Thursday, April 5, 2012

Not Your Average Carrot Cake

Well here we are, 3 days from Easter, with the quintessential carrot cake post (you know, for the bunnies). But it would be so unlike me to do something boring, as would be expected.  So here we have carrot cake, probably not like you've seen it before. 

This carrot cake is made with both almond and coconut flour, has a jazzed up version of cream cheese frosting--made with mascarpone--and has homemade candied pecans on top for a little something extra.

So, as we finish up this year's Holy Week, I will continue to savor the sweet and gently spiced carrot cake with my new favorite frosting, anticipating the week's culmination with the best food I'll eat all year at Sunday's resurrection party.

Carrot Cake
makes one 1-layer 9" round cake

2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup canola oil
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 cups shredded carrots
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 recipe mascarpone frosting (recipe follows)
candied pecans (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour (I used brown rice flour) one 9" cake pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together almond flour, coconut flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger. Stir in the remaining ingredients, one at a time, stirring between each addition to incorporate.

Spoon batter (batter will be thick) into prepared pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Mascarpone Frosting

8 oz mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (seriously, invest in the powder)

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat mascarpone and sour cream on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down bowl. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix on low speed until incorporated. Turn the speed to medium and mix 1 minute more.

Candied Pecans

1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup pecans
1 tablespoon corn syrup
coarse salt, for sprinkling

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease lightly.

Combine all of ingredients, except salt, in a small saucepan over medium heat, without stirring. As soon as it begins to boil, turn the heat to low and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Pour nuts onto prepared pan and make sure, for the most part, that the nuts aren't touching one another. Sprinkle with a bit of salt. Cool completely.

Assemble the cake: Spoon all of the mascarpone frosting onto the cooled carrot cake and smooth (feel free to frost the sides if you want, as well). Arrange the candied pecans on top of the cake in any pattern you like.

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About Me

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Salt Lake City, Utah
As a pastry chef by trade and by hobby, being diagnosed with Celiac Disease has not been easy. But through some experimental baking and a whole lot of faith, I'm living a full(er) life.