What I was really doing was nearly pulling my hair out over the inexplicable continued crap Internet connection I have. Ever since it went out about 10 days ago, it’s been on and off — and yesterday was completely off. Right now it’s touch and go (can’t access many pages), but I’m keeping positive.
And aside from causing me stress regarding work, it’s *completely* thrown off my blogging schedule. Argh.
Guess you’ll have to wait another year for today’s originally planned post. Or I’ll just save it for NaBloPoMo . . . with which I sincerely hope Telecom Italia cooperates.
So here is What’s Cooking Wednesday: the Birthday Edition — a day late for Wednesday, but just in time for my birthday! Woohoo!
For anyone who’s curious, I’m 31 today. So send any e-cards in large font please. Hah!
Now, back to the originally scheduled post:
For my birthday, I always have this chocolate cake. It’s my absolute favorite cake in the whole world — especially when my mom makes it.
But I’ve been feeling a little daring lately, in the mood for something different. And that, for me, means carrot cake.
I love carrot cake, haven’t had it in at least four years, and besides, isn’t it just a great autumn cake, spicy and orange and brown and cream cheese icing and yum?
I have never made a carrot cake before, and I’m not entirely sure why not. Probably because my mom isn’t particularly fond of it, so she never passed on a recipe, and goodness knows I stick to the recipes of experts around these parts.
So I turned to these Internets and went for the first recipe that came up. I know. Really selective right? Well you see, I had been going over what I thought would go into a carrot cake in my head, and this recipe fit that, especially with the adjustments listed in the comments. So I made my own tweaks, and below is what I came up with.
This cake is delicious. It’s a subtle carrot cake, and by that I mean it’s not at all like some store- or restaurant-produced cakes that make me feel like I’m eating a scented candle. I like my spices subtle, so if you like them stronger, you might want to adjust. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that if you think you don’t like carrot cake, you should give this one a go.
Also, the original recipe had pecans. Some people in the comment section switched to walnuts, but I didn’t add any nuts at all; I’m not a fan of nuts in my cakes in general. But this would’ve been *fabulous* with raisins so I’ll make an effort to find them before I make this again.
My Birthday Carrot Cake
3 c grated carrots
1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). Grease and flour 9 x 13 inch pan (or, as I did a 6 muffin/cupcake pan and a small loaf pan).
2. Blend together eggs, sugars, oil, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt and add to mixing bowl a little at a time. At this point, the mixture will be really thick, almost pasty. Now you’re ready to stir in the carrots.
4. Pour into pan(s), and put in the oven. The original recipe says 40-50 minutes for a full-sized cake. My muffins took about 20 minutes, and the loaf pan about 40. Just make sure to always test with a toothpick in the center—if it comes out with no batter, you’re good.
For amateur bakers, the other trick is the “spring back to the touch test,” which says, not surprisingly, that the cake should spring back to your touch. I find this one a big dangerous though as you can sink the top of your cakes and muffins/cupcakes pretty easily, so I always use a toothpick.
5. Remove from oven and let cool before icing.
Cream Cheese Icing
The measurements in the original recipe looked really off to me so I used a tried and true cream cheese icing recipe that I’ve made before. You might want to play with this too according to your tastes and how much icing you like (I don’t use much). In fact, on the cake, I just sprinkled some confectioner’s sugar on top. Look it’s snowing in October in southern Italy!
8 oz softened cream cheese
4 tbl butter
1 ½ c powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla
Beat everything together until smooth and to your desired consistency.
Grating the carrots makes this one a little labor intensive, but it’s worth it, especially if you’re making it for someone special — like for yourself. Come on, show yourself a little love this Love Thursday!
Happy Love Thursday and buon appetito!
Edited to add a request:
If you leave birthday wishes for me,
please leave the date of your birthday too (no year required!)
so I can return the wish.