Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Dough Ball!

The Dough Ball is one today. And it happens to be my 56th post! Can you believe it? On the same day. Really a milestone we're talking here. Now if it’s my birthday, I’m going to want chocolate to be involved, but I thought for my blog’s birthday, I would get to be a little more creative and make something I don’t normally make. Honestly, I don’t normally crave it and I would never go out of my way to get it, but this cake was pretty darn good, and I might be making some changes in my life now because of it. Drumroll...it was carrot cake.

I don’t know if it just sounds too healthy, it definitely doesn’t imply the richness of chocolate, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t give it a chance. So I went through my usual process of searching recipes on epicurious and there were lots, but I found one that looked simple enough, with only the good, necessary things (carrots, nuts, a couple spices) not with any of those randomly thrown in things (pineapple? coconut? orange?). And it came out really beautifully. It did take a while to cook completely, the outsides were done long before the center, which is usually the case, so I was afraid it would be dried out, but it was so moist. Even days later, and not even keeping it in the fridge, it kept really well and never lost that just-baked moistness. And it’s already been requested again.

If you’re like me, and you’re afraid carrot cake is the ugly step-sister, just remember, she’s got some amazing, brilliant hair. Translation: carrot cake usually comes with a shimmering coating of cream cheese icing, my favorite. How could you lose with that? I told my roommates that it was healthy cake because it had carrots in it, and they were thinking ok, good. And then they saw me making the icing. With the butter. And sugar. And cream cheese. So maybe not such a healthy cake, but still delicious, and I think it would go over well as a real birthday cake. Lots of layers could be fun.

Carrot Cake
Adapted from epicurious.com

4-5 carrots, peeled and grated
2 c flour
2 c sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 c vegetable/corn oil
4 eggs
1 c chopped toasted walnuts
½ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 F/170 C. Butter and flour 2 9-inch cake pans (I used one springform and cut the cake into layers). Mix sugar, oil and eggs until well mixed. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt and mix everything again. Stir in carrots and walnuts, it may seem really thick and packed with carrots, but it doesn’t come out so dense like that. Pour into pan(s). Bake until a toothpick comes out almost clean, for me it took a really long time and the edges and top of the cake were definitely done, but the center just wouldn’t cook, but still don’t take it out raw. Let cool and remove from pan. If you have two layers, you can leave as is, or cut them in half for a four layer cake, or if you do one like me, cut into three layers and let cool completely while you make icing.

cream cheese frosting
16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
½ c butter, room temperature
1 ½ c powdered sugar

First of all, this does not have to be exact in any way. I usually like a little more cream cheese and a little less powdered sugar, so alter as you please. Blend everything together until it’s a nice smooth consistency. Frost the first layer of cake, add the next, layer it, and then top it with the final layer. Frost that and the sides. Eat immediately, if not sooner.


Arfi Binsted said...

hey, happy birthday, Courtney! Happy birthday Dough Ball! I'd love to have a slice of your birthday cake, please :)

d anything said...

Happy birthday to the Dough Ball. For a one-year-old she talks a lot, and cleverly.

Now this carrot cake is exactly the kind of thing I would want on my birthday. It looks utterly delicious, moist, light, balanced, with exactly the right amount of cream cheese frosting: loads.

weeeeeeeeeee said...

Happy late birthday dough ball!!