Everyone should try this carrot cake at least once in their lives.
My father grew up during the Depression. His family was exceptionally poor, but even so they managed to celebrate special events.
A birthday meant a birthday cake from a bakery. But they couldn’t afford to special-order a cake, so they instead would buy a mistake, a cake that someone else had ordered but had never picked up. My father used to joke that his cakes always said “Happy Birthday Marianne” on them.
One is a traditional cake, the very sort of cake that is most likely to say “Happy Birthday Marianne.” One is a red velvet cake. And one is a carrot cake.
Why a carrot cake? Because it is the best cake I know how to make. It is also the best cake I know how to eat. It is the best cake you will ever have. Everyone should try this carrot cake at least once in their lives.
(BEST EVER) CARROT CAKE
Yield: 16 servings
For pecan cream filling
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 ounces (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For carrot cake
1 1/4 cups corn oil
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups grated carrots
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans
For cream cheese frosting
8 ounces soft unsalted butter
8 ounces soft cream cheese
1 pound powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces (1 1/2 cups) shredded, sweetened coconut
Carrot cake for a birthday. TNS
1. Make the filling: In a heavy saucepan, blend well the sugar, flour and salt. Gradually stir in the cream. Add the butter. Cook and stir the mixture over low heat until the butter has melted, then let simmer 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown in color, stirring occasionally. Cool to lukewarm.
2. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube cake pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the corn oil and sugar. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Sift half the dry ingredients into the sugar-oil mixture and blend. Alternately sift in the rest of the dry ingredients while adding the eggs, one by one.
Combine well. Add the carrots, raisins and pecans. Pour into the prepared tube pan and bake for exactly 70 minutes. Cool upright in the pan on a cooling rack. If you are not using the cake that day, it can be removed from the pan, wrapped well in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature.
3. Make the frosting: Cream the butter well. Add the cream cheese and beat until blended. Sift in the sugar and add the vanilla. If too soft to spread, chill a bit. Refrigerate if not using immediately, but bring to a spreadable temperature before using.
4. Assemble the cake: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until it colors lightly. Toss the coconut occasionally while it is baking so that it browns evenly. Cool completely. Have the filling and frosting at a spreadable consistency.
Tribune News Service
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