Carrot Cake Chronicles

 

Carrot Cake Chronicles or Carrot Cake Redemption

I am calling this post, “Carrot Cake Chronicles” however, my husband suggested that I call this recipe “Carrot Cake Redemption.”

Since the winter holidays are here, I have been attempting to bake more. This carrot cake was my contribution to our department holiday party.

The recipe is a variation of my 1-2-3-4 Cake. The only difference is, less flour, since carrots are added for bulk, and no liquid.

I tend to do the bulk of my cooking when I wake up in the morning before going to work. Nevertheless, baking while distracted is not a good thing to do. I did that the first time I made this recipe and I unfortunately had to make this cake twice.

The first time, I accidentally added too much flour. Although I tried to rescue it by adding some orange juice and a half cup more oil, I am afraid the end result was something that resembled a quick bread rather than a cake, and a dried out one at that.

Ever tenacious, I added a wonderful orange glaze, in a second attempt to rescue my poor dried out cake.

Despite my heroic gestures, the first cake was not as successful as I would have liked. No matter how I sliced and diced it, the cake was still too dry, despite having a wonderful flavor. If anyone has any good ideas for how to rescue adding too much flour to a recipe, I would appreciate the feedback.

Once I paid more attention, the second cake came out much better. I also baked it in 2 smaller pans, and checked the temperature using my oven thermometer.

Happily, the second time around, this carrot cake was redeemed.

The lesson learned for me is: be in the moment and avoid multitasking while baking.

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One Bowl Carrot or Zucchini Cake

Ingredients 

2 cups sugar (white or brown or a combination)

1 cup oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 eggs

2 cups grated carrots (about 3-4 carrots)

Optional/Variation: 2 cups grated zucchini instead of carrots

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Optional: ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Optional: 1/4 teaspoon allspice

Optional: 1 cup chopped nuts

Optional: 1 cup raisins

Optional: 1 cup drained crushed pineapple

Optional: orange zest

Instructions:

By hand: Beat the oil, sugar, salt, eggs together. Mix the flour, spices, baking soda and baking powder together and stir into the wet ingredients. Add the carrots, nuts, and any other optional ingredients and mix until just blended. Pour into greased, sprayed or parchment lined pan.

In the food processor: Mix eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla in food processor for 1 minute. Add flour and baking powder, spices and pulse until blended. Next add the grated carrots and any other optional ingredients and pulse until blended. Pour into greased, sprayed or parchment lined pan.

This can be made as two 9″ layers, one 9″x13″ rectangular cake, a Bundt pan or 24 cupcakes.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until done and when inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Orange Glaze

Ingredients

1 orange, zested and juiced, this could be about ¼ cup of juice, but I didn’t measure.

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups icing sugar, more or less depending on desired thickness

Instructions

Zest and juice the orange into a bowl. Add the vanilla, and then add the icing sugar until desired consistency.

Spread over cake. This cake freezes well.

 

Here are the picture:

 

 

Grate the carrots and place in a separate bowl.

Mixing in a bowl to stir in nuts.

Mixing in a bowl to stir in nuts.

Yaffa took this picture of me all by herself!

Yaffa took this picture of me all by herself!


Cake number 1 ready to bake.

Cake number 1 ready to bake.


Cake #1


Cake # 2 — Redeemed!


Beautifully glazed -- better to look good than to taste good?

Beautifully glazed — better to look good than to taste good?

My final words of wisdom with respect to my carrot cake chronicles:

My final words of wisdom.

Enjoy!

Cranberry Torte

As I shared on my last post, I had lots of cranberry relish leftover from Thanksgiving. 

Rather than let it go to waste, I thought I would use it to make this fruit torte. 

This cake recipe is very flexible and it has endless variations. Feel free to adapt the recipe for whatever fruit you have available — fresh or canned. It can even be adapted for various flours with success. 

Ingredients:

4 eggs

2 cups sugar (white or brown or a combination)

1 cup oil

1 tsp. vanilla

Optional: you can use other flavorings such almond, lemon, etc. depending on the fruit

2 cups flour

Optional: you can substitute almond, cornmeal, whole wheat, spelt, rice flour or gluten-free flour blends in any combination. It may change the texture, which could make it more interesting. I usually make it with spelt.

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt (a “pinch”) 

Optional Variations:
Chocolate cake: substitute 1/2 cup cocoa for 1/2 cup flour

2 cups cranberry relish 

Optional Variations: Add 2-4 cups fresh or canned fruit on top and sprinkle with sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. It amount depends on the size of the pan. 

