Baking with Lizelle – Carrot Cake
|Photograph by Lizelle|
I would like to share with you, in my opinion, one of the most delicious carrot cakes I have ever tasted. This carrot cake is not only moist, but it is also very easy to make. You can make this cake in advance, and it can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. Why not try this cake or any other of the fabulous recipes in Meg Ray’s book titled, Miette: recipes from San Francisco’s most charming pastry shop.
Read through or review the “Cake-Baking Essentials” section beginning on page 18.
Liberally butter three 5-by-3-inch loaf pans or one 7-by-2-inch cake pan and dust with sifted flour. Tap out the excess flour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the eggs and sugar. Whisk on medium speed until well combined and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, slowly drizzle in the oil, and whisk until combined, then whisk on high speed for 1 minute to emulsify.
Switch to the paddle attachment. Add the dry ingredients in three additions and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, currants, walnuts, and coconut and beat just to combine. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Fold by hand a few more times with the spatula, scrapping the bottom of the bowl to bring the currants up from the bottom.
Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake until the tops of the loaves are golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 15 minutes for the small loaves and 40 to 45 minutes for the 7-inch cake. Transfer to wire racks and let cool in the pans for 20 minutes. Run an offset spatula around the edges of the pans, then invert the cakes onto the racks and let cool for about 20 minutes longer. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate to ensure that the interiors are completely cooled before decorating, at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. To freeze, wrap tightly in a second layer of plastic and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To decorate the carrot cakes, fit a pastry bag with a medium star tip and fill the bag with the frosting. Pull up the cuff and twist it to seal and tighten the frosting down into the cone. Purge the bag of air bubbles by squeezing the bag until there is a burst of air and frosting sputters out of the bag. Keep the bag tightly twisted so that the frosting doesn’t come back up on your hands. Starting in the center of each cake, holding the pastry bag at a 90-degree angle, pipe frosting in a tight (loaf-shaped in the case of the small cakes) spiral over the top of each. Use an offset spatula to partially smooth the surface of the frosting, leaving some pretty contours at the edges for visual interest. Serve at room temperature.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 cups cream cheese
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
- To soften the cream cheese, put it in a microware-safe bowl and microwave on high for 10-second intervals, until completely squishy but not at all melted, stopping to check in between every interval. Set aside. (If your butter is not fully room temperature, soften the same way).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachement, combine the butter and sugar. Beat until completely smooth and glossy.
- Add the cream cheese to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate until needed. Transfer cold frosting to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth before using, 2 or 3 minutes. Cream frosting lasts for 2 weeks in the refridgerator, tightly covered. It does not freeze.
Note: You can use the same recipe for carrot cupcakes.
This recipe can be found on page 88 in Miette: recipes from San Francisco’s most charming pastry shop.