Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie

For a few months now I have been watching this wonderful group of bakers over at Tuesdays With Dorie as they bake their way through Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours. I knew I wanted to join them. In order for that to happen I had to make a few other things happen first:
1- I needed a blog. Check!
2- I needed to make a commitment. Check!
3- I had to get a copy of the book. Check!!!!

Now that all three have been checked off- I am now a member of this wonderful group, Tuesdays with Dorie!

This is my first week and Amanda over at Slow Like Honey gave us our "assignment" of Bill's Big Carrot Cake. I am not a huge fan of carrot cake, however, I did find some carrot cake lovers to share the cake with. They said they really enjoyed it. In an attempt to get my husband to eat some of the cake I substituted chocolate chips for the raisins. It still didn't work- His exact words were "gross". He really is a dessert lover but he does not like carrot cake- oh well!

Bill's Big Carrot Cakes
Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Yields 10 servings


For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots (about 9 carrots, you can grate them in food processor fitted w/ a shredding a blade or use a box grater)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
½ cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs

For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound or 3 and ¾ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional)

Getting ready:
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides, and tap out the excess. Put the two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.

To make the cake:
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a 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 the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, 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 cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.

To make the frosting:
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a 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.
If you'd like coconut in the filling, scoop about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this position.

To assemble the cake:
Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. If you added the coconut to the frosting, use half of the coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer (or generously cover with plain frosting). Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake stop side down, and frost with the remainder of the coconut frosting or plain frosting. Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the top- and the sides- of the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now while the frosting is soft.
Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.

This cake can be served as soon as the frosting is set. It can also wait, at room temperature and covered with a cake keeper overnight. The cake is best served in thick slices at room temperature and while it's good plain, it's even better with vanilla ice cream or some lemon curd.

The cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen. Freeze it uncovered, then when it's firm, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.


Catiebenz said...

As usual the pictures are great. Wish I weren't allergic to cheeses! I love to taste something that looks so good!

Mary said...

yeah! welcome to the group! your first TWD turned out beautifully!

CB said...

Beautiful cake! Chocolate chips huh? Interesting... Welcome to TWD!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Welcome aboard! You've done a fine job, your cake looks amazing!

Di said...

Welcome! I had to laugh at your chocolate chip substitution. It sounds like the sort of thing I would do to get my 5-year-old to eat something. =)

amanda. said...

I love love love your flour and sugar containers! They are too cute!

Welcome to TWD! Your cake is lovely, fellow Braves fan. :)

Annemarie said...

It looks just like the pic in teh book!! Nice job & welcome!!

Shari said...

Chocolate chips is a great idea. Everything tastes better with them! Welcome to the group.

Gretchen Noelle said...

Welcome to TWD! So glad you found carrot cake lovers to share with! Chocolate chips are certainly a creative idea! Great job!

Cecilia said...

Welcome to the group!! I'm sorry that your first installment of TWD wasn't to your (or your husband's) liking. I hope you still had fun putting together the cake; it looks great!

LyB said...

Oooh, chocolate chips in carrot cake, I really must try that! Your cake looks delicious!

Sharon said...

Welcome to TWD! The cake looks great. Too funny adding the Choc chips to try to convice your husband to like it.

Donna said...

Beautiful Big Luscious Cake!