SALTED CARAMEL CARROT CAKE

March 2018 | The Honest Spoon

 

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It's almost Easter and we're getting ready to head off to Southern California for the Holiday and Spring Break. Hopefully, the rain and clouds will stay back in the Pacific Northwest and not follow us on our trip. At this time every year, I start to crave warmth and sunshine in a way I can't describe. While I do love all the seasons, I especially love Spring and Summer!! So happy Spring is finally in the air!!

I called my cousin and we started planning  our Easter Menu. Being raised in a big Italian family, we've always sat down to talk about holiday menus and who's bringing what. Seeing as I'm coming from out of town, I need to get creative with what I can bring. Though there are roughly a zillion carrot cake recipes out there, I was thinking of a way to reinvent the classic. In my opinion, carrot cake is  perfect on its own. Add an amazing cream cheese frosting and you are good to go! I Also, carrot cake is easily modifiable- example: my son LOVES raisins in his carrot cake.  When i made this he said, " OMG Mamma, the raisins are the best part".  The next day, while at work, we talked about carrot cake and I had two very strong opinions and one that firmly stated: "raisins in carrot cake are the devil". 

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Moral of the story- people have STRONG opinions about what does and does not go into a carrot cake. This cake recipr is my Mom's classic (I've literally never used anything else).  I've pumped it up with raisins, crushed pineapple, and sweetened shredded coconut. They really add great texture and overall depth of flavor. I've tried a lot of carrot cakes & they are all very similar. On the other hand, I've come to perfect a cream cheese frosting and I use that here.

If you decide to add salted caramel to the top of your cake, you have to remember that you want to warm it up- not HEAT it up. If its too hot it will melt your frosting. Too cold, and you won't be able to pour it on.  You can go for a variety of looks here. To follow the look I have in these pictures, you must remember to pipe a border around the entire top of the cake. It will keep the caramel from going over the edge. On the other hand, you can go for the naked cake look and simply pour the caramel over the top and let it drip over the sides. This will look fabulous and beautifully graceful, yet casual. 

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SALTED CARAMEL CARROT CAKE

INGREDIENTS:

CAKE:

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 1/2 Cups vegetable oil

  • 2 Cups granulated sugar

  • 2 Cups Flour

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 3 Cups shredded carrots

  • 1 Cup chopped walnuts

  • 1 Cup sweetened shredded coconut

  • 1 Cup crushed pineapple, drained

  • 1/2 Cup raisins

You will also need:

Cream Cheese Frosting

One Jar Fleur de Sel caramel (you can buy this at Trader Joes or here)

Piping Bags

Piping Tips


METHOD:

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat together eggs. oil and sugar for two- three minutes.

3. in a separate bowl mix together flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet until just mixed.

4. Add Carrots, Walnuts, Coconut, Pineapple, and Raisins. Mix in until just blended.

5.  Prepare three 8" round pans, line in parchment, grease well.

6. Divide cake batter equally between the pans.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

7. Let cool completely before adding frosting,

 

ASSEMBLE THE  CAKE:

1. Place one cake layer directly onto cake plate or cake round.

2. Place a dollop, about 1/2 cup frosting onto cake. spread evenly. Repeat for each layer. Make sure to plave the top layer as “bottom side up” for flattest top.

3. Spread the rest of frosting on top and side of cake. Place frosted cake in refrigerator for 30 minutes before applying the salted caramel.

4. Warm salted caramel until it is warm enough to be poured, but is NOT hot! If it is too hot, it will melt the cream cheese frosting.

5. For a causal look, pour the caramel over top so it drips down the sides. For a more structured look, pipe a border around the top layer & slowly pour caramel inside the rim. It’s your choice on which look you'd like to go for!

6. Keep cake refrigerated. Bring to room temp before serving.

TIPS:

- if you plan to use more frosting, be sure to make 1 1/2 - 2 recipes of the cream cheese frosting. One recipe would be just enough for a “naked” cake.

- cakes can be made and frozen up to four weeks in advance. Let cakes cool completely, then individually wrap each layer in parchment and cling wrap.

- you can assemble the cake up to three days in advance. Just bring to room temp before serving.