icing. Top with another layer and spread with another third of the icing. Place the last layer on top, bottom side up, and, using a large offset spatula, frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining icing. Sprinkle the toasted pecan pieces on top of the cake, and press into sides.

This cake was wonderful and if I'm not qualified to decide that after eating about a ten pieces of it, I don't know who is. I just couldn't stop eating it. This is a very dense, moist cake. I made a 9x13-inch cake instead of layers so I had to wing the cooking time. I tried to follow the same baking instructions of the banana cake recipe I make. Both the banana cake and carrot cake dipped in the middle for me. I used the same frosting recipe as the banana cake and covered that dip right up. The recipe is the same as the one listed here, just a smaller amount since I didn't make a layer cake.

This is the second cake I've made from this book. I wasn't thrilled with the Buttermilk Cake Layers that I made into cupcakes. They were fine, but plain. I wasn't rushing to try another recipe from this book but this carrot cake recipe has earned this book a treasured spot in my collection.

So the cookout is over and I can relax. It was so hot on Saturday. I tried to enjoy it as best I could but the heat really brought me down. It's very difficult to serve food outdoors in the high 90s. Not the best year although I think worrying about rain is worse than melting in the heat.

So it will be leftovers all week for us. It's weird not to be cooking from cookbooks this week although I'm sort of looking forward to it.

Blast From The Past: Greek Beef & Rice from July 2006. That was very simple, very good. A good use of zucchini too.

Question of the Day: Do you like carrot cake?


Randi said...

Love carrot cake. I've been using the Blue Ribbon carrot cake from Portland Junior League.

Tom(Tino) made the bread. He made it for the Egullet Heartland Gathering we had in Cleveland. Maybe he'll give up the recipe. I'll ask him.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That carrot cake looks fabulous and moist! Yummy!

Anonymous said...

What's not to like? But, I can say that about any cake, except red velvet, maybe. Do red velvets always have a slightly bitter taste or was it just the one I sampled?

I made the cooked radishes and I really liked them. I was in the minority, however. Even my husband, who likes them raw, didn't care for them.

So glad you're back!


Anonymous said...

I don't like carrots so I've never been very fond of carrot cake. Of course most of the ones I've had have been very dry with really sweet frostings.

Anonymous said...

I love carrot cake. It's got carrots so it must be healthy, right? haha

Actually, I like it better with little or no frosting although cream cheese frosting would make cardboard taste good!

This recipe looks like a "must try". Thanks for reviewing it so thoroughly. lol

Unknown said...

Oh yeah! I can't wait to pick a recipe and try one this fall. Right now it's just too hot IMO for carrot cake.

Anonymous said...

I like carrot cake -- yum! This one looks like a great recipe, too. Glad you tried it and it was such a success!

Red Dirt Mummy said...

I like carrot cake but I wouldn't say I love it. I usually find it too dry and if it is nice and moist then it tends to have pineapple in it so I can't eat it anyway :(

Anonymous said...

The Silver Palate Cookbook (original???) has a recipe for a carrot cake that calls for cooked/pureed carrots. That one would be moist even with the pineapple omitted!

Unknown said...

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