Carrot Cake

(I know it’s a rather uninspired title, but I’ll work on it)

Last Friday night, I was invited to a dinner party. Whenever you’re wondering what to bring to an event like this, the answer is always dessert (except when it’s wine). Thus, a carrot cake was born.

Cake births are less messy than the normal kind. And far tastier.

The recipe I worked from was taken from Jamie Oliver’s cookbook, Cook with Jamie. Since I only have three cookbooks, many of the recipes I try are going to come from that cookbook. But that’s a good thing, because Jamie Oliver is awesome.

Unfortunately, he also has access to a lot of things I don’t, like Mascarpone cheese. I also have no way to measure out 10 oz of carrots, so I just made a guess. Because of these things, I had to make a few changes to the recipe. This is what it looked like when I was done:

  • 1 ¼ cups butter, softener
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 6 smallish eggs, separated
  • 1 orange, juice and zest
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking soda (baking powder if you’ve got it, but I don’t)
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 2 handfuls of walnut pieces
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp total of ginger, nutmeg and cloves (I use pumpkin pie spice, because I was too cheap to buy all of these things separately. I am a student.)
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (If you’ve got a food processor with an attachment for grating, lucky you!)
  • A pinch of salt

For the icing, one of the key ingredients in the original recipe is mascarpone cheese. Instead, mine involved whipping cream. If you have your heart set on a traditional carrot cake icing, look elsewhere, because this one is more like a sauce, but it’s still so delicious. Really, really delicious. It takes:

  • 1 cup of cream, whipped, minus a big spoonful for each of your roommates (this part is important, seriously. If you don’t have four roommates, you’re just going to have to eat a few spoonfuls of whipped cream yourself. Poor you.)
  • 1 ½ pkg cream cheese
  • 1 cup icing sugar (you’ll want to start with this, and add more depending on your sweet tooth)
  • Zest and juice of 1-2 limes (2 limes are good, but expect sauce, not icing)

And now, the process!

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9 inch square cake pan. Beat your butter and sugar together, and then beat in the egg yolks one at a time (put the whites in another bowl to be beaten later) and add the orange zest and juice. Then stir in the flour, baking soda, almonds, walnuts, spices, grated carrot.

Yummy cake mix!

Now, beat the egg whites with the salt until you’ve got some nice stiff peaks, and fold them into the cake mix. Something like this:

Mixin' stuff

Pop the mix into the cake pan,

What!?! I have to wait for it to cook? Awww...

pop the pan into the oven, and leave it there for an hour at least (the original recipe says 50 min, but I had to cook it for 1hr and 20min. This could have a lot to do with the fact that I live in student housing and have a shitty oven). You’ll know it’s done when a toothpick (or a fork, if you’re short on toothpicks) comes out clean. Finally, once it has cooled for about an hour, you can cut it up, throw a dollop (or two, or three) of icing on each piece, sprinkle on some walnuts, and wait for the love.

The only piece that survived the party...but it didn't make it through lunch time the next day.

And that’s it! If you show up at a dinner party with this cake, barring a complete catastrophe, you’ll be invited back. Especially if all of the guests are students. Then you can show up with pretty much any kind of food and you’re golden.


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