And WHAT a carrot cake this is! Oh, and that fluff from yesterday? PERFECT as part of the frosting – tho’ next time I’ll be adjusting the cream cheese/powdered sugar ratios.
Let’s recap, shall we?
It was Rich’s birthday, and he’d decided the cake he would REALLY like was the one we saw Bobby Flay made on his Throwdown show – a carrot cake with lots of ginger and a home made fluff-and-cream-cheese (ermmm, the fluff, not the cream cheese) frosting. Since we celebrated his weeknight birthday with a fun $5 movie, a giant tub o’ buttered popcorn, and a shared Cherry Coke at the local multi-plex, and I had a wide-open Friday to play with fluff making and carrot grating and ginger sorting; I thought I’d take a stab at making one.
•1/4 cup melted butter, cooled, plus more for buttering pans
•1 cup crushed pineapple (most of a 20 oz can), drained
•3 large eggs
•1/2 cup canola oil
•2 tsp vanilla extract
•1 pound carrots, peeled and grated (about 3 cups) – Bobby said to do this using the small holes of a box grater; I had an open day, but my momma didn’t raise no fool! I tossed the peeled and halved carrots into the Cuisinart fitted with the metal blade and pulsed to chop the suckers up fairly well – tho’ still chunky
•2 tsp grated fresh ginger
•2 cups all-purpose flour
•1-1/2 cup cane sugar
•1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
•2 tsp baking soda
•1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
•1/2 teaspoon ground ginger – no, this isn’t a typo – this bit is from your spice rack
•1/8 tsp nutmeg – Bobby specified freshly grated, I opened a jar from our baking cupboard
•1 tsp salt
•1/3 cup finely diced crystallized ginger – I just used the chunks as they were from the jar – don’t leave these out – they add a chewy spicy goodness to the cake once baked
•3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans – I toasted them dry in a 325º oven for about ten minutes
Cream Cheese Marshmallow Frosting:
•2 cups o’ fluff (from yesterday’s post, or a jar, it’s your call) I used all the fluff from my batch – it was so sticky I didn’t want to try to wrestle it into (and out of) a measuring cup
•8 oz cream cheese, slightly softened
•1 stick butter, softened
•1 lb (4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted twice
•1 tsp vanilla extract
Butter and flour 2 (8-inch) round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Butter the parchment as well.
Add the the eggs to a bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat for 10 seconds, then add the oil, melted butter, vanilla, carrots, chopped pineapple and grated fresh ginger. Mix until combined.
Whisk together the flour, granulated and brown sugars, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and salt in a bowl until combined. Add to the egg mixture and beat on low speed just until combined. Fold in the crystallized ginger and the toasted pecans. Divide the batter between the 2 pans.
Bake until the tops are a very golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 40 to 55 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then invert them onto a wire rack and let them cool completely. Remove the parchment from the bottoms of each cake. Allow to cool completely before frosting
For the frosting; combine the cream cheese and butter in the mixer bowl and whip until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Increase the speed and whip again until light and fluffy.
Add the Fluff and the vanilla and whip until combined.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes if too soft to use immediately as frosting. To be perfectly honest, I thought this frosting was great, but a bit ‘soft’ – even after allowing it to rest in the fridge for twenty minutes, so next time I make this, I will probably fold the fluff into a double batch o’ the cream cheese frosting I used for red velvet whoopie pies – it’s your call.
Frost the cake – I garnished mine with some toasted sliced almonds – and serve, or stash in the fridge until about thirty minutes before serving.
With ice cream or without – ONE. FINE. CAKE!