Monday, March 12, 2007

Cooks Illustrated: Tropical Carrot Cake

My friend Emily who works at America's Test Kitchen, after reading my sans chocolate blog post and my request for carrot cake recipes, was nice enough to send me the May 2007 issue of Cook's Country which features a lovely recipe for Tropical Carrot Cake. Upon looking at the recipe I thought, this is way too much freaking work, but when Saturday came and CB mentioned that he wanted to make a cake for my birthday together I knew it would be fun to tackle an interesting recipe. What's that saying? a couple that bakes together stays together, or gets fat together, not quite sure how that goes, anywho. Saturday came and we had a great time baking this cake, and we were so happy with the results, we actually high fived outselves when we saw the finished product. We are so gay.

Cook's Illustrated: Tropical Carrot Cake Recipe (ver betam)
Serves 12
You'll need one 14-ounce bag of sweetened sheredded coconut for this recipe. To toast the coconut for the frosting, spread it on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a 325 degree oven, stirring often until golden brown.

Pineapple Pudding
1 pound frozen pineapple chuncks thawed
1/2 C frozen pineapple juice concentrate thawed
6 tbs cornstarch

2 1/2C all purpose flour
1 Tbs B. Powder
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 lb carrots (about 6) peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1C sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/4C granulated sugar
1/2C packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2C vegetable oil

Cream Cheese Frosting
12 tbs unslated butter (1 1/2 sticks) softened
3C confectioner's sugar
16 ounces cream cheese softened and cut into 8 pieces
3C sweetened shredded coconut, toasted (see above)

1. FOR THE PUDDING: Process pineapple chunks and concentrate in the food processor until smooth. Transfer to meduim saucepan and whick in constarch until smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and regrigerate at least 1 1/2 hours.

2. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray. Line pans with parchment and spray parchment with cooking spray. Whisk flour, b. powder, pumpkin pie spice, giner and salt in a large bowl.

3. Process carrots in food pricessor until finely ground. Transfer to a large bowl and wipe processor bowl dry. Process coconut with granulated sugar until coconut is finely chopped. Add brown sugar and eggs and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. With machine running, slowly pour in oil and process until combined.

4. Transfer mixture to bowl with carrots. Add flour mixture and 3/4 C pudding mixture and stir until no streaks of flour remain. Pour into prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack, peel parchment and let cool completely for two hours.

5. FOR THE FROSTING: With electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, 1 peice at a time, and beat until incorporated. Beat in remaining 1C pudding mixture. (Mixture will appear slightyl grainy.) Refrigerate until ready to use.

6.When cakes are cooled, spread two cups frosting on 1 cake. Top with second cake and spread top and sides with remaining frosting. Regrigerate for 15 minutes. Sprinkle toasted coconut on top and press into sides of cake. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 2 days.

NOTE: I still had a little over a cup of frosting left, because it just seemed like way too much to put on the cake. I was happy that I didn't use it all, but now I have this frosting left over that I would love to top carrot cake muffins with if anyone has a good carrot muffin recipe pass it along. Thanks.

Rating = So God Dam Good - My Dad says that this is the right rating for this!


tammy said...

This looks good. My husband is a carrot cake freak, and requires that I make one every year for his birthday (which is coming right up). Not sure he'd go for the coconut, but I know I would.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I've been trying to see this picture for days with no success - the Internet at the office hasn't been good.
It was worth waiting for! This is delicious. I will give it a try and post it so my fellow Brazilians will see another delicious carrot cake!

Good work, JB!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks so much for the recipe! I love Cook's Illustrated recipes and this one, like most all of theirs sounds delicious!!

nikki said...

My coworker brought this in for her birthday and it is AWESOME! I'm going to try to make it next - I can't wait!!

Meghan said...

I also made this cake and posted it in my food blog. I linked to your post for the recipe. Hope you don't mind!