Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Angel's Share, the Devil's Cut and My Carrot Cake

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Any watcher of American television is aware of the terms angel's share and devil's cut. They've been popularized in a bourbon commercial for a manufacturer who never dreamed they'd be used in a food blog about to highlight carrot cake. Cutting to the chase, my current kitchen is much smaller than those I've worked in before. That's not a big deal, but when we have guests it means I can't make everything on the day it will be served. I usually make and freeze desserts ahead of time, but yesterday I had a surprise when I pulled the cakes I was planning to serve from the freezer. Each was missing a large wedge, easily the size of the state of Nevada, that we will hereafter call the devils cut. The cakes were positioned in the freezer so I wouldn't notice the missing wedges until I took them out. Now, I am not easily perturbed and no longer stand on ceremony with folks who come into our home, so it was a no harm, no foul situation, but I am still tying to figure out how the devil was able to slice his cut without my knowing. Now, I must admit I'm guilty of sneaking a small angel's share when I bake. It usually is no more than a finger's swirl of batter or frosting or the crusty edge edge of a brownie, but I am not without fault here. I just operate on a smaller scale than my husband or the rest of the family. Pie is another familial weakness. Folks, perhaps not wishing to appear greedy, will refuse a slice of pie but comment that they'll have a sliver later. They are as good as their word. I have gone to bed at night and found pies that have been slivered to death the next morning. This morning, the was only a sliver remaining of the carrot cake from which a devil's cut had been taken. That wasn't surprising. It is a nice cake for those who are purists. The cake contains no pineapple or coconut and the cream cheese frosting is one of the best I have ever tasted. If you are looking for an easier than most recipe for carrot cake, you might want to give this one a try. Here is how it is made.

Carrot Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Gimme Some Oven

Carrot Cake Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
6 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3-1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 pound finely-grated fresh carrots
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
2 (8 oz.) bricks cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted (or more if needed to thicken)


To make carrot cake:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
2) Mix together oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in bowl of a stand mixer until combined and smooth. Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla, and mix until smooth.
3) Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cloves in another bowl and whisk until combined. Add dry ingredients mixture to egg mixture and beat on medium-speed until just combined, scraping bowl to assure that everything is well mixed. Fold in grated carrots by hand, and stir until combined.
4) Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pans. Then bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in middle of cakes comes out clean. Remove pans to wire rack and let them cool for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and cool on racks until layers are at room temperature.
5) Layer cakes with cream cheese frosting, then frost sides and top. If desired press chopped walnuts into sides of cake. Refrigerate or freeze. Cake will keep in refrigerator for up to four days.
To make Cream Cheese Frosting:
Using an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter on medium speed for 1 minute or until smooth. Add in vanilla extract and salt, and continue mixing until combined. Lower speed to medium-low and gradually add in powdered sugar. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until combined. If frosting is too thick, you can add in a teaspoon or two of water. If it is too thin, you can add in more powdered sugar.

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Penny said...

This was so funny Mary. It reminded me of my Dad's fondness for pie crust. He loved to nibble on the fluted edges and did so too aggressively on a lovely pie I had made for my boy friend when I was sixteen. We still laugh about it. Your carrot cake sounds delicious without the pineapple and coconut. Hugs, Penny

Katie C. said...

What a hoot! I didn't know that you could freeze a frosted cake, or is that only because you used cream cheese frosting?

Mary Bergfeld said...

Katie, I freeze frosted cakes all the time. That doesn't mean I should, but I do anyway. I first freeze cake with no wrapping. When it can be covered without marring the frosting, I wrap the cake with plastic wrap and put it back in the freezer. One hour before serving I remove cake, take off the wrap and let it sit at room temperature till its time
to cut.

We Are Not Martha said...

Haha I love that story! This carrot cake looks perfect!


Susan Lindquist said...

Such a funny post, Mary! That silver-haired devil was clever at hiding the evidence! LOL! Your carrot cake looks so smooth and moist ... I admit that I make mine with the coconut and pineapple (and walnuts) so it's much more knobbly -looking.

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