Since summer birthdays are often overlooked, with one of my friends who loves food, I started the tradition of baking her a birthday dessert. While I started more simplistically (classic Nestle chocolate chip cookies), I decided to go with a bang this year and recreate a carrot cake I made this past school year. As expected, the recipe hails from Bon Appétit, my always trusted guide.
Making the cake:
The prep of the cake is not too difficult, but I started in the morning and wasn’t completely finished until about 3:00 in the afternoon (most of this was because I had to wait for the cakes to cool before frosting them). By using the food processor, I was able to grate the carrots more efficiently than I could’ve imagined. Instead of putting candied carrot coins on top of the cake as the recipe suggests, I toasted some extra walnuts to sprinkle on top of the cake.
The entire process was punctuated with rushing around trying to get ready for school that starts really soon. I sorted through books for school, worked on my summer reading and started getting organized for my school year.
Similarly, I listened to two distinct sets of music (both on Spotify)- This is: Ramin Djawadi and one of My Daily Mixes. Both are equally good, though very different in genre and tone. (Ramin Djawadi is the composer for Game of Thrones and Westworld.)
Notes on the cake:
The cakes turned out beautifully with the cooking spray doing its job perfectly. The frosting calls for four cups of powdered sugar, but I found that I needed less than two cups to get a satisfactorily sweet icing.
Even though I am unbelievably terrible at frosting cakes, the carrot cake still turned out nicely topped with the toasted walnuts. It is best to use an offset spatula to frost the cake.
One final note: It is best to use whole nutmeg and a microplane to get the best nutmeg flavor.
The cake was moist and delicious. When carrying it, the cake was surprisingly heavy (so it was nice and dense). I highly recommend this cake, and it is in perfect balance of sweetness and savory notes from the nutmeg!