Monday, January 31, 2011

Ultimate Carrot Cake...

Well, after an insanely delicious London Broil Sandwich from Issac Newton's on Saturday night (sorry...no pics:( , we were in the market for an extra healthy breakfast on Sunday.  And after doing a little 'research,' I came across a recipe for Baked Oatmeal.  Oats + Warm + Winter = Perfect!
I combined 2 recipes:  One for healthy baked oatmeal & of course, a little *JAZZ* from my new favorite spiced oatmeal recipe:
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Eggbeaters (or 2 eggs)
  • 3 cups uncooked rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg*
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves*
I mixed all the ingredients together, poured it into a 9x13 pan and let it sit in the fridge overnight.  Sunday morning I baked the oats, uncovered, for 30 minutes at 350.
And (as you can see from the top picture) I served the oats with a little drizzle of maple syrup, a sprinkle of granola and a drizzle of unsweetened almond milk = YUM!!!!  Scott put this on the "We'll have to have this again" list, so you know it was good:)

After that, I was sooooooooooooo excited to get in our 'exercise' for the day = a SUPER snowy walk in the park with Penny!

Even if we had to take a minor detour to the park since our main entrance was ...ummm...not in service;) 

We got in QUITE the workout, since nearly EVERY step was a knee lift!  It almost felt like we were climbing uphill! (good prep for our next trip though...hint, hint:)

It was all fun & games until this happened.... 
...and that's all I'm gonna say about That...

When we came back, I got to baking my treat for the afternoon.  Since we were heading to my Aunt's for lunch, I thought I'd bring over a little sweet/salty treat from here:
How does "Kick Ass Carrot Cake" sound???  Pretty good, right?? :)

Carrot Cake Layers
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  1. Using a whisk attachment on a stand mixer, combine oil & sugar for 2 minutes or until well blended.
  2. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Shift in the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda & sea salt and mix until just combined.
  4. Fold in 3 cups of grated carrots.
  5. Pour cake batter into 2 round pans coated with butter & flour.
  6. Bake cakes at 350 for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. (The cake didn't LOOK done at all, but the toothpick told me it was done...and it was right:)
  7. Allow cakes to cool 20 minutes in their pans, before turning onto a rack and allowing to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling, you can work on Awesome layer #2: Butterscotch sauce:

  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and place over low heat.  Continue to stir until the butter is melted & the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Turn up the heat and bring the syrup to a boil.  Allow to boil for 3 minutes without stirring (be careful the mixture doesn't boil over!)
  3. Allow to cool for a few minutes and spread a thin amount of sauce on both cake layers.
(Step 4: Go buy a small pint of vanilla ice cream, because even this small recipe made enough sauce for a few butterscotch sundaes.  You didn't hear that from me:)

And FINALLY...the true Kick Ass layer = The Frosting:)

Blend:
  • 10 oz. cream cheese
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
And the 2 star ingredients:  1/3 cup pure maple syrup

And 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
This made a TON of frosting....so I'd even cut back on it a bit for next time.  It was a little heartbreaking to throw the last 1/2 cup in the garbage;)  (couldn't keep it around...too "dangerous":)

The frosting was sooooooo smooth and glossy!  I poured the frosting over the cake, as not to disturb the butterscotch sauce...
Probably not a technique my friend over at Piece of Cake Decorating would approve of, but for us lowly "decorators", it worked fine;) hahahahahaahahhaa... 

Finally I finished off the cake with a half a cup of toasted walnuts.  (You could also throw the walnuts *IN* the cake batter, if you'd like...)

After making a maple & frosting mess in my kitchen I was finished baking, we headed over to my Aunt's.  Seriously, how cute is she???  She had the dining room all festive for Valentine's Day:)

I love Valentine's Day for it's "old school-ness"!  Those old fashioned cards were the cutest!
Loved it! :)

For our "linner" (lunch/dinner:), we chowed down on more of my Mom's "Christmas Raviolis" (don't worry...she had them frozen:) and my Aunt made baked ziti & salad.  SOOO GOOD!

And of course, some Carrot Cake for dessert:)  This recipe was sooo good because it wasn't overly sweet, but had such a smoooooth & spicy taste.  Delish!

And my Aunt's friend had also made one of my drop dead/all time favorites = Homemade Cinnamon Buns!  Trying to eat just half of one of these was an iron clad willpower challenge for sure! :)  They were to die for!

Wooshhhh and after seeing those cinnamon rolls again, I am READY for a no sugar day today;) hahahahahahaha...hope you guys had a great weekend and are ready for this week coming up!  Ummm....which may inclued MORE snow for NJ??  Stay tuned... ;)

5 comments:

Amy said...

Wow, that cake looks AH-MAZING!!! And I love your aunt's tablescape :)

kristen said...

the cake looks great...and deadly...i can only imagine the carb count :P

Donna said...

Thanks, ladies!! :)

And Kris-It was def. a test in 'have one slice and back away slowly' ;) hahahahahahahah...

Miz Helen said...

Hi Donna it is good to see you. Your Carrot Cake looks so delicious, I would like my slice right now. My husband will just love this cake. Thank you so much for sharing it with us today here at Full Plate Thursday. You have a great week end and please come back!

Melynda said...

Stopping by from Full Plate Thursday to say hello! I so love carrot cake, this looks wonderful.

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