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February 28, 2013

Ina Garten's Carrot Cake


I've started taking a culinary course at the local community college.  It's a wide-ranging basic introduction, and I was pleased to find we started with something I could relate to--Ina Garten's carrot cake!

The course is challenging--a heavy text and a good amount of lab hours.  Plus, it covers meat, which as a vegetarian I don't cook.  I hope I can balance school with work.  Even though it's only one class, I haven't been a student in a very long time, and my job is not one that I can take off when needed.  We're cooking in groups of four or five, so I'm hopeful that my teammates will allow me to do the vegetable prep and focus on the vegetarian aspects of whatever course we're serving.  The best part is of course when we eat at the end of each class!   I'm looking forward to making some friends.

I have to remember to consider the yield in the recipes from this course, as lots of them are restaurant-scale.  This one though, is perfect for home-baking.


Carrot/Pineapple Cake

2 C. Granulated Sugar
1 1/3 C. Vegetable Oil
3 Extra-Large Eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 C. plus 1 Tbsp. All-Purpose Flour, divided
2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 C. Raisins
1 C. Chopped Walnuts
1 Lb. Carrots, grated
1/2 C. Diced Fresh Pineapple

Directions:
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
2.  Butter 2 8-inch round cake pans.  Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
3.  Beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light yellow.  Add the vanilla.
4.  In another bowl, sift together 2 1/2 C flour, the cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
5.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Toss the raisins and walnuts with 1 Tbsp flour.
6.  Fold in the carrots and pineapple.  Add to the batter and mix well.
7. Divide the batter equally between the two pans.
8.  Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans set over a wire rack.


Cream Cheese Frosting

1 Lb. Cream Cheese at room temperature
3/4 Lb. Butter at room temperature
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Lbs. Powdered Sugar, sifted

Directions:
1.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract.
2.  Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
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