Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Carrot Cake

So good.  That's all I have to say.  Here is a little story about the making of this cake that was kind of funny but ended in a perfect ah hah moment.  I love love love walnuts.  I can remember going to my grandma's house and eating them as a kid.  She always had bags of them in the freezer for baking and bowls of them in the shell on the kitchen table.  Kam hates nuts, of course.  Most of the time I just leave them out, which makes me sad.  So while I was making this cake, my lovely assistant was chatting with me at the kitchen table.  While I was gathering my ingredients I saw my lonely bag of walnuts and thought "oh yum, this is for mothers day, not Kam." So I looked at my mom and said "Kam hates nuts" and poured about a 1/4 cup into my chopped pineapple. Then I looked at my mom and said "do you like nuts?" She said yes, so I poured in the rest of the bag.  Then I had the idea.  Chop them.  I put my pineapple and about 1/2 cup of the walnuts into the food processor and pulsed for about 3 seconds or until they were still gritty but not whole nuts anymore.  It was the greatest unintentional defiant act I think I have ever done.  Then were in every bite, that yummy walnut goodness flavor, and Kam (or my dad who hates nuts too) didn't even know it.  But they both loved the cake as much as I did.  Pays to be a rebel.  Let's bake!

What you'll need:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots (about 7 carrots, shred or great however you like)
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1 cup  crushed pineapple (I used fresh, go with fresh, I will explain crushing it below)
1/2 cup walnut pieces
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt4 large eggs  

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and dust a clear glass 9x13 pan with flour.  Set aside.

In one bowl mix together your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt,  cinnamon.)  In another bowl, combine sugar, oil and greek yogurt with a hand mixer.

In your food processor or blender, add about 1/4 of a fresh pineapple and pulse for about 10 seconds or until it looks like crushed pineapple (You can just use store bought if you want too). It should be about a cup.  Add walnuts and pulse for another 3 seconds, walnuts should be chopped but still a little chunky.  Add pineapple to your oil/sugar/yogurt.  Mix.  Now add your eggs one by one and blend again.  Add your wet ingredients to your dry and mix for 2 minutes with your mixer.  Fold in coconut and carrots until even through out.  Pour batter into floured pan.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Reduce heat to 325 and bake for another 20 checking for doneness  at about 50 minutes.  Allow to cool.

My lovely assistant!

This cake would be good frosted with some yummy cream cheese frosting, dusted with a little powdered sugar, or just eaten as is.  It's very moist and and almost doesn't need anything else.  Or you could add it to ice cream like I did for something totally different.  This post just reminded me that I need to make my secret yummy frosting to share with everyone.  You have to keep the cake in the fridge, but its the most light and creamy perfect frosting, especially on brownies.  Mental note! Enjoy!

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