Sunday, October 12, 2008

Voting for A Little Bit o' Sugar

I'm starting my inaugural (and possibly only) poll. If you are here to see the cakes and cake plates, vote. If you aren't, vote anyway. (It's good practice for Nov. 4). I need help deciding which plates to buy for a class I am teaching on Sunday! Vote on plate design/color, but pay no mind to the rub-ons...the girls will choose their own!

Now, on with my post...

Here is my kitchen tonite:

(I don't show just anyone that reality!)

I work alone in my current bakery. For good reason! My life is filled with chaos --- and that includes my kitchen! Last night when I said I hoped I'd put all the vanilla in the various pans, I wasn't joking. I baked 6 dozen cookies for my SIL's baby shower last spring. Forgot the vanilla. For a good smelling, foul tasting little bit o' brown liquid, it'll mess up yer cookin' good if you forget to add it in! So far, I'm 1 for 3 on the cakes. We've only officially taste tested one. I'll keep you posted on the other two.

Now, you'll notice I Melissa Lester'ed these cakes and plates right up (I'm making that a word). I can't do it justice in the manner of The Original (Melissa), but I'm 'OK' with my P.O.O.P.I.E.'s.

But, enough foul chit-chat. Here's the moment you've all been waiting for!

Cake/Plate #1: Edgewood Bakery Carrot Cake
(My FIL's fave - it's a Florida thing. Go 'Gators...)

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2 c. sugar
1 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1 1/4 c. vegetable oil
4 large eggs, room temp
1 t. vanilla
2 c. finely shredded carrots
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, well drained
3/4 c. flaked sweetened coconut
Decadent Carrot Cake Icing (below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans or two 9-inch rounds; set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, slat, sugar, and cinnamon; stir well. Add vegetable oil and eggs; blend with an electric mixer at medium speed. Stir in vanilla, shredded carrots, pecans, pineapple, and coconut. Ladle batter into prepared pans, diving equally. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cake layers cool for 10 minutes in pans. Invert onto cooling racks and let cool completely. Frost cake layers with Decadent Carrot Cake Icing. (Since this cake in very moist, it is recommended that you place the cake layers in the freezer for at least one hour before you frost the cake. You will like the results, if you try this.)

Decadent Carrot Cake Icing
2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 c. butter, softened
6 c. powdered sugar
3 c. flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. chopped pecans
In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter with an electirc mixer at medium speed. Gradually add the confectioners sugar, beating until smooth. Stir in cocnut, raisins, and pecans.

If you like carrot cake, you'll never forget this one!!!

Cake/Plate #2 Dark Chocolate Cake with Ganache Frosting

I'll refer you to the Oct. '08 Everyday Foods from Martha Stewart for this dark chocolate cake recipe, page 112, 113 for time sake. Later, I'll post the recipe for my kids...if you have favorite recipes, write them down for your future generations! My two grandmothers were wonderful cooks. To this day, I haven't figured out my paternal grandmother's recipe for chocolate frosting. My mom has given me a suitable alternative for the frosting and for her mom's awesome spring salad, but it sure would be great to have the originals! So. Write those recipes down!

Off soap box.

Cake/Plate #3 Southern Strawberry.

No more needs to be said. You all have seen this beauty before. But for cake plate voting purposes, here she is again!

And Plate #4 (I almost forgot it --- it was the easiest to place the image, but I don't think it'll be a favorite. Plus, where's the cake??)

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