readily said "A carrot cake". I thought of a Martha Stewart carrot cake recipe that I had made for Easter a couple of years ago, which was very well-received.
Carrot-Ginger Layer Cake (Martha Stewart)
- Unsalted butter, for pans
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
- 1 cup (3 ounces) pecan halves
- 1 pound large carrots(with carrot greens, to use for marzipan carrots), peeled
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans. Dust pans with flour, and tap out any excess. Set pans aside. Spread pecans in a single layer on an ungreased baking pan, and toast in the oven until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven, and let stand until completely cool. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Finely chop pecans, and set aside.
- Using the smallest holes (less than 1/4 inch in diameter) of a box grater, grate carrots, yielding 2 1/2 cups. Place carrots, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, sugar, vegetable oil, and ginger in a large bowl; whisk until well combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture until combined. Fold in the toasted pecans.
- Divide batter between the two cake pans, and bake until a cake tester inserted into the middles comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove pans from oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool, 15 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack; let stand until completely cool.
Place one layer on cake stand and add some frosting. Place second layer on top and completely frost the rest of the cake. I then dusted around the entire edge of the cake with some of the ground chocolate cookie crumbs(from marzipan carrot directions). Transfer to refrigerator and chill at least 4 hours or up to 4 days, covered with a cake dome. When ready to serve, place marzipan carrots around the edge of the cake.
- I kept the cake at 2 layers, not 4. If you want to make 4 layers, do the following:
Using a serrated knife, trim tops of the cakes so surfaces are level. Slice each layer in half horizontally. 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 the sides of the assembled cake. Transfer to refrigerator, and chill 3 to 4 hours, or up to 4 days, covered with a cake dome.
Orange Cream-Cheese Frosting
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese room temperature
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 3/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated, peeled ginger
- Pinch of salt
- Place butter in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, and beat until well combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Add sugar, orange zest, ginger, and salt, and beat for 5 minutes.
- 7 ounces marzipan (found on the baking aisle in most grocery stores)
- orange gel-past food coloring
- 5 chocolate wafer cookies, very finely ground
- fresh carrot greens (reserved from carrots for cake)
With a toothpick, add a dash of food coloring to the marzipan and knead with fingers to combine, continue until desired shade is achieved.
Shape a teaspoon of marzipan into 12 balls, and place on a clean work surface. using your hands, roll each piece back and forth ( I had better success rolling it between the palms of my hands) to form a 2-inch log. Using your fingers, shape one end of each log into a tapered point to form a carrot shape. Use the tip of a skewer or toothpick (that's what I used) to make a small hole at the top of each carrot. using a paring knife, make small grooves across (working down) the surface or each carrot. Carrots can be kept at room temperature, in an airtight container, for up to one week.
When ready to serve, roll carrots in cookie crumbs, lightly brushing of excess, and insert carrot greens into the holes.
This cake is a labor of love and is well worth the effort!
Linked to :
Sweets for a Saturday
Weekend Wrap Up Party
Lovin' it Fridays