Category Archives: Simple Cakes & Pound Cakes

Blueberry Buckle

It’s official–My baking block is over! I’m back to cooking too. The long work hours, new wifehood, and zumba take up a lot of a girl’s time and doesn’t leave time for much of anything else. Most of the time, I get home from work or class and all I feel like doing is plopping. My little bro and I call it “potato time”. (Oh, did I mention–my younger brother is now living with me? Yes, in my studio. He has a mattress all the way on the other side of the coffee table. I’ll get more into it later, but it’s actually pretty great. I like having him around!)

Anyway, potato time. Its been my go-to home hobby for the past, oh, 6 months. So much has happened. I started my dream job, Liam moved in, I fell in love with zumba–and I got married. And as a result, I stopped cooking, baking, and sometimes even cleaning. But it’s all over now. I’m back!

Yesterday was Sunday–my new LMA (leave me alone) day. And I baked this pretty little blueberry buckle. Much like the French apple tart recipe from my last post, fruit is the leading lady. It’s like a pound of blueberries, a simple batter, and streusel topping.

Love: The streusel is the batter mix before adding liquid.
Love: Berries start on top and sink to through the batter while baking.
Love: Super transportable for taking to work.

Don’t love: I had to bake 20 min. longer than stated in the recipe.

It’s tart and über-berry. I think you’ll like it. So here’s the recipe and a few pics of the sweet thing.

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It’s raining. I need cake.

Yes, it’s raining in San Francisco. I’m from Oregon, so I shouldn’t (and normally don’t) care. But, it’s been a tough week at work, I’m tired, it’s wet outside…and I haven’t baked in ages.

So I stayed in tonight, foregoing happy hour, friends and perhaps even dancing. Instead, I made cake. And actually, I’m really happy I did. It feels good to be home, doing something just for me. I need to do this more often.

The recipe is Martha Stewart’s via Shoots and Roots. I made a few modifications:

  • 2 eggs, not 1: Because 2 in this case seemed better than 1!
  • 1 tbsp sugar, not  2 for sprinkling: Shoots and Roots said so.
  • Almond milk, not regular: I needed to save the milk for my morning coffee 🙂
  • Loaf pan, not pie: Because I halved the recipe. (It IS just for me–and the rest for the office tomorrow.)
It’s good. It’s one of those humble share-with-the-one-you-love cakes. You know those? The kind that warms your heart on rainy days like today.

Enjoy.

Strawberry Cake (a Martha Stewart recipe courtesy of Shoots and Roots)

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup, plus 2 tbsp sugar

2  large eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 lb strawberries, hulled and halved

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Butter a 10 inch pie plate or 10 1/2 inch cast iron pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Mix butter and 1 cup sugar in a separate large bowl and mix on medium high speed with an electric mixer until the mixture is soft and fluffy, ca. 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium low and add the eggs, milk and vanilla. Mix until well blended.
  3. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. Transfer the batter the pie plate or cast iron pan and spread evenly. The batter will be thick. Arrange strawberries on top, cut side down. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tbsp sugar on top of the cake.
  4. Bake the cake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 F. Bake until golden brown, ca. firm to the touch and pulled away from the sides of the pan, 55-60 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into wedges (or slices) and serve. Cover loosely; can be stored on the countertop for up to 2 days.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mocha Muffins

I made these little ones last week—sort of as a last hurrah for my role as housesitter and also because I was mad-craving peanut butter. I think I’d been dreaming about peanut butter for an entire week, but never found a recipe that sounded right. But then I found a good one for Peanut Butter Mocha Muffins on Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body (ha ha, cute). She made my little peanut butter dream come true 🙂

They’re fun to make and easy; crumbly and moist; adorable, chocolaty and whoa-so-peanut-buttery. I don’t taste any coffee flavor in there, but don’t actually miss it. (I also think it’s meant more to deepen the flavor of the chocolate anyhow.) They turned out perfect! I only wish the peanut butter blob on top didn’t look the way it does: it’s the BEST part, but kind of looks like baked brain 😛

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Mocha Muffins (recipe thanks to Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body)

Makes 12. (My muffin molds are smaller, so I ended up with 14.)

