Showing posts with label Carrot cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Carrot cake. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Spring has arrived, and so have Easter, which came early this year! What is more befitting than to make everyone's favorite Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting...and the best part is to top it off with Shredded Sweetened Coconut, and the best...of the best part of this fabulous cake is
the Candied-Spiced Walnuts
which I happened to think of at the last minute! You can certainly skip the spice, and just go with the sweet, and crunchy glaze. Once they are dry and separated, it can be easy spread on the cake for decoration and an added yumminess that I guarantee will be the first to disappear before cutting the cake!


This was our first Easter holiday without family and friends, and not a very comforting feeling to all of a sudden just have a complete change. Just like from childhood, mine and yours perhaps, we can see the changes that are happening in our lives when it comes to the holidays that are spent with our loved ones and friends, and one day...everything changes, just like it did this year! Death of a loved one, family being separated from each other, dearest friends moving away across the United States whom you've been close to and spending the last 15 years each holiday, and now...gone, perhaps forever; very sad, but total reality which we must learn to adjust to!

Note: the only change I made to this recipe...I used 1 cup of canola oil (instead of 1 1/2 cup)...I omitted the sour cream. My addition was the shredded coconut, and the Candied Walnuts for decoration!

We have to appreciate everything in life...the small and simple things especially, family, friends, and our health, which is not to be taken for granted! Learn to be happy with ourselves, and one-another is the key to life's simple pleasures! I don't always have the energy or passion to cook and bake at home since this is what I have been doing for decades as a professional career, but I always make an exception to do my best for family and friends if the occasion calls for it. No holiday has gone by without my contribution to a special occasion, and that will always go on as long as I can physically make it happen. It brings me joy, and contentment to see the smiles on the faces of the people I love!
As the lyric of the song goes..."I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden"...we are not promised a rose garden, but we can certainly enjoy one, especially this particular one from 2 years ago when I visited extended family in Como, Italy. Could not believe my eyes, and how much joy it gave me to enjoy this beautiful little rose garden on a tiny little balcony overlooking a spectacular tall mountain, so actually I fared better, and I was promised a 'rose garden' ...and much more than that...love and devotion from a beautiful Italian family!
This beautiful white rose was from 'the actual' rose garden of Teresa...she so lovingly takes care of them, and they in return give so much peace and beauty for all eyes to gaze upon them!
I picked these gorgeous roses from the rose garden to put them in water, to enjoy!

As another saying goes..."stop and smell the roses"...yes indeed, you should take time to stop and smell the roses, whenever, wherever you might get the chance to do so. The only ones that really matter with such a beautiful perfume fragrance of their own are the ones that are naturally growing in a garden, and when you get the chance, don't pass them by!

I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to enjoy 'life's simple pleasures'...like this gorgeous scene looking out from the back of the house...never, ever, pass up the opportunity to find beauty in nature which are the simplest gifts from nature. You will never see the most beautiful healthy and the tallest pine trees, like in northern Italy, in the Como, and Lago di Como region. I was fortunate to spend 2 weeks there and loved every minute of it. I am so happy to share this with all my blogger friends!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Carrot and Pineapple Cake a Giveaway, and a Thanks!


March has been a month of birthdays, from the beginning of March to the end. On the 3rd, was my father's...may he rest in peace, same as with my uncle, on the 7th. and at the end of March on the 25th. my son Joe's, on the 28th which was yesterday, my grandson Luca's 5th, on the 30th, our dear friends' young son's River's 10th birthday. I did mention the birthdays on the title of my last post, which I did not mention, as to who's birthday it is. The important birthday which I would like to talk about, and also an amazing autographed book...my son, Joe's first self-published book through Amazon. It is my giveaway gift, on my next post.

