Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Food: Carrot Cake

Several weekends ago when my family came to visit, my mother arrived bearing a freshly baked carrot cake. It's a recipe she's used for years and years and there's something about it that causes instant delight, which makes it a rather grand thing to share amongst friends. For example, this past October, mom brought one of her carrot cakes to my 30th birthday celebration. It was so popular, I ended up sending out the recipe to every female in attendance. One friend quickly wrote back and said she planned to make a cake the very next day. Talk about enthusiasm about a few cups of shredded-up carrots! The cake is nicely dense, perfectly spiced and has great textures - attributed to shredded carrots, plump and juicy raisins, crunchy walnuts and smooth, tangy frosting.

The recipe is from a cookbook by Marian Morash published in the early '80s. For a time, Marian was the series chef on The Victory Garden (PBS), a show I remember watching with my dad when I was a kid. I can't say at that age I was super interested in gardening (or cooking for that matter). And I highly doubt I absorbed much the hosts were saying or trying to teach the viewer. But I'm sure it must have had some sort of influence in my life - if it's only for the carrot cake legacy it's left to my family.


Carrot Cake

Recipe from The Victory Garden Cookbook (c 1982)

Ingredients

  • 2 C. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp/ baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. mace (can use nutmeg)
  • 1 1/2 C. sugar
  • 1 1/4 C. oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 C. finely shredded carrots
  • 1 Tb. finely grated lemon peel
  • 3/4 C. chopped walnuts
Directions
  • Sift together the flour, soda, baking powder, salt and spices; set aside.
  • Beat together the sugar and oil.
  • Gradually beat in the eggs and then the flour mixture.
  • Stir in the carrots,lemon peel, and nuts.
  • Oil a 10 " tube pan. Pour in the batter, tap on the counter to release any air bubbles, and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 50 - 60 min. or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool on a rack for 15 min. Invert and remove from the pan. Cool completely prior to icing.

Cream Cheese Frosting


Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 6 Tb. butter, room temp.
  • 1 tsp.vanilla
  • 2 - 2 1/2 C. confectioner's sugar
Directions
  • Combine the ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy.

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