INGREDIENTS

2 cups all purpose flour

1 stick (4 oz) butter, room temperature

1/2 cup peanut butter, divided

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup cocoa powder (I was a little more generous on the amount)

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 cup brewed coffee, room temp

1/2 tsp salt

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl mix the butter, 1/4 cup peanut butter and sugar with a hand or stand mixer. Add the eggs, vanilla and room temperature coffee. In a separate bowl mix the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the dry mix to the wet mix. Stir only until incorporated. Add about 1/3 cup mix to each muffin tin, filling almost all the way to the top. Top with about 1 tsp of peanut butter.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a fork inserted comes out clean.
  4. Cool for about 5 minutes in the pan then finish cool on a wire wrack.


Mochi Cake

I love mochi–in soup, filled with sweet beans in daifuku form, or toasted, dipped in soy sauce and sugar and wrapped in nori. Growing up, though, I was actually scared of it. Every New Year’s Day, my mom would make ozoni, Japanese mochi soup, and every year she would warn us kids to eat it slowly–because if we didn’t we would choke and maybe die! I guess I can see how it could happen–it’s really sticky and when added to soup, it becomes kind of thick and hard to swallow. It’s like when you buy bubble tea; the label always includes some “use caution when swallowing” warning because you don’t want one of those little tapioca pearls getting stuck in your throat.

All grown up, I can proudly say I have worked through my mochi issue and am now able to eat it without fear 🙂

When I heard about mochi cake for the first time, I was really excited by the idea! And when I tried it for the first time, oddly enough in Lima, I couldn’t stop eating it, it was that good. Since then, I’ve been dying to make it myself. Yesterday, I finally had the time.

The recipe I found on Week of Menus couldn’t have been simpler. (You don’t even have to think ahead to take the butter out to warm to room temperature—something I always forget to do.) Whisk, whisk, pour, bake and serve. Love that.

So what did I think? It was perfectly moist and had this amazing chewy texture—via the rice flour—and yet, something was missing: the coconut? I poured two whole cans (28 oz) of coconut milk in there, but I couldn’t actually taste any coconut flavor in the finished product. Where’d it go?? In all honestly, I made this because a) I’m crazy for mochi and b) I’m even more coo-coo for coconut. What a let down that was. So I’m a bit disappointed, not necessarily in the recipe (I made one 9×13 panful yesterday and they are already all gone—a sign that they must be good), but in myself. Because I didn’t love this as much as I hoped I would. I think it was the coconut. Next time, I’ll maybe add flaked coconut or maybe coconut essence to up the flavor. I might also try using evaporated or condensed milk too.

Mochi Cake via Week of Menus

Makes one 9×13 pan, or 24 squares

INGREDIENTS

1 lb box (3 cups) mochiko flour

2 1/2 cups sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2-14 oz cans coconut milk (full fat)

5 large eggs

1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9X13 baking pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mochiko flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl or large measuring cup (4 cup capacity), beat eggs, then add coconut milk, melted butter and vanilla extract.
  4. Carefully pour the wet ingredients over the mochiko flour mixture and whisk until mixture is smooth and uniform in texture.
  5. Pour batter into greased 9X13 pan. Carefully smooth out the top.
  6. Bake for 90 minutes, until top is golden brown and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  7. Allow cake to cool for about 30 minutes on a rack, and then carefully flip it out and cut into 24 squares, or the size of your choice. Can store mochi cake for three days, covered.

Marbled Pound Cake

Last Saturday a friend hosted an end-of-show event of an art exhibition. It’s a great organization dedicated to supporting local arts and local artists here in the Bay area.  (Read up about the Poor Artists League here.) They even support this little baker and her food art. (^_^).

Anyway, for the end-of-exhibition event, I volunteered to bake and sell a few sweet treats. I was super excited about it–I’ve never baked for strangers before. I’ve never sold anything I’ve made either. So my plan was to spread out the baking between Saturday and Sunday, giving me plenty of time to prepare for the Sunday evening show. However, as I found out Saturday morning from my brother, the show was actually Saturday night?!?!?! I don’t know how I did it, but I managed to bake a marble cake, 2 batches of brownies, and coconut cupcakes AND go to the museum and have coffee with a friend AND prepare a salad for dinner at another friend’s house. I was supposed to have lunch with yet another friend that day too, but “luckily” she cancelled. It all worked out in the end, but wasn’t my usual relaxing or therapeutic baking experience. (o_O#)

This marble cake was the first of the desserts I made. Look at the chocolate vanilla swirlies–so pretty!

I followed the recipe exactly and the only suggestion I would make is to do a pin check at the 50 or 60 minute mark during baking. The original bake time is 70-75, which I found to be a little long in my oven and which resulted in a cake a little drier in texture than I would I have preferred.

Enjoy!

