Thursday, May 13, 2010

Carrot Cake W/Rum/ Crm. Chs Frosting:

3/4 pound carrots, peeled and finely grated
8 oz. can pineapple tidbits or crushed, drained
2 C unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp clove or allspice
1/2 C brown sugar
3/4 C granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 C (4 oz.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 C canola or vegetable oil

Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 8 inch cake pans. A 9 inch cake pan would also work but baking time will be shorter.

Add the drained pineapple to the shredded carrots and set aside.

In a blender, add the 4 eggs, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Blend on a low speed for a minute. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and oil and blend for 4 more minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. After the liquid mixture has finished blending, pour the blender contents into the dry ingredients, add the grated carrots and pineapple, and gently fold the batter with a rubber spatula until no streaks of flour or chunks of carrots remain.

Pour the batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake at 350 for 30 – 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Start checking the cake after 25 minutes.

The completed cake before going into the fridge

Like pineapple and coconut, browned butter and rum is one of those combinations that just works. This is a great all purpose frosting and can be used for other cakes, not just carrot cake. After browning the butter, the milk solids can be strained out for a clean looking frosting.

Brown Butter Rum Cream Cheese Frosting:

4 oz. cream cheese
4 oz. or 1 stick unsalted butter
2 1/2 – 3 C powdered sugar, sifted
2 - 3 Tbsp dark rum

Have a heat proof bowl resting in an ice bath ready.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter medium low heat. Cook the butter slowly and stir occasionally. First it will look like melted butter, then it will start to bubble and sizzle, and after a while it will start to clear and the milk solids will start to separate out of the fat. Slowly the solids will turn golden and then a light golden brown and the butter will smell nutty and caramely. When this happens, take the off heat and pour it into the bowl in the ice bath to cool it down quickly. If you let it sit, it solids will continue to cook and may burn.

Cool the butter to room temperature. Meanwhile, take the cream cheese out and bring it to room temperature.

After the butter has cooled, beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and add another cup of powdered sugar. Add more sugar according to your tastes. Slowly drizzle in rum to your tastes, starting with 1 tablespoon. I like my frostings on the boozy side but too much liquor and the frosting will be too runny. A good rule of thumb is 1 tablespoon of liquor for every cup of powdered sugar you add. Continue beating the frosting until it is fluffy and pillowy. It will have a consistency similar to whipped cream but have more structure.