Carrot Cake

Okay, so last week my kids were in heaven because of the vanilla custard and this week I’m mom of the year again because I served carrot cake for dinner! That’s right; we only had cake, though I did throw in a glass of cold milk. Summer eating habits are nothing but out of the ordinary at our residence this year. Who needs dinner when you can eat cake— moist, sweet carrot cake with tangy orange flavored cream cheese frosting?

I made this cake one early morning after I was woken up by one of my kids because of a 5AM “emergency.” And since I tend to cook when I have trouble sleeping, it afforded the perfect opportunity to bake this cake. My friends were very happy later that day at the beach when I brought the cake with us, which reminds me that I should invest in a cake carrier… but that’s a different story.

Anyways, when I cook early in the mornings or anytime when my family is sleeping I try to be quiet when using my pots and pans. And since I’m a somewhat clumsy person and often drop things, bump into chairs and so on, I have to once again thank my Aroma rice cooker. It’s great to be able to create another amazing dish with the rice cooker. I have “baked” in the rice cooker before and urge you to check out the post on cup cakes from April. I also have amazing bread pudding and rum cake recipes for the rice cooker that I will post as soon as I run off the calories from this carrot cake…

According to food historians, the modern carrot cake most likely descended from Medieval carrot puddings from Europe. In the Middle Ages, when sweeteners were scarce and expensive, carrots were used to sweeten cakes and desserts. In Britain, carrot puddings often appeared in recipe books in the 18th and 19th centuries. These desserts were revived in Britain during the Second World War when the Ministry of Food disseminated recipes for carrot Christmas pudding, carrot cake, and so on. Indeed, carrot cakes have enjoyed a revival in Britain in the last quarter of the 20th century. They are seen as “healthy” cakes, a perception fortified by the use of brown sugar, whole meal flour and the inclusion of chopped nuts. These “healthy” cakes are only slightly compromised by the cream cheese and sugar icing which is added to some versions. George Washington was served a carrot tea cake at Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan on November 25th, 1783. The occasion: British Evacuation Day. Yet, strangely, carrot cakes are noticeably absent from American cookbooks up through the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth. Before developing a new pudding including carrot and spice cake mix, Pillsbury researched carrot cakes in depth and even staged a nation-wide contest to locate America’s first-published carrot cake recipe. Their finding: A carrot cake in The Twentieth Century Bride’s Cookbook published in 1929 by a women’s club from Wichita, Kansas. Regardless of the origin, carrot cake didn’t become a mainstream dessert until the second half of the 20th century.

Ingredients

For the cake:
2 1/2 cups of carrots, peeled and grated
2 cups of flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1 tsp of ground nutmeg
4 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of vegetable oil
2 tsp of vanilla extract
2 tbsp of orange marmalade with rind

For the cream cheese frosting:
1/4 cup of unsalted butter
8 oz of cream cheese
2 cups of powdered sugar
2 tsp of orange zest
1 tbsp of orange juice

 

Directions

To make the cake: Combine the dry ingredients and sift them to ensure no lumps are present. Whisk the eggs until frothy for a few minutes. Add sugar little by little while continuing to whisk. Beat the mixture for 4 minutes or until thick and pale yellow. Add vanilla, orange marmalade and oil while keeping the mixer on a low speed. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture without over mixing the batter. Add carrots and distribute evenly. Add 4 cups of water into the inner pot of your rice cooker. Place half of the batter in the steam tray of your rice cooker covered by foil and set your rice cooker to its “Steam” setting for 25 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake; if the toothpick comes out clean it is done cooking. Set cake on a rack to cool and cook the second batch following the same directions.

To make the frosting: simply beat all ingredients together until blended. Once the cakes have cooled down, cut them in half width wise and frost in between layers before assembling on top of each other. Cover the rest of the cake with frosting and serve.

Over to You
What’s your version of carrot cake? Share and inspire us!

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