Marbled Pound Cake (recipe from Technicolor Kitchen)

Makes about 10 1-inch slices

INGREDIENTS

2 cups (280 g) all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 sticks (226 g) unsalted butter, at room temp.

1 cup (200 g) sugar

4 large eggs, at room temp.

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 oz (112 g) bittersweet chocolate (I used dark chocolate with 60% cocoa solids)

METHOD

  1. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and set aside to cool.
  2. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 165ºC/325ºF. Butter a 9×5-inch (22.5×12.5cm) loaf pan or an 8-½x4-½ inch (21x11cm) loaf pan*. Put the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked one on top of the other.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy, a full 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beater and reduce the mixer speed to medium. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 to 2 minutes after each egg goes in. As you’re working, scrape down the bowl and beater often. Mix in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, mixing only until it is incorporated – don’t overmix. In fact, you might want to fold in the last of the flour, or even all of it, by hand with a rubber spatula.
  5. After the batter is fully mixed, transfer half of it to another bowl and gently blend in the melted, cooled chocolate. Alternate large spoonfuls of the light and dark batters in the pan, then run a kitchen knife in a zigzag pattern through the batters to marble them. Smooth the top.
  6. Put the cake into the oven to bake, and check on it after about 45 minutes. If it’s browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent. If you’re using a 9×5 pan, you’ll need to bake the cake for 70 to 75 minutes; the smaller pan needs about 90 minutes. The cake is properly baked when a thin knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven, transfer the pan to a rack and let rest for 30 minutes.
  8. Run a blunt knife between the cake and the sides of the pan and turn the cake out, then turn it right side up on the rack and cool to room temperature.

Storing: Wrapped well, the cake will keep for 5 to 7 days at room temperature (stale cake is great toasted) or up to 2 months in the freezer.

Little Baker to the Rescue: Orange Flaxseed Cake

This is another rescue recipe. The objects in need of rescuing this time: oranges bought with good intentions and left to wrinkle in the fruit bowl.

I don’t mind this kind of baking. It’s budget-friendly, and it makes me feel resourceful, as in it is really possible to make something with just the ingredients one has at home.

That is exactly what I did—a total fly-by-the-seat-of-my pants effort, actually. I found a simple recipe (apparently it’s Brazilian) and then did whatever I felt like doing. I felt like using up the oranges—which I discovered also included a few blood oranges—so I did; I also felt like throwing in some ground flaxseed and almond flour—so I also did that. One other thing, instead of reserving half the juice to pour over the top after baking, I mixed the entire amount into the batter and baked for an extra 5 minutes. It turned out fine. Super moist and almost healthy tasting. Flaxseed is good for you, right? And no butter/oil/fat—that’s good for you, too!

I love that I used up all those oranges; my only complaint, however, is the lack of zip that you would think would be really strong in a cake with so much citrus in it. Maybe oranges when baked don’t maintain a sour flavor. Perhaps using lemon zest next time would balance this out.

All in all, I like it. It’s a humble, little house-cake that is going to taste great with a big cup of tea!

Orange Flaxseed Cake (adapted from a recipe found on The World Wide Gourmet )

Makes one-20cm springform cake (I halved the recipe and made a mini-cake.)

INGREDIENTS

4 eggs, at room temp., separated

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup almond flour

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

1 tbsp baking powder

2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice (I used 6 small oranges—2 blood and 4 regular.)

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C). Grease and flour a 13 X 9-inch (3.5 L) metal cake pan.
  2. In bowl and using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff.
  3. In a separate large bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar. In another bowl, sift together flour and baking powder; add to yolk mixture alternately with 2 cups  orange juice, making three additions of dry and two of wet. Fold in egg whites. Pour into prepared cake pan.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
  5. Let the cake cool in the pan completely. Optionally, you can dust the top with confectioners’ sugar and then slice and serve.

Chocolate Almond Torte

This. Is. Gooooood. Deep, dark and nutty, this cake is more intense than  chocolate cake yet less dense than a flourless torte.  The whole house has been nibbling on it all week—and it’s still moist and flavorful. I’m convinced even that it tastes better now than when I first tried it.

I made this on a whim last Sunday, brought in one-third to the office and served it on Tuesday for another roomie night. I will most definitely be making this again!

