Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Carious: Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Cranberries and Pistachio

OMG YUM. Seriously, that was all I can think about when I'm eating my first slice. And the next slice. And the next. Speaking of which, I'm having another slice right now. URGH.

The cake is moist, the toasted nuts a treat, the overt amount of frosting a real sin (which frosting isn't?) and the cranberries and pistachio a visual stimulation.

Caries warning
Having sweet treats too often encourages bacteria growth and destruction of tooth enamel. Hence, it's recommended to have your sweet treats during your meal times to reduce the number of times the tooth enamel undergoes destruction.
Remember to brush and floss your teeth daily! =)

There's something really sexy about red and green that complements so well.. Case in point.


The idea of having pistachio and cranberries came from Siena, this amazing 9 year old lass from Australia's Masterchef Junior. She's the most beautiful little girl with an air of confidence that puts me to shame. Sigh, got a lot more to learn! Her dish was pheasant stuffed with cranberries and pistachio.

oo! goes well with pheasant? must go well with everything then!

Carrots were used in sweet cakes because sugar and sweeteners were expensive and not easily available and that carrots contain high levels of sugar. Besides, carrots are high in beta carotene (for retina and hence, eyesight) and Vitamin A. All good stuff.
From Wikipedia of course!
whee! *goes for another slice*

Original recipe from here.

Once again, I shrunk the recipe to 2-egg because my baking pan is small, 9 inch diameter by 2 inch height. In retrospect, it should have been 3-egg recipe for the pan AND a better cake to frosting ratio.

1/2 cup (50 grams) pecans or walnuts
1 large raw carrot, about 1 1/2 cups finely grated
1 cups (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
3/4 cups (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) canola oil (or other flavorless oil)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chuck the nuts into the oven and toast them for 5 minutes. I set the heat at 180 deg C so as to preheat the oven anyway.

Finely grate the carrot and complain about the humidity in Singapore.


Throw in the cuppa flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt and sieve them into a separate bowl.

In a large bowl, beat the egg till slightly frothy/foamy and throw in the sugar. Then, take out the anger of the humidity and beat the egg till its thick and light colored (as above)

Slowly pour in the cuppa oil while whisking it. Canola oil is rich in mono-unsaturated fat so don't feel so guilty! Peanut oil on the other hand...
I've made this recipe 3 times. The first time, I cut 50% of the oil and it turned out crumbly and dry. The second time I cut away 30% of the oil and 20% of the sugar and it was still crumbly and dry because sugar is hydrophilic (water-loving) and helps in maintaining the moisture of the cake. This time, I threw in all the sugar and oil and it's nicely moist and the perfect hit on the sweet-ometer. So if you're looking for a cake lower in calories but still as good, I guess you just gotta have a smaller slice?

Then, pour in the dry ingredients and gently stir the mixture until the dry ingredients have JUST been moistened and incorporated. Don't overmix it cause the leavening (rising agents) will work too quickly and the cake will end up slightly dense and flat.

Then, toss in the nuts and grated large carrot in stir gently. And of course, the customary finger poke taste test. For best results, repeat the poke test at least 3 times. =)

Some recipes suggest putting apple sauce/apple puree/crushed pineapples to help keep the cake moist. I've put crushed pineapples into the cake before. The pineapples tasted good but I thought that there was too much going on in the cake. Nuts, carrots, pineapples, frosting. Hurhhhhh????

Bake the batter in the oiled baking pan/pan lined with baking paper at 180deg for 20 minutes or until brown and the poke of a stick comes out clean.

And now, my favorite part of every cake. THE FROSTING! Admittedly this recipe made twice as much frosting as required but I used it all on the cake anyway cause I was too lazy to find a box to store the excess. Well, if some is good, more must be better!

250g of cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups of icing sugar (I used 1/2 a cup cause I just couldn't bring myself to do 2 cups.)
1/4 cup (57grams) of unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
juice of 1/2 an orange

For a smoother frosting, whisk the butter and cream cheese together first and slowly sift in the icing sugar. But really, just chuck them all into bowl and whisk the life outta em. It'll still turn out good.

Once again, the finger poke test. For frosting, repeat it at least 5 times. =D

Green and red is ♥


Pressure points and top tips! (from trial and error) =D
1) Don't overmix the batter or else the cake will not rise. Gently fold in the carrots and nuts and quickly pour them into the pan.

2)Don't cut the oil and sugar. Instead, share the calories with your friends and make em happy. Com'on, trust Distracted Student on this.

3)Refrigerate the frosting a little if it is too runny to be spread. 10minutes will harden it up sufficiently to be spreadable. Singapore is SO HOT that my cheese and butter softened while I walked home from the supermarket 10mins away. Oh well, makes for easier whisking!

4)Don't use up all the frosting on that 2-egg recipe if you aren't a frosting junkie like me.

5) FINELY grate the carrots. There are several sizes on the grater. Choose the SMALLEST sized for grating. I used to use the larger ones and the carrot taste wasn't as strong. Not to mention, it makes the cake almost uncuttable without ruining the texture on the sides.

Now go share some love and calories! =D

1 comment:

  1. Mr Distracted Student... I love the references to caries! You forgot to advise drinking water after the slice of cake and if possible, eat it together with a meal.. Stephen's curve.. remember!

    Anyway, the cake looks AMAZING!!! Will be starting my baking/cooking adventure when inspiration calls! For now.. I love this BLOG! =)


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