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World's best carrot-cake recipe

Dessert

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229 replies to this topic

#91 chantal

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 03:51 PM

Hi everybody,
I am a egullet newbie, this is my first post. Thought I'd throw this recipe into the mix. This cake was the National Carrot Advisory Board Winner for first prize-- it was the best of 3,500 recipes submitted for carrot cake. Whenever I make it it gets lots of oohs and ahhs... http://members.tripo...ecipes/id33.htm.

It does have a whopping 1 1/2 cups of oil in the batter but what the hell. I have yet to make the filling because there is just enough frosting to put in between the two 9'' layers I bake it in. I'll compare it against the Frog Commisary recipe around Easter and I'll give you my humble opinion.


Chantal

#92 Patrick S

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 04:31 PM

Welcome, Chantal!
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#93 Swisskaese

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 05:13 AM

I just found another interesting carrot cake recipe that I am going to have to try. I will have to make it without the coconut because my fiance hates dessicated coconut.

BTW - Wholemeal flour is what Americans call wholewheat.

The Ultimate Carrot Cake with Marscarpone, Fromage Frais and Cinnamon Icing

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I made this cake yesterday and brought to a Bar Mitzvah. It was a huge hit. I used white self-raising flour instead of wholewheat and left out the coconut. It was moist and not too sweet.

Sorry, but I couldn't take any pictures.

#94 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 07:14 AM

Welcome to The eGullet Society for Arts & Letters Chantal! I love to try recipes like that, that have already gone thru alot of testing and competitions and won. I'll definately give it a try asap. Thanks for posting!

#95 chantal

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 08:56 AM

Welcome to The eGullet Society for Arts & Letters Chantal! I love to try recipes like that, that have already gone thru alot of testing and competitions and won. I'll definately give it a try asap. Thanks for posting!

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Thanks for your warm welcome Wendy and Patrick,
Just getting back after a little surgury (liver stones) and moving around again. .. Looking forward to seeing what some of you might make for Easter. Anybody ever made the ultimate sticky bun recipe from Cook's Illustrated? Thinking about possible hot cross buns. I think I want to make the Pullah (Scandanavian egg braid) from Baking with Julia, it's just amazing and there is this recipe in this month's Food and wine for French toast...peanut butter between two slices of brioche then dipped in egg and imbedded with cornfalkes then served with starwberries and maple syrup :shock: Maybe I could make that with the leftover Pullah.

Chantal

#96 Ling

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 06:07 PM

I just made the Frog Commisionary carrot cake. It's very good, but I changed a few things.

I cut the sugar by 3 tbsp. when I was making the pecan filling, but it still ended up being way too sweet for me. I had to add an additional 1/4 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of cream, and re-cook it. Also, I got lots of flour lumps when I followed the directions by adding the cream to the flour--wouldn't it have turned out better by cooking the butter, sugar and flour together, and then adding the cream (like a bechamel?)

Anyway, I had to strain the filling to get rid of the flour lumps, and when I added the extra butter, I dissolved some cornstarch in the cream and added that to the filling.

This is how I would do the filling next time:
1. Add 3/4 cup of sugar and 3/4 cup butter to saucepan, heat until butter melts.
2. Dissolve 2 tbsp. of cornstarch into a few tablespoons of cream, stir, and then add more cream for a total of 1 1/2 cup.
3. Cook over medium heat for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Cool.
4. Stir in 2 tsp. vanilla and 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans.

I also used less icing sugar than called for in the cream cheese frosting. I used a total of 2 1/2 cups, and also added about 2 tbsp. of orange juice. I also prefer a 2:1 ratio of cream cheese to butter, instead of 1:1 like the recipe calls for.

I also baked the cakes in three 8" round pans.

Thanks for this recipe--I will certainly use it again. I like this cake better than the Southern Living one.

Edited by Ling, 17 June 2005 - 06:12 PM.


#97 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 12:03 AM

Ling - Thanks for your review with revisions. I really liked the Southern Living one, with and without the buttermilk glaze but since you liked the Commisionary one better I'll give it a try. So many people mentioned how sweet it is which is why I haven't tried it but I'll follow your instructions and see how it goes. Might be a couple weeks but I'll let you know what I think.
Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

#98 Ling

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 12:57 PM

^You're welcome! I had 3 pieces last night, and another 2 pieces this morning. I think it's safe to say that I like the cake a lot. :biggrin:

There's only one piece left!

#99 MightyD

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 07:07 AM

a few years ago, a cook's illustrated magazine advocated the sugaring and squeezing of grated carrots to remove excess moisture in carrot cake baking.

is it really worth the time and effort to do this? i do find my carrot cakes a bit soggy after a day or two due to all the moisture from the carrots - or is my recipe just too heavy on the carrots?