Chocolate Almond Torte (original recipe from Joy of Baking)

INGREDIENTS

7 oz (200 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

11 tbsp (150 g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar, divided

4 large eggs, separated

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup (100 g) finely ground almonds

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place oven rack in the middle of the oven.  Place the sliced or blanched almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Once completely cooled, place the nuts in a blender or small food processor and process until finely ground. Note:  The almonds need to be at room temperature before grinding to prevent them from clumping.  If you find the almonds still clump when you ground them, add about 1 tablespoon (13 grams) of the sugar from the recipe.  The sugar will help prevent clumping as it absorbs any oil exuded from the almonds.
  2. Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and line an 8 inch (20 cm) springform pan with parchment paper.  Set aside.
  3. Separate the cold eggs, placing the egg yolks in one bowl and the egg whites in another.   Cover with plastic wrap and let stand until they reach room temperature (about 30 minutes).
  4. Melt the chopped chocolate and butter in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water.  Once melted, remove from heat.
  5. Meanwhile place the egg yolks and 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment.  Cream the yolks and sugar until pale and thick (about 2 to 3 minutes).  Beat in the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla extract.  Fold in the ground almonds.
  6. In a clean bowl, place the egg whites and whisk until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar and continue whisking until soft peaks form.  Gradually sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar and whisk until stiff peak forms.  Fold about 1/4 of the whites into the chocolate batter to lighten it.  Quickly fold in the rest of the whites and mix only until incorporated.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 to 50 (40 was sufficient for me) minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake has a few moist crumbs.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.  The cake will rise during baking but falls during cooling, leaving a crisp and cracked crust.  Once cool, run a spatula around the inside of the pan before releasing the sides.  If not serving immediately, cover and place in the refrigerator.   Serve cold or at room temperature.  Dust with powdered (icing or confectioners) sugar.

Orange Whipped Cream Cake

I broke it! I can’t believe it! It was stuck in the pan and while I was trying to pry it out , it tricked me and became suddenly unstuck, tumbling out of its pan and breaking. 😦

So the final product is not very pretty.

It’s also not very orangey. If I ever make this again, I’d definitely up the orange flavor by substituting some of the cream with orange juice.

Something else I really missed was butter. Yes, I realize that there is already 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream in there—and that butter is made from cream. Despite this, however, that special richness in flavor and smoothness in texture that butter gives, well, just was not there.

Maybe I did something wrong, or maybe I just don’t like cream baked into a cake. It sounded like a great idea when I was reading through the recipe. But perhaps whipped cream is just one of those things that tastes better fresh.

Orange Whipped Cream Cake (adapted from a Rosy Leven Berenbaum recipe courtesy of My Baking Addiction)

Makes one 10-cup bundt

INGREDIENTS

2 1/4 cups (225 g) cake or bleached all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups (348 g) cold heavy cream

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup, plus 2 tbsp (225 g) super-fine sugar

zest of 2 oranges, grated

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 F (190 C). Set the oven rack in the lower third of the oven.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and then sift them together to make the mixture easier to incorporate.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, whip the cream starting on low speed, gradually raising the speed to medium-high as it thickens, until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised.
  4. In another medium bowl, whisk the eggs, grated orange zest and vanilla, just until lightly combined.
  5. On medium-high speed, gradually beat the egg mixture into the whipped cream. It will thicken into mayonnaise consistence (unless high-butterfat cream is used). Gradually beat in the sugar. It should take about 30 seconds to incorporate.
  6. Add half the flour mixture to the cream mixture and, with a large silicone spatula, stir and fold in the flour until most of it disappears. Add the rest of the flour mixture and continue folding and mixing until all traces of flour have disappeared.
  7. Using a silicone spatula or spoon, scrape the batter into a greased and flour-dusted pan. Run a small metal spatula or dull knife blade through the batter to prevent large air bubbles, avoiding the bottom of the pan. Smooth the surface evenly with a small metal spatula.
  8. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted between the tube and the side comes out completely clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven.
  9. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. With a small metal spatula, loosen the top edges of the cake and invert the cake onto a wire rack that has been coated lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Cool completely. The cake requires no adornment, but you can serve it with a light dusting of powdered sugar or a large dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Grapefruit Yogurt Cake Muffins

I made these AGES ago and only just stumbled across my write-up.


The recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s Lemon Yogurt Cake. The most obvious changes I made were to replace the lemon with grapefruit and to make muffins instead of a pound cake. These changes went over well; it was the other unintentional change that didn’t.

