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Carrot’s Naughty side

June 3, 2010

I like to use what I have. Especially when I’m baking.

I decided to make carrot cake today. I drew inspiration from the obvious choice; the pantry. I had a leftover package of golden raisins, sliced almonds and not to mention the five-pound bag of organic carrots that has been living comfortably in the middle drawer of the refrigerator for several weeks now. Cake seemed necessary. Carrots have a naughty side and I wanted to bring that quality to light. Just a little. I made the batter for the cake and then greased up several souffle ramekins, with butter. I lined the butter greased ramekins with enough granulated sugar to coat and create a nice crispy edge. I poured a bit of batter in each ramekin and then I got to thinking… I had leftover caramel in the fridge. Rum caramel in that was left over from a weeks past, weekend- long Birthday celebration for a family friend. I grabbed a spoon and slid a scoop of the rich Rum caramel right into the center of the cake batter. Of course I tasted it first. It was certainly sweet and boozy (insert fun comment here or your favorite cliche). It would be a perfect addition to an otherwise well-behaved carrot cake. To finish, I added a hat of cake batter to the ramekins, wiped the edges clean and then popped them into a hot oven at 350 degrees.

They puffed up nicely. The golden salute. Similar to a sticky toffee pudding, but studded with golden raisins that had plumped in the cooking process and shards of almond slivers. My taste tester remarked that they were too sweet. I found them delicious, though sweet, but needing more cinnamon. Adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream to a re-warmed cake while enjoying a glass of thick Jeriko is how I’d like to spend a midnight in a dark kitchen… A certain accented appearance by a certain snarky someone might help things more interesting…..But I’m not usually up at midnight. Alas I have my cake at ten and eat it too.

and f.y.i. I also promptly made some carrot juice today after my hike. Incidentally I saw many wild hares today. They are on to something.The carrots are never-ending. Roasted will be next.

Carrot Cake #3 / half  batch

1/2 c. sugar

2 oz. butter

1 egg

1/2 c. milk or soy

1 cup grated carrot

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 c. flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp.salt

handful raisins and or chopped nuts

This recipe started off as a banana cake. I have made adjustments to accommodate carrots. This was a bit of an impromptu baking session and this is simple, fast and easy to make. I have 2 other carrot cake recipes I really like. This yielded a light and tasty cake. Again, I feel it needs more cinnamon and vanilla extract.

Cream butter and sugar in a mixer until smooth and fluffy.

Add egg and continue to mix.

Add grated carrots with mixer on low-speed. Mix until just incorporated.

Add dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder, almonds and raisins.

Add flour in 2 batches. Mix until incorporated, do not over mix.

Add milk to thin out batter. If you omit the milk the batter will be thick and the cake will be much denser. This is also good, it just depends on how you like your cake;)

Bake in muffin tins, loaf pan, or ramekin cups (buttered and sugared) at  350 degrees for about 25 minutes until golden and tester comes out clean.

The caramel addition is optional. You could also add a dollop of embellished cream cheese to the center.

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