I don’t mean to expose myself as someone who discusses about appliances as IF I have no real life (…) but am I the only one who suspects that her refrigerator suffers from seasonal bipolar disorder going from Fall to Winter? I’m saying around October and towards the end of every year, (for the sake of easy referencing and NOT because I am totally juvenile and pathetic, let’s call it…) Skinny Box behaves like a healthy female who is gladly stocked with seasonal fruits and vegetables, meats and dairies, readily equipped for all kinds of culinary wonders. But as the weather slides quite abruptly into January to February, her mood-swing takes a deep dive into anorexic tendency taking only the basic necessity for life such as caffeinated drinks and probiotic capsules. And can you believe that she has the guts to blame me for it?! Argh.
Normally I let it slide for keeping some kinda peace at home, but this year Skinny Box has taken her behavioral issue to a new height as I woke up the other day to her temperamental display with arms crossing, spitting nothing but two sad carrots at my face, fully acknowledging that I have a food blog to sustain and all. NOTHING ELSE but just two lonely carrots… so lonely that you’d feel like cracking them a joke. I don’t know what she’s so upset with me for? She knows perfectly that it is absolutely too cold to take my shopping-cart Big Bull to the market as he isn’t exactly at his prime anymore and has over the years developed some sort of arthritis issues. For her to challenge me like this is just utterly unacceptable. Completely childish.
But I’m not gonna let her get me. Skinny B. thinks I can’t pull of a decent display of cookmanship with something so ordinary, but she has clearly miscalculated. I have been weeks now, contemplating on baking a carrot cake to go with my new favorite icing discovered from Keller’s new cookbook. It was originally designed to go with something along the line of a brioche bun which, for the record, I have tested only to reconfirm that the icing completely stole the show. It’s flavored with JUST the right amount of ground cardamon and cinnamon that gives it a distinct edge making it perfect for something also slightly spicy as carrot cake. The test result, oh let me tell you, SUUUUBLIME. It didn’t even last long enough to be stored back into Skinny B’s undeserving shelf as she watched jealously. This is how you own a defiant appliance and put her back in line.
Try not to skip on any of the spices in the recipe as each and every spices play a role in the harmonized flavor of the final product. Most of the carrot cake recipes online calls for vegetable oil but I puzzle at the idea of adding fat without the benefit of flavors, so I switched it to butter. I know you wouldn’t mind.
- Carrot cake: adapted from Alton Brown
- 6 oz (170 g) grated carrots
- 1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp of baking powder
- 1/2 tsp of baking soda
- 1/8 tsp of ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp of ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp of grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 7 tbsp (100 g) of unsalted butter, soften at room temperature
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of sweeten condensed milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
- Spiced icing: adapted from Thomas Keller
- 1 cup of powder sugar
- 1/8 tsp of ground cardamon
- 1/8 tsp of ground cinnamon
- 2 1/2 tbsp of whole milk
Preheat the oven on 350º/175ºC.
In a food processor (the first time I did this with a box grater which I fully regretted doing), grate the carrots through the finest grate. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pulse JUST until all the ingredients are evenly mixed but be careful NOT TO puree the carrots. The mixture should still be crumbly with pieces of carrots throughout.
In a large bowl (or stand mixer), mix the butter, sugar, brown sugar and sweeten condensed milk until pale and fluffy, approx 3 min. Add the eggs (I just do this all at once) and beat until fluffy again, another 3 min. Add the carrot and flour mixture, and plain yogurt and whisk until the mixture is smoothly combined.
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper (the paper will stick to the pan much easier if you apply a thin layer of oil on the pan first), and pour the cake batter into the pan. Bake in the oven under 350º/175ºC for 40 min. Then turn the heat down to 325º/160ºC for another 20~25 min until a cake tester (I use a bamboo skewer) comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 min, then lift the parchment paper to remove it and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
Whisk together powder sugar, ground cardamon, ground cinnamon and milk together to form the icing. Pour it onto the cake (once completely cooled) and serve. May I remind you that this is considered a vegetable intake…