Today some unique ingredients and processes, so do not miss out on the fun. Cooking a la casa de Virgilio is always about adventure and using what you have to make great tasting food. And the cake turned out great, so follow along below and enjoy a taste from my home to yours. If you do not understand “juiced carrot” or any other tid bits you can go to the end of this post for an explanation, but I figured many of you might just want to get along with the baking.
And do not worry – I have provided the more conventional alternatives and equivalents so you can choose to be adventurous like me, do the conventional thing and ignore ideas like “juiced carrots”, or take the road between – the choice is yours.
- all purpose flour – 2 cups
- baking powder – 2 tsp
- baking soda – 2 tsp
- salt – 1/2 tsp
- ground cinnamon – 2 tsp (almost all recipes call for 3 tsp – I am not a cinnamon fan)
- ginger powder – 1/2 tsp (I like ginger, most other recipes don’t have this)
- nutmeg – 1/2 tsp
- eggs – 5 (most recipes use large eggs. I use medium -smaller so I use 5 instead of 4)
- oil – 1 1/8 cups (recipe called for 1 1/4 cups and I missed that – oops)
- juiced carrots – 1 1/2 lb (1 lb shredded carrots = 2 cups and we need 3 cups of grated carrots)
- confectionery sugar – 1 cup (didn’t have 1 cup of granulated white sugar)
- packed brown sugar – 1 cup
- chopped cashew nuts – 1/2 cup (recipe called for 1 cup of walnuts or pecans)
- soaked raisins – 1/4 cup (recipe called for 1 cup, and said nothing about soaking – I soaked in a mix of swiss chocolate syrup, Afri Koko liquor and cashew feni. for 12 hours)
- chopped blanched almond slivers – large handful to serve as garnish (no recipes I found had this as they typically make/use cream frosting which I do not fancy)
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare two 9” pans or one 12” cake pan or one 9”x 13” sheet pan by lining with parchment or wax paper. In my case I used two 1.5 qt pyrex loaf pans and a 1 2/3 cup pyrex bowl. I had two potlucks so one for each, plus something for me to enjoy beforehand and make sure it passed the stomach test as it was all an experiment.
- Mix together in a bowl together flour,baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and ginger.
- In a bigger bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, sugars, for about minute or so.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix for about 2 minutes more.
- Add the grated carrots. Then add nuts and raisins, and vanilla.
- Pour batter in prepared pans and bake for approx. 45 to 50 minutes. Then raise temp to 350 and do it for another 10 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a skewer, it should be dry when taken out, or just barely touching to have something a touch more moist. (Original recipe suggested just 40-50 minutes at 325 but I discovered it was too wet at the 45 minute mark, and so adjusted accordingly.)
A slice of my moist juiced carrot cake is the featured picture for this post.
Variations (Yes More Variations): I always say that any flavor ingredients like powders of nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamon, clove, ginger, allspice, chili, black pepper are fair game and can be added and subtracted according to mood. Any nuts suggested can be substituted for a different kind. Raisins can be switched with dates, currants… Soak your dried fruit in different marinades of liquor, hard liquor… and you add to the list of choices. Naturally I keep in mind what is the main product that I drew my initial inspiration from and who is going to consume the end result. For the potlucks I was not very adventurous.
Part of my creative process and what exactly is “juiced carrot”:
I had a lot of extra carrots that I was taking a little too long to consume and with a couple potlucks coming up I thought that some dessert was the perfect solution. And what is easier than cake? So, carrot cake it was. Now, that was what I initially thought… I searched the net and all the cake recipes that I found asked for grated carrots! Now this was supposed to be easy and I couldn’t see it being easy to spend all that time grating cups of carrots. So, I looked around and saw the juicer. Why not use the juicer using the coarsest setting and the right extruder nozzle? At the end I could simply recombine liquid and pulp. Further internet research gave the right equivalents so I could also just weight the “juiced” carrots and know I had the right amount. Easy Peasy.