#100 ScorchedPalate

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 09:55 AM

Hmm, the Cook's Illustrated recipe I use for carrot cake -- from Baking Illustrated and also found on their site [subscription required] -- doesn't call for this step. And the cake gets rave reviews every time I make it, even from people who say they don't usually like carrot cake.

I suspect your recipe might have a higher sugar content (sugar is hygroscopic -- attracts moisture) in addition to a bit more carrots than necessary. I do wish recipes would specify weight and volume for items that naturally vary in size; 3 older, smallish carrots could easily be less than half the weight of 3 fresh, largish ones.

There's a peach cobbler recipe of theirs that does ask you to sugar the peaches, drain-and-save the resulting liquid, and add a measured amount back to the peaches ...to account for the differences in peach ripeness and moisture, I recall.
Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

#101 Ling

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 12:55 PM

I don't squeeze.

#102 chefpeon

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 03:54 PM

Every carrot cake recipe I have used COUNTED on the extra moisture in the carrots to thin the batter out. As I mix, the batter is super thick, then when the carrots are added, it thins out quite a bit, which is what is supposed to happen. I've never heard of squeezing grated carrots...yipes! Man if I had to do that with the large batches I make, I'd never get anything else done! :wacko:

I think Anita's right......if your cake is soggy, you may have too many carrots in there.

#103 DragonflyDesserts

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 04:23 PM

Carrot cake has been the basis of my business and it is a simple recipe from Betty Crocker. It uses three cups of fresh grated carrots and I have gotten rave reviews from this cake. I sell both retail and wholesale. I've been tempted many times to try some "gourmet" version with all the extras but remind myself to stick with what works.
Cheryl Brown
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#104 browniebaker

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 08:28 AM

MightyD's not dreaming this: she really did see a Cook's Illustrated recipe for carrot cake that calls for squeezing the juice out after maacertaing the grated carrots in sugar. I saw it, too.

The rationale given was that removing the water concentrates the carrot flavor.

I have never tried doing that, though. It seems a waste to squeeze out, inevitably, some of the flavor; and I am perfectly happy with the traditional, no-squeeze, carrot-cake recipe.

#105 MightyD

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 07:59 AM

so the cake stays perfectly moist without squeezing (ie doesn't get soggy) after days? my recipe (which i got from one of Maida Heatter's books) tastes SOOO good but gets SOOOO soggy.

makes me sad to have to look for another recipe - although the Frog Commissary recipe looks very promising ....

#106 Ling

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 11:19 AM

^I use the Frog Commissary recipe (with some modifications to the frosting and the pecan filling) and it's excellent. It doesn't get soggy after a few days.

Edited by Ling, 02 September 2005 - 11:19 AM.


#107 ScorchedPalate

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 11:27 AM

I have no idea whether the Cook's recipe gets soggy after a few days. It's so good, it never lasts that long. :)
Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

#108 claire797

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 05:52 AM

I've never squeezed carrots. It's probably something you should do in some recipes depending on the volume of other liquids.

I do have another question, though. On occassion, I've been lazy and have resorted to using pre-shredded packaged carrots. The cake tastes fine the first day, but by the second day, shreds of carrot in the cake turn green. It's pretty disgusting because it looks like the cake is infested with tiny green worms. I'm never using pre-shredded, packaged carrots again (obviously), but am curious to know what causes this.

#109 Char

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 02:56 PM

I've never squeezed carrots.  It's probably something you should do in some recipes depending on the volume of other liquids.

I do have another question, though.  On occassion, I've been lazy and have resorted to using pre-shredded packaged carrots.  The cake tastes fine the first day, but by the second day, shreds of carrot in the cake turn green.  It's pretty disgusting because it looks like the cake is infested with tiny green worms.  I'm never using pre-shredded, packaged carrots again (obviously), but am curious to know what causes this.

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The carrots may have a preservative added that will react with either the baking soda or walnuts in your recipe. If neither are present, then I'm stumped. If it helps, I've gotten rid of the problem by roasting the carrots in a hot oven for about 15-20 minutes before I add them to the batter.

But I have a different complaint regarding pre-shredded carrots--they are hard, dry, and tasteless. They are so dry that I have to add liquid (usually pineapple juice) to the batter to thin it out. I'd shred fresh carrots but I don't have time to eat, let alone shred 15 pounds of carrots by hand. Of course, I'd use the robot coupe but the plastic guard went MIA a few weeks ago. Who knows when he'll return...

#110 claire797

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 03:05 PM

Char, that's interesting. I'm sure you are right and that it's some preservative reacting with the other ingredients. Wonder what it is.

But I've learned my lesson and plan on using fresh carrots in my next carrot cake.

#111 chefpeon

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 03:52 PM

But I have a different complaint regarding pre-shredded carrots--they are hard, dry, and tasteless. They are so dry that I have to add liquid (usually pineapple juice) to the batter to thin it out. I'd shred fresh carrots but I don't have time to eat, let alone shred 15 pounds of carrots by hand. Of course, I'd use the robot coupe but the plastic guard went MIA a few weeks ago. Who knows when he'll return...


