Carrot Chiffon Cake
I know it’s my family saying this, so they are legally required to fawn over anything I make, but this really is one of the best carrot cakes any of us ever tasted. Since it’s a chiffon cake, all the heavy density of regular cake is gone. Which is good, since after a monster meal, you don’t want a really heavy dessert. Especially when there are two on the table (lemon meringue ice cream pie). The recipe comes from Rebekah Pearse’s Sweet Seasonal Desserts.
1 1/4 c flour
2/3 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch of cloves
pinch of allspice
3 egg yolks
1/2 c carrot juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 c vegetable oil
1/2 c shredded carrots
5 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp sugar
• Preheat oven to 350°. Line two 8” cake pans with parchment.
• Whisk together your first batch of dry ingredients; set aside.
• Whisk together the yolks, carrot juice and vanilla. (As an aside, don’t think it is a good idea to pour yourself a glass of carrot juice as you do this. Straight carrot juice is fucking gross.)
• Slowly whisk in the oil. Then mix in the shredded carrots.
• Whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy, then slowly pour in the sugar. Keep mixing full speed ahead until soft peaks form.
• Add the carrot mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until blended.
• Carefully fold in half of the egg whites. Then repeat with the second half. (As a second random aside, folding was my least favourite food process when I took junior high home ec. Proving that I am actually becoming more patient as I get older. (This probably isn’t true.))
• Divide the batter into the two pans. Now that you did that gentle, tender folding, don’t do anything stupid like bang the pan so the batter smooths out. It will be fine.
• Put them in the oven for 20 minutes. Then turn them for about another 15, or until a tester comes out clean.
• Let the cakes cool about 10 minutes before removing from the pans. Then let them cool completely before icing them.
I used a pretty ghetto cream cheese icing (two blocks cream cheese, maybe 3/4 c icing sugar, about 1/2 c heavy cream and some lemon zest), that wasn’t very sweet, but ice how you see fit. One word of warning with this, since it is a chiffon cake, the heavy cream cheese icing kind of sunk it. Dropped at least 1/2” with the weight of the icing. So you may be better off with a meringue type icing. But cream cheese is delicious so whatever.
Final aside: how funny would it be to make a cake with the little carrots on top but inside it’s actually a chocolate cake? I am going to start playing cake tricks on everyone. No one will laugh but me and I’m okay with that.
Made on Saturday, April 7, 2012.
Enjoyed by everyone at Woodward Easter Dinner.
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