Instructions:

By hand: cream together oil and sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in sifted together dry ingredients until blended.

With a food processor: Mix eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla in food process for 1 minute. Add flour, salt and baking powder and pulse until just blended.

Pour batter into greased or parchment lined pan. Place cranberry relish on top.

If using fresh or canned fruit, sprinkle with sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon, if desired, over fruit.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until done and when inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Here are the pictures:

Cake batter on the bottom.

Ready to be baked.

Fresh out of the oven!

The final product. Voila!

Raizel and her friend Kayla said, “this is awesome!” I cut them both a piece before freezing it.

Enjoy!

References:

This recipe is adapted from my ubiquitous 1-2-3-4 cake and the apple cake recipe from Classic Kosher Cooking. 

As I have shared, all my cake recipes are basically an adaptation of the 1-2-3-4 cake. I then adjust the liquid or the sugar if using fruit, or adding pie filling. Sort of like mix and match. In Classic Kosher Cooking the apple cake recipe called for 2.5 cups cake flour and 1/4 orange juice. I eliminated the liquid and decreased the flour, since I generally use spelt or regular all purpose flour.

I have since, however, seen this recipe published on various sites all over the internet using different proportions. 

Most recently, my friend Malka introduced me to the recipe which is published annually in The New York Times as a Plum Torte. 

Here is the link:

http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/3783-original-plum-torte

So, this recipe is practically no fail and VERY versatile!

The Only Cake Recipe You Will Ever Need: The 1-2-3-4 Anything Cake & Optional Glaze

The Only Cake Recipe You Will Ever Need: The 1-2-3-4 Anything Cake

The road to parenthood was not simple one for us. So, when we granted the blessing of children, I was eager to celebrate their birthdays with a homemade cake, decorated with roses.

Just before their first birthday, with great excitement, I enrolled in a local cake decorating class.

The class was definitely a learning experience. But, not in the way one might expect.

I learned that cake decorating is really sugar art. The cake functions similar to the canvas of a painting.

The greatest lesson I learned, however, was that I do not like decorating cakes. I found it very time consuming and very labor intensive.

So, my days of cake decorating came quickly to an end. I have not touched an icing tip since.

This was the cake recipe that I used for my class. It is the perfect cake for the time challenged cook. It is fast and easy, only uses one bowl, and it is easily adaptable.

I have included all the multiple variations, so you see how this is really the only cake recipe that you will ever need.

The marble cake I just posted is also one of the many variations.

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar (white or brown or a combination)

1 cup oil

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla, almond, lemon, etc.

1 cup liquid (water, juice, milk, coffee, etc.)

3 cups flour — I used spelt, but you can use a gluten-free flour blend, almond flour, corn meal or any other flour too. The texture, however, may be slightly altered.

3 tsp. baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt (a “pinch”)

Optional Variations:

Chocolate Chip Cake: stir in 1 cup chocolate chips when mixed

As You Like It Cake: stir in 1 cup chopped nuts, dried fruit, etc.

Chocolate Cake: 1/2 cup cocoa for 1/2 cup flour for a chocolate cake

Spice Cake: add 2 to 3 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg, dash white pepper to dry ingredients

Lemon Spice Cake: add 2 to 3 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, dash white pepper to dry ingredients and, add 1 lemon zested to the wet ingredients. Do not add lemon juice for the liquid because then the baking powder will work differently. You could try adding baking soda instead, but I have never personally tried that.

Almond Spice Cake: add 2 to 3 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, dash white pepper and 1/4 cup ground almonds when adding flour.

Lemon Poppy Cake: Add 1 lemon zested to the wet ingredients and ¼ cup of poppy seeds to the dry ingredients.

Marble Cake: Pour ¾ of batter into the pan. Then, with the remaining batter, add 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Pour over vanilla batter in stripes. Gently swirl with a knife. Do not over mix!

Instructions:

By hand: beat eggs, and sugar. Add oil and vanilla. Alternate adding the liquid and the dry ingredients until blended.

With a food processor: Mix eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla in food process for 1 minute. Slowly add liquid until well blended. Add flour, salt and baking powder and pulse until just blended.

Stir in nuts, chocolate chips or dried fruit if using.

Pour batter into a greased, sprayed or parchment lined pan.