OH!!!
You are SO RIGHT about the pre-shredded carrots being dry and weird! I too, have to use so many shredded carrots that it's cheaper to buy them in pre-shredded, than to run carrots through a teeny tiny feed tube on a freakin' CUISINART. There is no Robot-Coupe where I work! :sad:

Guess what I found out by accident though! If I freeze the pre-shredded carrots, and then thaw them, they are way juicier! Try it! :smile:

Oh, and I'll add this......I use my pre-shreds to make a Morning Glory Muffin batter, which is real similar to carrot cake. There is baking soda in my recipe (no walnuts), but I've never seen my carrot shreds turn green........

Edited by chefpeon, 07 September 2005 - 03:54 PM.


#112 claire797

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 06:46 PM

[quote name='chefpeon' date='Sep 7 2005, 03:52 PM']
[quote]

Oh, and I'll add this......I use my pre-shreds to make a Morning Glory Muffin batter, which is real similar to carrot cake. There is baking soda in my recipe (no walnuts), but I've never seen my carrot shreds turn green........

View Post

[/quote]

Maybe it's the brand of carrots I'm using? I wish I knew. It's just too weird.

Thanks for the tip on freezing the carrots. Maybe when I have time, I'll shred a bunch of carrots and throw them in the freezer for a day when I'm in need of a carrot cake.

#113 snacky_cat

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 09:36 PM

I just finished making the Frog Commissary recipe on Ling's recommendation and it turned out wonderfully! Like a few others on here, I skipped the pecan cream filling in favour of the cream cheese icing and baked the cake in 2 8" rounds. I prefer a tangier icing, so I reduced the powdered sugar a fair amount, adding a small amount at a time until I was happy with the taste. I put a bit of orange extract in too.

It turned out quite well - very moist and a perfect density - not too heavy, not too fluffy. Mr. Cat gobbled up a large slice the second it was frosted and declared it a success. I haven't baked or iced a cake in donkey's years, so I was totally chuffed at the outcome. :biggrin:

Some pictures (Patirck S - how did you get that amazing close-up a few posts above? I tried 10 shots and none came remotely close, macro mode or otherwise!)

The batter - appropriate Halloween colours:
Posted Image

One of the cakes next to the frosting:
Posted Image

The finished beast:
Posted Image

Jenn
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#114 Ling

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 10:24 PM

^Nice job! :smile:

#115 Chef Metcalf

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 07:19 AM

Did anyone notice that the commissary recipe left out the amount of baking soda to be used in the ingredients list?
Yet it says to stir in both baking powder and baking soda in the directions.
Okay, I've put in the baking powder, should I omit the baking soda or put in about the same amount of the soda?
I'm just so not a baking person, can you give me some help?

#116 snacky_cat

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 09:58 AM

Did anyone notice that the commissary recipe left out the amount of baking soda to be used in the ingredients list?
Yet it says to stir in both baking powder and baking soda in the directions.
Okay, I've put in the baking powder, should I omit the baking soda or put in about the same amount of the soda?
I'm just so not a baking person, can you give me some help?

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I added 1tsp of baking soda as suggested in the comments on the foodgeek recipe page and it worked out perfectly!

Carrot cake is Mr Cat's favourite thing in the world, and he declared this the best recipe he's had yet. :smile:

Jenn
"She's not that kind of a girl, Booger!"

#117 Chef Metcalf

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 10:08 AM

Thanks S Cat. I didn't scrolled down! :blink:

#118 Mooshmouse

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 10:16 AM

Oooooh, snackette... for a girl who says that she can't cook, that carrot cake is pretty durn impressive! I didn't know you had it in ya'! :raz: :wink:
Joie Alvaro Kent
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#119 Abra

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 10:50 AM

I need to do a carrot cake for 50 (20 of whom are kids), and thought I'd use the Frog Commissary cake, which I haven't tried but so many of you really like. They want raisins and pineapple, but no nuts. I see that Patrick did this variation, so I know it'll work. I'm thinking 2 half sheets (oven size limitation), no filling, lots of frosting at their request. Does that sound like 4x the recipe as written? Any suggestions about how much pineapple the cake can take withough getting soggy? And since the filling seems to be runny, would it make a good plate-squiggle, or would I be better off with a little caramel sauce?

#120 Ling

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 01:20 PM

I think 4x the recipe would be fine, since each cake serves about 12 quite generously. I'm not sure the filling would make a good plate squiggle, because it's quite lumpy with the nuts...I don't think it would look too attractive on the plate. I'm not sure about the crowd you're baking for...caramel sauce would be nice for kids, and roasted carrot jam would be a cool idea for the grown-ups.





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