Food for Soul

Carrot cake

Carrot cake
For some years I resisted adding carrot cake to the Violet
repertoire. I didn’t understand its appeal. Yet nearly every day at
Violet, an innocent, unassuming customer would walk in, look
around at the twenty or so gorgeous cakes we offered and ask, “Do
you do a carrot cake?” It became obvious that the carrot cake filled
a certain emotional void for many people. I decided not to deny
them, but to make a carrot cake that even I would love.
Makes one double-layer 23-cm (9-inch) cake, serving 12, or 24 cupcakes
FOR THE SPONGE
250g (9 ounces) carrots, grated
100g (1¼ cups) unsweetened shredded coconut
100g (3½ ounces) pecans, lightly toasted and chopped fine
400g (1¾ cups) vegetable oil
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
400g (2 cups) sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks, plus 4 egg whites
320g (2⅓ cups) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
FOR THE ICING/FILLING
1 recipe Cream Cheese Icing
Preheat your oven to 170°C/340°F (150°C/300°F convection).
Butter two 23-cm (9-inch) cake pans and line with parchment
paper, or line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the carrots, coconut, and pecans
and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the vegetable oil, vanilla, 200g
(1 cup) of the sugar, the two whole eggs, and the egg yolks until
foamy. Add to the carrot mixture and fold together. Wash and
thoroughly dry this bowl.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking
soda, and cinnamon and fold into the egg and carrot mixture until
barely combined.
In your clean mixer bowl, whisk together the egg whites, salt, and
the remaining 200g (1 cup) of sugar until the mixture forms stiff
peaks. Fold this into the carrot mixture until just combined.
Either divide the mixture between the two cake pans, leveling the
tops with a rubber spatula, or scoop it into the cupcake liners,
filling each liner half-full.
The whole cakes will take about 1 hour to bake and the cupcakes
about 25 minutes. The cakes are ready when an inserted skewer
comes out clean.
Use the Cream Cheese Icing recipe to decorate the cupcakes or to
fill and ice the top and sides of the whole cakes—or you can just
ice the tops of each cake and sandwich them together.

The Violet Bakery Cookbook / Claire Ptak

http://www.istockphoto.com

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