Pages

Friday, 11 November 2011

Foodie Day: Carrot Cake

Carrot cake for my dear mom's birthday.

Another cake for another celebration.

It was my mom's 36th birthday yesterday, 10th of November. And she had this little request for me; to bake anything for her. Thus, I did the much-anticipated (for me, that is), ever popular, carrot cake.

I am never a fan of vegetables, let alone carrots; so I was really intrigued on how this piece of cake, with a vegetable in it, would taste. Not wanting to let my curiosity kill me any more, I decided to give this a try since as I have promised before that I would make something 'not-chocolate' and is somewhat healthy. And believe me, this cake does not taste anything like carrots at all. The cake itself is moist and full of spice, while the frosting just melts into your mouth, with your buds savouring its sweet, tangy, sour taste. I undeniably fell in love with this cake right away.


Carrot Cake
Recipe by: Stephanie Jaworski
Source: www.joyofbaking.com

Ingredients:
  • 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
  • 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, vegetable or canola oil (or other flavorless oil)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Carrot Cake: 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.  
 
Toast the pecans or walnuts for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.

Peel and finely grate the carrots. 

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. 

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 cool on a wire rack. After about 5 -10 minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pans and parchment paper, and then cool completely before frosting.  

To assemble: place one cake layer onto your serving plate. Spread with about half the frosting. Gently place the other cake onto the frosting and spread the rest of the frosting over the top of the cake. If desired, garnish with toasted nuts on the top of the cake. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.

Serves 10 - 12.
Cream Cheese Frosting: In bowl of electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese and butter, on low speed, just until blended with no lumps. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated and smooth.  Beat in the vanilla extract, and lemon zest.  

-----------------------------

And that was it! This cake is actually easier to make than I thought it would be. The only crucial part for me was grating the carrots as it took me a lot of time and had the skin of my finger peeled too. But forget about that, this cake is just heavenly. I just never knew that carrots would taste this good. And now, I think I'm a bit of a fan of this vegetable.

Happy 11/11/11 to everyone, may all of our wishes come true.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Foodie Day: Pastillas de Leche

Pastillas de leche (also known as milk candy bars)

Pastillas de leche, also known as milk bars or candied milk, is a traditional Filipino delicacy that is usually served for dessert. This sweet is really easy to make; no cook, just mix up ingredients, wrap it up, and voila, you can already satisfy your sweet tooth craving!

The authentic recipe actually calls for Carabao's (water buffalo) milk and does actually require cooking. But since I am thousand miles away from Philippines, I just used the common recipe which uses your everyday powdered milk.

(a) the dough-like mixture; (b) coating it in sugar; (c) a closer look

Pastillas de Leche
Own recipe by: Patricia
Please take out with full credits and link, thank you.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of powdered milk
  • 3/4 cup of condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter
  • granulated sugar for coating

Directions:
Just one piece of candy wrapped in a parchment paper.
1. Place the condensed milk into a mixing bowl.

2. Sift and gradually fold in the powdered milk until it becomes a sticky, dough-like mixture.

3. Pour in the melted butter and blend it well.

4. Afterwards, knead the dough and let it set for about 5 minutes.

5. Shape the dough into small shapes of your liking, e.g. cylinder, round, and coat it well with sugar.

6. Wrap into a coloured cellophane, or any non stick paper you have.

I remember back when I was still in Philippines, I used to buy these candies every morning in sari-sari stores before going to school, never knowing that one day I would be making them. And these candies just brought so much memories from past.


A promise to keep this short, and as my body is aching for the bed; I just wish everyone a very sweet dream.