Hey there– Last week we had a baby shower for new little Sebastian. His dear mom is the nurse at school and we’re all so glad he’s here. Another teacher and I were charged with gathering money and buying the gifts– Now that was fun! –All those sweet little baby things (it’s fun spending someone else’s money!). And Sebastian couldn’t be cuter.
And cakes. My job was to make cakes. Here’s one that landed on the party table– carrot cake with a dose of chocolate, all that cream cheese frosting and candied almonds. It was pretty delish, really.
CHOCOLATE CARROT CAKE
3 carrots (grated about 1 1/2 cup)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
4 oz. cream cheese (1/2 cube)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pound box powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cups)
Spoon the thick batter into a 9″ cake pan (or springform pan*) and bake it up at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes until a sharp knife stuck in comes out clean.
When the cake is cooled make the frosting. With an electric mixer, beat together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Then beat in the powdered sugar until it’s smooth and creamy. If it seems a bit dry, add just a tsp of water– careful it’s so easy to make it gooey with too much water!
To make the candied almonds, put the sugar and almonds in a skillet. Stir on medium heat until the sugar melts and caramelizes to a golden color. Don’t stop. Keep stirring. It will take a few minutes. When the almonds are coated with the melted sugar, scrape them onto a piece of foil on the counter (be careful that sugar is hot!) to cool and harden– just takes a minute.
Then spread the frosting over the cake and top it with the sweet almonds.
*I like to use a springform pan so that’s it’s easy to remove the cake from the pan–prettier to serve.
P.S. This is a one layer cake. Just double everything (except the sprinkle of almonds to make a standard 2 layer cake.