This can be made in a greased and lightly floured Bundt pan, or two 9″ layers, one 9″x 13″ rectangular cake or 24 cupcakes.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until done and when inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Although I didn’t intent to add a glaze, Raizel made a special request. How could I say no?

Optional Glaze

Ingredients:

1 cup icing sugar

4 teaspoons of milk or liquid (I use rice milk, but lemon juice also works)

Instructions:

Pour icing sugar in a bowl. Add the liquid 1 teaspoon at a time and stir until desired consistency.

Drizzle over cake, while slightly warm.

This cake also freezes well, with or without a glaze.

Here are the pictures:

 

Yaffa decided to help take pictures and took this one all by herself.

This is my picture, attempting to avoid shadows.

 

Fresh out of the oven, ready to frost😉

 

Raizel REALLY wanted it frosted.

Raizel approved!

 

Raizel, as you can see loved it. I gave her a piece fresh out of the oven.

After not baking a cake for quite a while, Raizel has come to the realization that homemade, from scratch cakes are REALLY yummy!

Raizel said, “I really missed homemade cakes.”

I am also very grateful for my trusty oven thermometer. It is making such a big difference!

Hurrah!

Enjoy!

Shabbat Marble Cake With Optional Glaze

Shabbat Marble Cake With Optional Glaze

When the girls were little, I baked almost everything from scratch. As Raizel was on the Feingold Diet, I made everything with all natural ingredients, and without dyes, additives or preservatives. With time, I have collected a small repertoire of fast and easy baking recipes. Nothing fancy, but I figure, “done is better than undone.”

Ironically, the highest compliment that I usually receive from Raizel is, “this tastes as good as store bought,” rather than the other way around!

My oven is also still not working properly. To compensate,  I have started using an oven thermometer, which I am finding very helpful. 

Armed with my trusty thermometer, and with the day off for Thanksgiving, I had time to make this Shabbat Marble Cake. This is the first cake that I have baked since we moved to our new house.

For those who may not be familiar, a Shabbat cake is simple, fast and easy cake that one makes especially for Shabbat and those moments when one has a lot of cooking to do and limited time. Perfect for the time challenged cook.

Ingredients

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 cup oil

1 cup liquid – I used rice milk but juice is also good

2 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups flour: I used spelt, but you can use a gluten-free flour blend, almond flour, corn meal or any other flour too. The texture, however, may be altered slightly.

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt (a “pinch”)

3 tablespoons cocoa powder: Add at the end to only 1/2 – 1/3 of the batter

Instructions

By hand: beat eggs, and sugar. Add oil and vanilla. Alternate adding the liquid and the dry ingredients until blended.

With a food processor: Mix eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla in food process for 1 minute. Slowly add liquid until well blended. Add flour, salt and baking powder and pulse until just blended.

To assemble marble cake:

Pour ½ – ¾ of batter into a greased or parchment paper lined pan, or use a Bundt pan.

If using a Bundt pan, lightly flour the pan after it is greased to prevent sticking.

Then, with the remaining batter, add 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Pour over vanilla batter in stripes. Gently swirl with a knife. Do not over mix!

This can also be made as two 9″ layers, one 9″x 13″ rectangular cake or 24 cupcakes.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until done and when inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Optional Glaze

Ingredients:

1 cup icing sugar

4 teaspoons of milk or liquid (I use rice milk, but lemon juice also works)

Instructions

Pour icing sugar in a bowl. Add liquid 1 teaspoon at a time and stir until desired consistency.

Drizzle over cake, while slightly warm.

Since I am time challenged, I was only able to take 2 pictures:

 

Fresh out of the oven.

I took  this picture just before Shabbat.


Although she will never admit it, I think that Raizel is finally missing home baked goods. She said, “this is great! It is even better than store bought!

I am happy to say that between her, Yaffa, and her friend Kayla, I have only 2 pieces left. I consider that to be a ringing endorsement.

Enjoy!

 

Lemon Cake In A Mug

Lemon Cake In A Mug

School started just this past week and things have been very hectic in our home.

Among our many changes, Raizel started high school in our new town. To say she has been nervous is an understatement.

Yaffa’s bus route has yet to be finalized as well. Everyday is a new bus adventure: when she will be picked up? When she will be dropped off? And, will she even be picked up at all?

All of this in a typical day, while working and managing a household. I truly feel that God is carrying me. There is no other explanation for how so much can be done with so little time.

Dolly, from koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com suggested that we make a little celebration in honor of our new and many transitions to ease the level of tension and anxiety.

