First of all, let me apologize for the poor photo quality. It was nighttime, and my father's birthday, so I didn't want to make a fuss about taking cake pictures before the man got to eat.
Over it? So am I. Moving on. My dad's all-time favorite dessert is carrot cake, and since I'm finally in town for his birthday, I got to make him one from scratch! It turned out really well--the right texture (thanks to the carrots, walnuts, golden raisins, coconut, and crushed pineapple) and the right amount of sweetness, thanks to the cream cheese frosting. Honestly, there could have been more frosting in my book. But I always want more frosting. So maybe that's just me.
While the coconut paired well with the carrots in terms of texture, it didn't add much in terms of flavor. There was general agreement that the amount of coconut should be increased for next time. If you do end up adding extra, let me know how it turns out!
Mmm, frosting . . .
Recipe for Carrot CakeSlightly adapted from Simply ScratchMakes 2 9-inch cakes (for one layer cake).
Ingredients:2 cups all-purpose flour2-1/2 tsp baking powder2 tsp ground cinnamon1/4 tsp nutmeg3/4 cup butter
1-1/2 cups sugar3 eggs1/2 cup whole milk2 cups grated carrots (I used two jumbo-sized carrots)1 cup shredded coconut3/4 cup chopped walnuts1 cup golden raisins1 8-oz. can crushed pineapple1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened1/4 cup butter, softened1 tsp vanilla extract1 16-oz. package powdered sugarInstructions:For the Cake:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg until combined. Set aside.Beat butter and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one and a time, and mix well. *Alternating,* add flour mixture and milk
, beating well after each addition. Mix in carrots, coconut, pineapple, raisins, and walnuts; mix well. Pour evenly into prepared pans.Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool in pans 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks. For the Frosting:With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a medium bowl until well combined. Gradually sift in powdered sugar, beating well after each addition. To assemble, remove parchment paper and place one layer upside down on a serving platter and spread a layer of frosting. Cover with remaining cake layer (upside down), remove parchment paper, and spread top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Store in the refrigerator.
I'm back from China, and that means I'm back in the kitchen . . . Baking. I'm trying not to go crazy and make every cookie, brownie, and cake recipe I've pinned on Pinterest, but it's tough knowing that come August, I won't have my own kitchen (much less oven). Life in Libo, China will be decidedly less sweet, but on the bright side, I will get to eat as many sea cucumbers and chicken feet as my little heart desires. Oh, no. Sad face.
So I've been back for a few weeks now, and I've only baked two things! (I think that means I get to bake more things soon! Maybe even today!)
We had six over-ripe bananas in our kitchen when I returned from China, and I know my mom was leaving them out (and not throwing them in the compost) as a hint for me to make something. Even if she denies it . . . We also had half a bag of Ghiradelli mini chocolate chips in the pantry, and to prevent my younger brother from consuming the rest of the bag before I got to use them,
I threw them in the muffins.I doubled this recipe since we had six bananas, and it made a TON of batter--probably enough for 30 muffins. I only have two muffin trays, so I filled the cups up high and put the remaining batter in a ramekin, resulting in 24 regular muffins and one GIANT muffin.Recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip MuffinsFrom Keep Your Diet RealMakes 12 regular sized muffins.Ingredients:1 cup whole wheat flour1 cup all-purpose flour1/2 cup packed brown sugar1 tbsp baking powder
(I know, it seems like a lot!)1 tsp baking soda1/2 tsp salt1 cup mini chocolate chips3 mashed ripe bananas1/3 cup canola oil2 eggs1 tbsp vanilla extractInstructions:Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and place liners in a muffin pan. In a large bowl, mash bananas with a potato masher or fork. Add the sugar, oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla; mix well. In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda,
and salt, stirring with a whisk.Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir with a spatula just until combined. Do not overmix, or the muffins will be tough. Fold in the chocolate chips. Fill the muffin cups with
batter and bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops of the muffins spring back (and do not sink) when pressed with a finger and a toothpick comes out clean.