The major boo-boo I made was to add the grapefruit juice directly into the batter. Oops (>_<#). The juice is actually only meant for the syrup. I went ahead and baked and as I recall, they looked alright when they came out of the oven, although they were maybe a little more  glutinous than they should have been. Taste-wise, they were syrupy and sticky in the best of ways. As I recall my ex (and the ants in the kitchen) really liked them 😀

Grapefruit Yogurt Cake Muffins (adapted from Ina Garten’s Lemon Yogurt Cake recipe)

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup plain whole milk yogurt (I used non-fat)

1 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

the zest of 1-2 large grapefruits, grated

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice

Glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tbsp grapefruit juice

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Grease an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2 inch loaf pan. (I made muffins, so obviously, I used a muffin tin here.) Line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, granulated sugar, eggs, grapefruit zest and vanilla. Then, slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure to incorporate completely.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  4. While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup: Cook the 1/3 cup grapefruit juice and the remaining 1 tbsp sugar in a small saucepan over medium-heat until the sugar dissolves and mixture is clear.
  5. When the cake is finished baking, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, carefully place it on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the grapefruit syrup over the cake and allow it to soak it in completely. Allow to cool completely.
  6. For the glaze: combine the confectioners’ sugar and grapefruit juice completely. Pour over the cake.

How You Like It Carrot Quickbread

Boyfriend-less tonight…and about to be permanently so (for a while, for good—I really don’t know). Dennis leaves next Monday; he’s going home to Lima and isn’t coming back.

Life is weird. I’ve only been seeing Dennis for 2 months; after the first week of dating, he was offered a job in Peru. And he decided to take it. Really—it’s a good thing. And I’m happy for him.

At the same time, I’m thinking to myself—What.Is.Going.On.Here???

Am I attracted to unavailable men? Or is this all part of the greater plan, i.e. my long-term relationship was supposed to end so that I could grow up, so I could meet Dennis, so I could learn more about myself? I don’t know.

It was hard to let go and learn to feel something for someone again. But I did, and I’m glad.  Now that he’s leaving, though, I feel like I’m kind of back where I started. Alone.

So this “being-without” feeling is something I’m going to have to get used to. It’s also an opportunity to get used to the “being-complete-and-happy-on-my-own” feeling. I mean, look what I accomplished today: I blogged, I edited photos, I took a long, hot bath. And I baked a lovely carrot loaf.

It being already 10 PM—and PAINFULLY cold outside—I wasn’t going anywhere to get anything. So I stared at the contents of the fridge and was immediately drawn to the big, orange eyesore that is Melita’s jumbo bag of Costco carrots.

What can you really do with carrots—actually, lots. Carrot cake cookies, breakfasty carrot-oat-raisin muffins…I’m already planning on making carrot, coconut, date and walnut biscotti. Could be interesting, right?

This time, I went with a loaf cake. I know I just made one Friday, but this one is completely different. It’s really a whatever-you-have-on-hand cake. I found a recipe for zucchini bread online (I can’t find the source anywhere!?!?!) and decided it would be reasonable to change it into a carrot cake. I tweaked it slightly by adding a little milk and also tossing in a handful of white chocolate chips (blondie leftovers from way back when), 1 cup of chopped pecans and 1 cup of chopped prunes…yes, prunes. It’s tasty AND will keep us all regular at the same time. (^o^”)

Straight out of the oven, it really is striking. It’s all autumny golden, orange; speckled throughout with white chocolate chunks and prune bits. Though I’m dying to slice a piece now and slather on a slab of butter, I know better. If I wait until tomorrow to slice into the loaf, it will be completely cooled, and also fully set and moist and rich and dense and absolutely luscious.

I can’t wait!

And now:


How You Like It Carrot Cake with White Chocolate, Pecans and Prunes (adapted from a recipe whose source I can’t find anymore!! Help!)

INGREDIENTS

Dry Mixture:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup white sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp ground cloves (had to omit this—don’t have this at the house)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1  tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

Wet Mixture:

2/3 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/2 cup unsalted butter)

4 cups carrots, grated

3 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1 cup chopped nuts, like pecans

1 cup chopped dried fruit, like golden raisins, prunes or dates

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together thoroughly.
  3. Combine the wet ingredients in another bowl.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until combined.
  5. Fold the nuts and prunes into the mixture.
  6. Pour the mixture into a greased 9×5 loaf pan. Bake for 75 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing. (Tip: Let it sit overnight. I promise—it’s worth the wait.)

The verdict? Oh, oh, it’s good!  Spicy from the cinnamon and nutmeg and fruity and sweet from the prunes and carrots.

As for texture: light and crispy top crust, super-moist center and dense loaf cakey middle. The pecans also give nice crunch throughout.