ABOUT THE RECIPE
Carrots are really easy to grow. So easy that, sometimes, overwhelmed by the idea of having our own vegetable garden and enjoying our Km 0 veggies during summer, we find ourselves surrounded by tons of carrots and zero idea of what to cook with them. Baking a Carrot Cake might seems the best solution for a couple of reasons: with the recipe below it takes 10 minutes to prepare the batter and 40 minutes to cook, it’s an healthy alternative for your outdoor trips and picnics, and most important, since you need them to be grounded, you can also use those carrots with some imperfections (those no-longer-so-fresh carrots).
Last but not least, while we were looking for some good recipes to share with you, we found The World Carrot Museum (yes, you read that right), an internet based museum entirely dedicated to carrots news and recipes. According to their author, the origins of the modern carrot cakes dates back to Medieval times, where carrot puddings were enjoyed by European people. The recipe had a return of popularity in the 20th century, because the carrots were considered a “healthy alternative” to classic batters (Is that true? Well, it all depends what you’re adding in your cake). They were also a good alternative to sugar, during the II World War a number of dessert recipes with carrots flourished, due to sugar shortage, their sweetness and their versatility in the kitchen.
FOR THE CAKE
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 cups freshly ground carrots (about 7 medium carrots)
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
FOR THE FROSTING
¼ cup ( ½ stick) butter, at room temperature
¼ cup solid vegetable shortening
1 ½ cups (¾ pound) cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups confectioners' sugar
A NOTE ON MEASUREMENTS
We work with chefs from all around the world, which is why we include both imperial (cups/ounces) and metric (grams) measurements. To achieve best results, we highly recommend that you utilize a kitchen scale and follow the metric measurements when possible.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180° Celsius) and grease a 9- by 11-inch sheet pan with a tablespoon of vegetable oil of your choice.
FOR THE CAKE
In a large bowl, combine the oil, sugar, the grounded carrots, walnuts (you can substitute the walnuts with other dry fruits of your choice), flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir to combine, then add eggs and mix well. Pour the batter into the pan and cook for 45 minutes or until the cake is springy to the touch.
Remove from the oven and let the cake cool.
FOR THE FROSTING
Cream the butter, vegetable shortening and cream cheese with a wooden spoon or hand mixer. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Add the confectioners' sugar and stir until smooth.
When the cake is cooled, frost.
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