Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A CARROT-Carrot Cake - Dramatic but AMAZINGLY Easy!

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Food Network MagazineAlright, credit due...

This is (visually) almost a 100% copy of the cake that is shown in an old copy of FOOD NETWORK MAGAZINE.

It was last year's Easter/Spring issue.  As always, this month is packed full of recipes, stories and a couple of contests.  Said it before, worth repeating, this is my favorite of all the foodie related magazines.  Largely because of recipes like this...

To the left is a photo of their version of the carrot cake.  There were a couple of glaring problems that separate theirs from my version. First, their carrot cake is a pound cake inside.  How they missed the obvious of making a carrot-carrot cake is beyond me; but I decided this screamed a real CARROT-carrot shaped cake.  Next is something they found that I could not...

Their greenery is a "5-ounce bag green apple sour straws".  I went to two different candy stores, but was not able to find the candy that looked like this.  I was surprised, and I am sure that once I stop looking, I will be seeing bags of this candy everywhere, but this weekend, there were no "5-ounce bag green apple sour straws" to be found.

BUT... I was making up a nice big batch of Jambalaya (because much as I wanted, I knew it would be rude to just serve the cake to company).  I was pondering my alternatives to the candy straws.  If I had more time, I probably would have made candied Orange Peels and used some food coloring to get the right look.

Instead, I just saved the leafy greens from the celery I was going to use in my Jambalaya.  Not perfect, as it wasn't candy like the Magazine.  But I think it added to the authenticity of my CARROT-Carrot Cake.

SO, if you like, take a look at their version by clicking THIS LINK.  It is very simple, as it uses a frozen pound cake and a "tub of icing", which I assume means store bought.  Nothing wrong with that, easy, fast and dramatic is a good thing.  But that's not how we roll in the Cul de Sac!

Here's my recipes (and there will be plenty of HOW TO decorating photos after the recipes)...


1 cup Sugar
1 cup Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
3/4 cup Canola Oil
2 large Eggs
1 cup Walnut pieces
1 cup Tropical Trio (Pineapple, Papya, Mango) Find them next to the Raisins

1 1/2 cup grated Carrots
1/2 cup canned crushed Pineapple (include all but 2 TBS of the juice... Reserve the 2 TBS for the frosting)
1 tsp Pineapple Rum (why not!  can substitute Vanilla extract)
1 TBS Ground Cinnamon

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients
  • Add one egg and the oil... Whisk, add the second egg, whisk
  • Add the walnuts, carrots and pineapple, whisk
  • Add the rum and cinnamon.. whisk
  • oil and flour the bottom of one loaf pan
  • fill pan with batter
  • bake for @60 minutes (use the toothpick method to check that the center of the cake is done, you all know that trick)

And here's the Pineapple Cream Cheese recipe...

1 8 oz package Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Butter
2 TBS pineapple juice from the can of crushed pineapple used in the cake
1 tsp Pineapple Rum (WHY NOT AGAIN???  You can sub Vanilla Extract)
1 cup Confectioner's Sugar
Cream together the butter and cream cheese

  • Add the juice and rum and cream again
  • Slowly add the sugar and continue to cream
  • Let the cake cool completely before you frost

Add food coloring to make the icing orange.  I used the Wilton gel.  About twice as much yellow as I used red.  Add slowly till you get the color you like.

OK, now to the decorating part.

Long time readers know that I am not a talented cake decorator.  The finished cake in my mind's eye is never the finished cake on the plate.

This time, it came out just like I envisioned it...

First, allow the cake to completely cool before you start decorating.  In fact, put it in the fridge so it is VERY cool.  Less crumbs.

In order to get the long carrot shape, you are going to cut a wedge from the both sides of the cake as shown here...

Next, you will take those points, trim a little off the pottom so the points angle downward and "glue" them together and to the ends of the loaf using a little icing as shown here...

I didn't take a photo of this step, but you can see what I am talking about in the next photo.  I trimmed a bit around the loaf so i got a more rounded shape to the "carrot".

Then I did a "crumb layer" of frosting.  Take a small amount of frosting, add an extra bit of eater to get an almost runny batch of icing.  Use this to get a thin layer of frosting on the cake.  Then pop it in the fridge for about 30 minutes for it to harden.  This prevents those crumbs from coming out of the cake and into your finished icing layer.  Like this...

And next...

Ice the cake... Not too thick (once you add the jelly beans, you get plenty of sweet, no need to pile on).

Hey LOOK...

It looks like a carrot...

But for the final layer, add orange jelly beans... Be neat and work in rows...

And finally, add a bit of greenery out the back.  I just stuck in some of the leafy bits of a celery stalk.  Or use "5-ounce bag green apple sour straws".

We had a small party with a few rare children.  Their mom swore they would not eat carrot cake.

They ate every bit (even the carrots)...


This simple recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Cakes and Pies at Home"!

These are the desserts you make for your family.  No fancy amazing wedding cakes, just the rustic beauty of the classics.  From pumpkin pie to cheesecakes to layer cakes, these are what your family craves for dessert.  You may even see a few unusual crusts and frosting ideas to try.

You get the idea. These recipes are simple, delicious and will have your family wanting dessert first...


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