Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cake Time, Take One

I did it! I conquered the last of the eleven pounds of carrots from my yard in one sweet, fell swoop. And what says harvest time better than goodies straight from the garden?? So, when I made this super-decadent, moist and completely scrumptious carrot cake for the weekend's festivities, I "pulled" inspiration quite literally from my surroundings. The carrots, obviously, were garden-grown, and the applesauce home-made from local apples. The unusual, but perfectly at-home addition of strawberries was also a locally harvested treat! Even the canola oil I used is Canadian in origin, as was the flaxseed (though I think it's from the prairies, not Ontario). All these ingredients, plus (obviously) imported macadamia nuts, pineapple and ground almonds married into one heck of a Thanksbirthday dessert, which was one of the best I've ever made, if I do say so myself. The macadamias made this cake, I think... I pre-roasted them before chopping them up and adding them with the ground almonds, and the buttery goodness they added is worth so much more than the cost of them! If you're looking to impress, this is the cake for you, I promise!

I did have to make two cakes this year to please everyone since my sister only eats chocolate cake (so I'll tell you about that one tomorrow) and cut each cake in half so I'd be able to give everybody in the family a taste, so when it came time to decorate the cakes I went for a kind of cutesey, witty type of decoration.

What do you think? The carrot cake's the white-frosted one, and I tell you, manouvering the cake halves to make "one" cake is not easy! Three knives, three plates and a scary couple seconds balancing two of the surfaces at once was all it took before I got to the cheesy decoration job at hand. It was a hit though, and this shot is of my grandpa's cake from Saturday. The other one (same idea, same cakes, different design) I'll have to show you tomorrow - it wound up being Martha's daughter Keri's birthday cake!

Use your favourite frosting for this carrot cake - mine's a pretty basic version just like Elise's but using 1/3 cup of shortening instead of butter (yes, I know!). I added a touch of lemon zest and juice too, instead of the vanilla.

Double-Triple Carrot Cake
Serves 16
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup long-cooking oats
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/2 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/2 cup boiling water
1 egg
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup applesauce
2/3 cup crushed pineapple with juice
1/2 cup pureed strawberries
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 10" pans.
  2. Whisk together flours, oats, almonds, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, combine flax seed and water. Let stand 10 minutes.
  4. Add egg and sugars and beat until creamy.
  5. Beat in buttermilk, oil, applesauce, pineapple, strawberries, ginger and vanilla.
  6. Gently but thoroughly beat in flour mixture.
  7. Fold in carrots and chopped macadamia nuts.
  8. Bake 50 minutes, or until tests done.
  9. Allow to cool 1 hour minimum before turning out of pans and cooling completely.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 264.7
Total Fat: 11.9 g
Cholesterol: 13.7 mg
Sodium: 54.6 mg
Total Carbs: 37.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.0 g
Protein: 4.5 g

After frosting, decorating and slicing, feel free to step back and admire the gorgeous cutaway view you'll be rewarded with! The devour it as fast as you can - you won't be able to stop yourself!

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

awesome pics and awesome baking