Unfortunately, I was only able to follow up with her suggestion a few hours before Shabbat last week.

With even greater time challenges than usual, it struck me as a perfect time for a microwave cake.

As I have shared before, these microwave 1 cup cakes are a perfect solution for those moments when you want something sweet, without too much fuss.

I decided to adapt the vanilla cake in a mug recipe and make it into a lemon cake instead. I substituted lemon juice for milk and added lemon zest too. I did not use lemon extract, but I think that could have worked nicely as well.

As a bonus, this cake also does not have eggs. Spelt flour can easily be substituted, for those who do not eat wheat.

I am happy to say that it came out really well!

Ingredients

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup lemon juice. I used freshly squeezed

Zest from 1 lemon

3 tablespoons oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla (1 capful)

Optional: lemon extract could be good too.

Optional: sprinkle icing sugar over the cake, after it is baked and while it is still warm.

Instructions

In a large mug, combine dry ingredients until well mixed. Add oil, vanilla lemon zest, and liquid, and mix until well blended.

Microwave for 90 seconds.

If you are uncertain about the power of your microwave, start with 1 minute and increase the time as necessary.

Sprinkle icing sugar on top if desired after it’s baked, and while it is still warm.

Here are the pictures. I am happy to say that some where taken by me, others by Raizel, and one was even taken by Yaffa, with Raizel’s assistance.

Raizel guided Yaffa to take this picture. Please forgive the mess in the background, but, you get a good idea of what preparing for the Sabbath is all about.

Getting ready to mix.

Mixing it up. Raizel took the picture.

About it go into the microwave.

Final product. Voila!

Raizel says, “it’s good! In fact it’s very good. In fact, it’s delicious!”

Yaffa says, “it’s good! I like it!” In a full sentence no less.

I am happy to say that it was eaten before the night was over. It’s not chocolate, but definitely still a hit.

Enjoy!

Brownie in a Mug

Brownie in a Mug

Raizel is a budding foodie. She often surprises me with her interest and awareness of food and food trends. She also has a natural flare. Raizel occasionally will suggest a recipe, and it usually works!

Somehow, Raizel discovered microwave 1 cup cakes.

Cakes made in the microwave are usually about 1-2 portions. They are perfect for when you have a craving for sweets and need instant gratification. They are fast, easy, all natural and simple to assemble.

Their texture is different than cakes baked in an oven. But, a 1 cup cake is small. Leftovers are unlikely.

Raizel and I found this recipe on-line.

According to the author of the site, I can post it as long as I rewrite the recipe using my own words and use my own pictures. The direct link to the site is posted on the bottom.

So, that is what I am doing here.

Brownie in a Mug

Ingredients

¼ cup flour

¼ cup sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa

2 tablespoons oil

Pinch of salt

Dash of cinnamon

Optional: a pinch of instant coffee

1-2 drops vanilla

¼ cup water

Instructions

In a large mug, combine dry ingredients until well mixed. Add oil, vanilla and water, and mix until well blended.

Microwave for 1 minute 40 seconds.

If you are uncertain about the power of your microwave, start with 1 minute and increase the time as necessary. I think I read that the timing is for a 1000 watt microwave.

Here are the pictures:

all mixed up & ready to go.

fresh out of the microwave

no leftovers here!

The gimmick of this recipe is that you make it in a coffee mug. I was concerned, however, that my mug would be too small. So, I used a bowl instead.

Raizel, and Yaffa (with a little assistance from Dawn) devoured the whole thing!

Raizel declared that it is “scrumpt-deli-licious.”

It was really very fast, easy and required very little to clean up.

Perfect for those moments when you want an almost instant dessert.

Below is the link to the site where I got this recipe. It is a very nice site, full of tips to live more healthfully and naturally.

Check it out!

Enjoy!

Reference

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/brownie_in_a_mug/3.2.1269

 

Chocolate Cake

This recipe calls for no eggs, and it works with spelt flour too, so it can be wheat free and vegan too.

Ingredients 

1 1/2 cups flour 

1 cup sugar 

1/3 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon vinegar 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup cold water 

Instructions 

Using a food processor, blend dry ingredients together. Add remaining ingredients and process until just blended.

Bake in greased 8×8 pan in a 350*F oven for 30 minutes or until done.

This recipe is fast and easy and can easily be made in a bowl.

Perfect for baking with children.

Also can use for trifle recipe that was just posted.

Enjoy!