Friday, November 20, 2009

My Great Cake Mistake

We're only a family of two (well, two that eat human food), so even though I love to bake, I usually have to wait until we are having people over in order to have an excuse to make a cake. But, I recently spotted this recipe and had a very exciting and very dangerous realization- if you half almost any cake recipe and bake it in a loaf pan, you get a very appealing little dessert cake that is just the right size for two (with leftovers to tide over your sweet tooth for a few days). And then I thought, after all, what is a banana, pear, or zucchini bread but a cake without the frosting? And, by that token, what is a muffin but a cupcake without the frosting? All these years I've been eating cake without even appreciating it at the time. It was The Great Cake Mistake. These were very troubling thoughts, so I put them out of my head and decided to embrace it and bake instead.
Last weekend, I whipped up this carrot cake loaf with cream cheese frosting from Everyday Food (not exactly health food, people), and it was delicious. The frosting is sweet and tangy and complements the moist cake perfectly. You could add raisins or nuts, if you are still being delusional about this not being a cake, and want it to feel more bready. We ate the whole thing over the weekend, and enjoyed every crumb. Don't say I didn't warn you, though- baking for two can be very hazardous to your health (and your waistline). But it's a pretty good deal for your taste buds.

Carrot Tea Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting
Here's what you need:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup packed grated carrots (from about 2 carrots)
1/2 cup raisins or nuts (optional)
1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar

What You do:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 5-by-9-inch (6-cup) loaf pan. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

3. Beat in carrots (and raisins and nuts, if using). With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined.

4. Transfer batter to prepared pan; bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Turn cake out onto a wire rack, and let cool completely.

5. Make frosting: Using mixer, beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until fluffy.

6. Frost top of cooled cake. Bid your diet a fond farewell.

1 comment:

Kat said...

Just made this cake! Couldn't have been any better!