About Lamb's Bread, @Amazon,com


The delicious cake, which was my son's birthday cake, is his very favorite.
A Carrot cake, filled with crushed pineapple, and loads of freshly grated carrots. He was so sweet to take us out to a charming little cafe, which is strictly VEGAN, and not just vegetarian. You would think that the food is not filling enough, but trust me, there was so much food, so fresh, so yummy, and so affordable, served casually, and in a Key West type atmosphere, just right around the corner where my son, wife, and two precious daughters live.
The recipe is adapted from Ina Garten's Carrot and Pineapple Cake, from the Food Network site. I have two other recipes, one, from my previous post, back in October, which is a simple one that I made in a heart shape for my granddaughter Sophia's birthday, and also a more involved fancy recipe that my daughter Lora used for a guest post, last fall, as well. I did not use walnuts in this recipe, since they don't like walnuts...if it was for me, I would have added it.Recipe, and more about the book, to follow!

Ina Garten's Carrot and Pineapple Cake 
slightly adapted

For the cake:


For the frosting:


  • 3/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted

For the decoration:


  • 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

For the cake:

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. In another bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, the cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Toss the raisins and walnuts with 1 tablespoon flour. Fold in the carrots and pineapple. Add to the batter and mix well.
Divide the batter equally between the 2 pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans set over a wire rack.

For the frosting:

Mix the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until just combined. Add the sugar and mix until smooth.
Place 1 layer, flat-side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with diced pineapple.

I'm linking my Carrot Pineapple Cake to... Miz Helen's Counttry Cottage, say "hello," and browse through all the wonderful recipes... featured on Full Plate Thursday!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

A special thanks to my lovely friend, Lizzy,

@That Skinny Chick Can Bake!!!  for this fantastic set of walnut oil, dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, and a nice sample of ginger sugar, from Artisano's, as a giveaway gift, which I won on Lizzy's fabulous blog that she was hosting about 10 days ago.

Do check her blog out and say "hello". She will certainly welcome you. The blog name is very "befitting"...she is a skinny chick, I think it must be the metabolism, because my daughter is also a "skinny" chick that bakes...LOL, must be on the father's side of the genes...certainly not my side!

 


One thing for sure, it's very rare when you get a personally written card from the hostess, and also from the owner, on the back of the Artisano card, from David.  Thank you Lizzy, and thank you David!

There are endless possibilities to use this unique and yummy Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar. For starters, I will certainly marinate the beautiful fresh, and ripe strawberries we are having, here in season now, in S. Florida.

 

 

 

 

Do contact ARTISANO'S and see all the gourmet treats for yourself, to order online!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Carrot Cake

October is such an all time favorite month for everybody. The beautiful fall colors of the season, Halloween of course, but than there are birthdays...and not just any birthday. My granddaughter, the second oldest of my 4 grandchildren Sophia's 9th birthday. I mentioned in my "Tagged" answer that I had to learn from "Betty Crocker" to cook, and I did not mention, also, to bake, as well. At that time, a hundred years ago...(actually, in the seventies)...Betty Crocker recipes were very popular, as were Better Homes and Gardens. Seems like everybody had a cookbook from one, or the other, as I did. This recipe is really so easy, and your family will love this, especially the beautiful fall colors, even in the frosting, which is just a nice creme cheese frosting with a few drops of yellow, and red food color, to make it a pumpkin, orange color, few pieces of M&M's a fancy cake pan, or just one 9" pan, or a spring form pan, will make it fancy looking. So much nicer than a 13x9 which the recipe calls for.

adapted from Betty Crocker
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk (I use 1/2 evaporated milk)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash of salt
3 cups shredded carrots (about 5 med. carrots)
do not use pre shredded carrots-they are too thick

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 13x9 8 inch or 9 inch round, or spring form pan, with shortening, or cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat sugar, eggs and vegetable oil with an electric hand mixer till combined for about a minute or 2. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, and add them slowly to the wet mixture. Add the milk and vanilla to it, and beat on low, till all combined. Fold in the shredded carrots, and pour batter into pan. Bake for 30 minutes on 350 degrees, and lower the temperature to 325 degrees. Bake for an additional 25 minutes. Check by inserting toothpick into middle of the cake, to see if it comes out clean. Cool completely, before frosting, at least 1 hour.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 package 8 oz. creme cheese softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 Tbsp of milk
(add about 7 drops of yellow food dye and 4 drops of red dye to the milk to make orange color)
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients together until smooth and velvety. Frost cake, and immediately chill in freezer for about 20 minutes before decorating.