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michiruwater
09-27-2010, 10:52 PM
A world-famous composer is coming to give a clinic at my department this week and it happens to be his birthday. My band director voluntold me to make him a birthday cake. Naturally, although I am generally very good at baking, I am terrified.

His favorite kind of cake is carrot (he has a blog where, thankfully, he mentioned this). I have never made a carrot cake. Also, I would like this to pretty much be the Best Carrot Cake ever. Because this is seriously a very famous, very talented composer and I hear he's kind of eccentric (of course!) anyway so I have no idea what he'll do/say.

So, FSU, help! What is your favorite carrot cake recipe, and do you have any tips??

soxxy
09-27-2010, 11:05 PM
Someone asked recently, for a start:

http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?t=74979&highlight=carrot

orbitz
09-28-2010, 02:56 AM
You're putting too much pressure on yourself to create the best carrot cake ever when you've never even baked a carrot cake before.

Here are your 3 possible options:
(1) Bake a carrot cake from scratch. Your only expectation is that it will be edible and taste good.
(2) Buy a store bought carrot cake from a gourmet shop that has a good reputation.
(3) Buy Duncan Heins carrot cake mix in a box and cream cheese frosting from a can.

Whichever route you choose, people will be tactful and nice and tell you your cake is very good ;)

CarolineBingley
09-28-2010, 06:25 AM
Go with Orbitz option #2 - no pressure on you and everyone will enjoy - not the time for a your first time!

Veronika
09-28-2010, 05:25 PM
Or you could go with a carrot cake mix and homemade frosting--the best of both worlds.

Twilight1
09-28-2010, 05:31 PM
Carrot Cake Recipe:

1 cup (100 grams) pecans or walnuts

3/4 pound (340 grams) raw carrots (about 2 1/2 cups finely grated)

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour (sifted)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar

1 cup (240 ml) safflower or vegetable oil

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature

2 cups (230 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter or spray two - 9 x 2 inch (23 x 5 cm) cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper.

In bowl of electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light colored (about 3 - 4 minutes). Add the oil in a steady stream and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. With a large rubber spatula fold in the grated carrots and chopped nuts. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cakes cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes. Remove from pans/ parchment paper.

Place one cake top side down on serving plate, frost with 1/3rd of icing, then place other round cake top side down and use remaining icing, getting sides as well.

Decorate with pecans or walnuts. You can get those decorative carrots (not sure the name of them) in some places to add a little bit of 'umph' to the cake.

It is absolutely fabulous and if you follow the directions to a 'T' it tastes great.

skatingfan5
09-28-2010, 05:46 PM
Go with Orbitz option #2 - no pressure on you and everyone will enjoy - not the time for a your first time!I vote for option #2 as well. Why put yourself under all that stress? The cafeteria here at my office has just about the best carrot cake I've ever had -- it's run by the students in the hospitality program and over the past 20 years that I've sampled it has always been fabulous. I think I've only had one other cake that was better (and I've sampled lots of home baked carrot cakes -- most of them were very good, but there was the occasional "off" one). So go with buying one from an upscale bakery -- wanting to create the perfect cake on your very first attempt is putting way too much pressure on yourself.

michiruwater
09-29-2010, 04:41 AM
I like pressure.

Well, sort of.

I also have the scariest boss/band director in the world and if she says "you're baking Famous Composer a cake", then I am baking Famous Composer a cake. I can picture it now: "If I wanted a store-bought cake I would have done that myself!!"

Which leaves options 1 and 3.

I will probably attempt to make a cake, and if it is The Worst Cake Ever, I will have also purchased the Duncan Hines cake mix and go with that.

Famous Composer also happens to be a huge food nerd and frequently makes long posts on his blog about Awesome Gourmet Restaurant of the Week with hi-res photos and eloquent critiques so I have this huge void in my soul at the idea of making him a Duncan Hines cake. The only thing I've ever baked that went absolutely wrong was when I tried to make a custard for a banana cream pie. I still don't know what I did wrong. So I'm relatively optimistic.

I'm also kind of a perfectionist.

And really, my boss is skary.

skatingfan5
09-29-2010, 02:44 PM
I like pressure.

Well, sort of.

I also have the scariest boss/band director in the world and if she says "you're baking Famous Composer a cake", then I am baking Famous Composer a cake. I can picture it now: "If I wanted a store-bought cake I would have done that myself!!"

And really, my boss is skary.I would have said "Sure, I'll bake the cake, if YOU will assume any and all responsibility, in a written waiver, in case anyone has an allergic or otherwise adverse reaction to eating it." Just would want to cover all my bases, since food allergies are a huge deal around here. :shuffle:

taf2002
09-29-2010, 03:07 PM
michiruwater, have you made your cake yet? I have used this recipe for 25 yrs & I call it my never fail. You can't screw it up. I use a bundt pan but you can make layers if you want:

ingredients:

1 1/2 Cups (C) vegetable oil
2 C sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon (tsp) baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 C flour
1 C pecans or walnuts
1 1/2 C coconut
1 C raisins or dates
3 C grated carrot (you can buy it already grated at some stores)

Beat oil & sugar until smooth, then beat in eggs 1 at a time. Add next 4 ingredients & beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Blend in remaining ingredients (you may have to do this by hand) & pour into greased & floured pan(s). Bake at 350F- 30 mins for three 8" layer pans or 45-55 mins for bundt or tube. Test doneness with toothpick, it should come out clean. Let cool competely before icing. (After cake is removed from pan I put in the freezer to speed up cooling if I'm in a hurry.)

Icing:

1 stick (1/2 C) butter or margerine (not whipped)
1 8 oz cream cheese (I think that is about 1/2 C)
2-3 C powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat butter & cream cheese together until smooth, then add powdered sugar gradually until you reach desired thickness. Beat in vanilla & ice cake.

Refridgerate cake until serving.