Sunday, 27 December 2009

Martian Carrot Cake

We went to our running club Christmas party a couple of weeks ago. It was held at a student-y pub called Nancy's Bordello. I love the decor and must get back with my camera soon to share that with you.

The club generally has the meal catered but members fill in by bringing sweets and desserts. We had bought way too many carrots for Thanksgiving so I thought it would be good to use some up in a carrot cake. I'd never made one before, but it was easy enough. Anne asked for the recipe, so I thought I'd share it here.

From Betty Crocker's Cookbook, 1987.

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups chopped tart apples (about 3 medium)
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches. Mix sugar, oil and eggs until blended; beat 1 minute. Stir in remaining ingredients except apples and nuts; beat 1 minute. Stir in apples and nuts. Pour into pan.

Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Frost with Caramel Frosting if desired.
15 servings: 350 calories per serving.

You may have noticed this is an apple cake. For a carrot cake, substitute 3 cups shredded carrots for the apples and frost with Cream Cheese Frosting if desired.

I generally substitute raisins for nuts in nearly any baking recipe (much cheaper). However, as there are odd people who don't like raisins/currants, etc., I didn't add anything other than the shredded carrots. Also, I made Creamy Vanilla Frosting:

3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
About 2 tablespoons milk

Mix powdered sugar and margarine. Stir in vanilla and milk; beat until smooth and of spreading consistency. Frosts a 13x9 inch cake or fills and frosts 2 8- or 9-inch cake layers. 15 servings: 140 calories per serving.

I have to say that anytime I put an electric mixer in the vicinity of powdered /confectioners /icing sugar, watching the sticky cloud that forms around the bowl makes me feel like I'm in an episode of I Love Lucy. I keep thinking there is a trick to that I've not heard. If so, they haven't shared it in this cookbook.

However, there was a tip I encountered in the last couple of weeks (darned if I know which blog; if I did I'd link) that I used to make this cake mobile. The tip was to put small marshmallows (I brought back 2 bags from our trip in July) on tooth-picks and to put the toothpicks into the iced cake. Then when you put the plastic wrap over the cake, it doesn't stick to the icing. Brilliant tip, I thought, even if it made me think of little white Martians.

I still had to get the thing onto the Metro, in and out of the gym and down to Nancy's intact, in a way that I didn't have a bunch of stuff to carry home. I made a board with old Christmas cards and covered it with foil, but it wasn't stiff enough. So I went to the garage and found a slightly bigger piece of plywood and covered that with foil, sliding the other board onto this one and securing it with cello tape. For the lid I found a 49p basket in the boxroom, washed and dried it and inverted it over the cake, also cello taping it down. Perfect fit. I could just hitch the board on one hip like I used to carry school books, with my running bag slung over the opposite shoulder. Shame the picture didn't turn out very well. The batteries were having their last gasp.

Never mind, the cake travelled well, went down well and hey, 3 cups of carrots? This cake could almost count as a vegetable!

1 comment:

Boywilli said...

It really was delicious. They were fighting over the last few pieces