Although. I think posturing is probably the more accurate term.
(intransitive verb. behavior that is exaggerated or affected, especially as an attempt to impress or deceive others.)
That's why I agree to do things. Crazy things. That I have no business agreeing to.
Remember the 12 weeks of winter squash? That was one. Or that New Year's Resolution to give up storebought bread for a year? Delusion number two.
The problem is that we all have crazy ideas like this. But for most of us they are fleeting thoughts. Transient. Ephemeral. They pass in and out of existence before we even realize they were there in the first place.
Then again. Some of us. Allow our minds to run in slow motion. So that we can grab hold of them as they pass. And not let go. We make bold declarations. Jump in head-first. And don't look back until it's too late.
And you? You enable us. You say things like, Yes! We want 12 weeks of the same orange vegetable prepared 12 different ways! We don't care if your skin turns orange or you start to dream in terms of varietals of butternut squash!
And then what can we do but comply? Who are we to deny the people what they want?
So when Sophie asked me if I would bake a cake for 25 people for our school president's last official student council meeting. I conveniently "forgot" that I do not actually run a catering business. And so I said yes. I almost offered to throw in some appetizers and a three course meal as well (I swear that girl is secretly injecting adrenaline into my veins). But somehow managed to restrain myself.
So. What goes into a cake for 25 people? Funny you should ask. 18x14 inches worth of batter. 6 cups of grated carrots. 4 cups of sugar. 2 batches of Dorie Greenspan's carrot cake recipe. An hour and a half in the oven. And a whole lot of sweat and tears.
And what made it all worth it? Was it the fact that it got rave reviews? Or produced the best cream cheese frosting that I've ever tasted? No.
It was the piece that Sophie so carefully coveted for me. Because what's the point of baking a cake. If you can't eat it, too.Dorie Greenspan's Carrot Cake
Serves 12, adapted from Baking From My Home To Yours (I doubled this recipe to serve 25)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened - I used sweetened)
1/2 cup moist, plump raisins (I used golden)
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola or safflower oil
4 large eggs
For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound (3 3/4 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted (I used way less than this. I used maybe a quarter of a box for double the frosting. Seriously.)
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice or 1/2 tsp. pure lemon extract
Preheat the oven to 325° F. Butter a 9x13-inch cake pan. Flour the insides and tap out the excess.
To Make the Cake - Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, coconut and raisins.
Working with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one, and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix in the chunky ingredients. Pour the batter into the baking pan.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean; the cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cake and un-mold it. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
To Make the Frosting - Working with ta hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract.Frost the cake. And decorate as desired.
This is my submission to this week's BSI: Carrots! Which, of course, brings me to the round-up!
To start us off, we have the lovely Reeni of Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice who creates a super healthy version of carrot banana bread. Oil-free. Refined-sugar free. The perfect recipe for those of us who want to eat our cake for breakfast. And not feel quite so guilty about it.
Indo of Daily Musings turns carrots into a celebratory meal with her Carrot Payasam/Kheer. She's making me wish every day can be a holiday!
Sadhani of A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine really knows how to make veggies appeal to everyone...just put them into a dessert! Her carrot halwa
and carrot raisin cake would convert even the most ardent veggie hater.
PJ of Ginger and Garlic may not be sure of what to call her submission, as it is a cross between a traditional carrot halwa and her somewhat healthier version. Personally, I don't care what she calls it as long as I get a taste...other than delicious of course!
Cool Lassi(e) of Pan Gravy Kadai Curry is my direct competitor for number one pudding lover of the world. I think we can agree to a truce though. Hopefully there is going to be enough pudding to go around. But maybe not if I get my hands on this Carrot Halwa. Because I will probably have eaten all of it before she even gets a chance.
Lynn of Queen of the Castle whips up this Pureed Vegetable Soup to use up some of the veggies she has sitting in her fridge. I, on the other hand, plan on going out and buying the veggies just so I can make this. Because it looks. So. Good.
Nithu of Nithu's Kitchen gives us two liquid variations on carrot dishes. One can be used to warm us up during the cold days of winter - a tomato, carrot and peas soup.
And the other, carrot kheer, which would make a great summertime treat! Although judging by how creamy and delicious it sounds, I may have to make it year-round.
Azita of Turmeric and Saffron feels the way that I do about carrots...she always has them on hand and never quite knows what to do with them. Thankfully she broke out of her slump and whipped up this amazing Persian Carrot Jam!
Chaya, one of the most prolific bloggers I know brings us treats from both of her blogs. From Chaya's Comfy Cook Blog we have this scrumptious and gluten-free carrot cake:
Which we then balance out with some pepper carrots that were featured over at Sweet and Savory Says It All.
Joanna of BakeSpace combines some of my favorite spices in these Carrot Ginger Cupcakes. Comfort food, if ever I saw it.
Debbi of Debbi Does Dinner takes the BSI challenge to a whole new level...by choosing to use her carrots as food art! Check out her post to see how she and her kids use carrots, pretzels, and marshmallows to make edible alien spaceships and campfires (among other things!).
Caronae at Run.Write.Therapy.Life is a first-time participant in the BSI, but in my opinion, she seems like an old pro because this sweet and savory carrot-apple-sweet potato omelet looks amazing!
Veronica of Recipe Rhapsody plays both good and bad angel in this round-up, submitting a delicious and totally tempting old-fashioned carrot cake...
Along with this carrot, dill and white bean salad. Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?
Tamy of Always Eat On The Good China must know that I have a penchant for savory dishes that use cinnamon. Her Ritzy Carrot and Broccoli Casserole is definitely something that I would love.
Biz of The Biggest Diabetic Loser made the cutest Carrot Cake Muffins with Cinnamon Frosting that I've ever seen. The best part is...they are low fat and only 122 calories. I, personally, am really intrigued by the Greek yogurt frosting on top. Then again, I am a frosting addict.
Aqua of Served with Love likes carrots as much as the next person...as long as they're cooked (and really who doesn't love that roasted caramelized goodness that occurs when you throw some carrots into an oven). Her carrot raita with yogurt will really hit the spot when that root vegetable craving hits.
So there we have it! Thanks to Sophia of Burp and Slurp for offering me the hosting position! I will be updating this post with the winner tonight!
As much as I enjoyed it though. All good things must come to an end. And therefore it is time for me to pass on the torch. The next BSI host is going to be Natasha of 5 Star Foodie! Natasha has a way of using both exotic and commonplace ingredients to come up with the craziest food combinations! I can't wait to see what her ingredient choice is for next week. Stop by tomorrow to find out!