I discovered some interesting things while making this cake, such as the fact that 350 degrees F is not hot enough to bake a cake in less than an hour ... it'll take you about 70-80 minutes at this temperature. This is OK, unless you really wanted to go play Rock Band and instead you stood in front of an oven for over an hour sweating and swearing.
But believe me, it was worth it ...
Carrot cake - Based on a recipe from the Frog Commissary
- 1 1/4 cups canola oil
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 cups coarsely grated carrots
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans (this is optional)
- 3/4 cup raisins (I like the red kind)
- 1-2 oz. of orange juice
- A healthy dash of dark rum
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground fresh ginger (or dry if you can't get fresh)
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 10-inch false bottom pan or regular cake pan
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, combine the raisins, orange juice and rum.
- With an electric mixer, cream the oil and sugar. Add the vanilla and one egg. Mix until combined.
- Sift the dry ingredients (flour, salt, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and baking powder) into a small bowl. If you are using fresh ginger, you can just add it to the wet mixture from step 3. If you don't have ground cloves, you can use a coffee grinder to grind some or a sledge hammer to smash some.
- Add the dry ingredients and eggs to the wet mixture, alternating between ingredients (dry mix, egg, dry mix, egg, dry mix, egg, dry mix).
- With a wooden spoon, stir in the grated carrots, raisins and leftover soaking juice/rum. Do not add all the juice/rum at once. Instead, add a little, mix and see how wet your mixture is. If it is silky, smooth and slightly runny, do not add anymore liquid. If it's a little dry, then add away.
- If you're using pecans, stir them in.
- Bake for 70 minutes and check. If it's not done, put it in for another 10 minutes. If the top is getting too brown, cover it with tin foil and then continue to bake it.
- Cool and frost.
Vanilla bean cream cheese icing
- 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, room temp
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Seeds from one vanilla bean
- Orange food coloring (optional) ... for fabulous carrot designs
- Green gel icing (optional)
2. Using a 1/2 cup at a time, add the confectioners sugar and mix. If you want a fairly stiff and sweet icing, add all the sugar. If you don't, still add all the sugar since it'll be better that way.
3. Frost and decorate! Attempt to find others to eat it so you don't eat the whole thing.