We always celebrate my son's birthday on Thanksgiving, as it always falls in the same week, so there will be a cake. Since carrot cake is his favorite. I plan to try my first carrot cake ever. It doesn't seem too complicated. This one is from Martha Stewart, but I was surprised by the "ginger", which my SIL's recipe does not have.Anyway, I wish I had a piece now with some good coffee:) I also plan to make some cream cheese bars.
Martha Stewart Carrot Cake Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted plus more for pans
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
- 1 cup (3 ounces) pecan halves
- 1 pound large carrots, peeled
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
- Candied Carrot Strips
Step 1Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans. Dust with flour, and tap out any excess. Set aside. Spread pecans in a single layer on an ungreased baking pan, and toast in oven until lightly golden, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand until completely cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Finely chop pecans and set aside.
Step 4Divide batter between the two cake pans, and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove pans from oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool, about 15 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack; let stand until completely cool.
Step 5Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes so surfaces are level. Slice each layer in half crosswise. Place a layer on a cake stand or cardboard round, and spread 3/4 cup frosting over top. Place a second cake layer on top, and spread with another 3/4 cup frosting. Repeat with third layer and another 3/4 cup frosting. Place last cake layer on top, and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of assembled cake. Transfer to refrigerator, and chill 3 to 4 hours.
Step 6If using the candied carrot strips, set a wire rack over a baking pan. Using fingers, lift one candied carrot strip from the sugar syrup, holding it over the container. With the thumb and forefinger of second hand, gently squeeze the carrot strip and slide fingers along its length, removing as much excess syrup as possible; lay the carrot strip on the wire rack. Repeat with remaining carrot strips.
Step 7Gently place tapered end of drained carrot strip in center of cake, and gently press it down the side; place a second strip next to it. Continue applying strips around entire cake every 2 inches. Form 2 or 3 strips into a decorative bow, and place on top. Cut cake, and serve.
- Survival Lessons; Alice Hoffman - 4/5 stars (eGalley) - review here
- Enon; Paul Harding - 3.5/5 stars (arc/eGalley) --- If you have read Tinkers, Harding's previous novel, you will notice that Enon, takes place in the same New England town. In fact the narrator, Charlie Crosby, is the grandson of George from Tinkers. The reader knows this book is going to be sad in some way as the story opens with this paragraph --- “Most men in my family make widows of their wives and orphans of their children. I am the exception. My only child, Kate, was struck and killed by a car while riding her bicycle home from the beach one afternoon in September, a year ago.” What follows is the story of Charlie's life, the year following his daughter's death. It's a well-written story, but an extremely depressing account of "how not to grieve for a lost child."
- Claire of the Sea Light; Edwidge Danticat - 4/5 (arc/audio) - Set in the Haitian village of Ville Rose, on little Claire's seventh birthday, also known as her, "death day" since her mother died giving birth to her. It's a day that includes a visit to the place where her mother is buried. Since her father is a poor fisherman, struggling to care for her, he thinks about giving her away the a wealthy family, but on the day it looked like that might happen, Claire disappears.
Just when I started to fall in love with Claire, she literally disappeared from the novel. Each new chapter introduced lot's of new characters whose lives in some way have crossed paths with Claire and her father. The story goes back and forth in time and some of the chapters which follow Claire's disappearance felt almost like short novellas, instead of a continuation of the original story. Although I loved the writing, it was hard for me to connect with some of the new characters. However, as with Danticat's previous work, the writing is addictive, words you'll savor and the interconnected stories tugged at the heartstrings as well. I was left with even a bleaker picture of life in Haiti for many, but I do not regret my time invested. It deserves to be read.
Coming Week's Reading Plans -