Sunday, August 29, 2010

Carrot Cake with Purple Carrots

In my fridge was a bag full of mixed carrots in shades of purple, yellow, and the traditional orange.  I'd been wanting to make a carrot cake for some time, so I looked at the bag and thought This could be interesting.

I adapted a recipe for Carrot Cupcakes from Everyday Food and picked up a recipe for icing in an issue of Elle à Table, from the same family as Elle fashion magazine.  The icing contains mascarpone cheese, and is a wonderful twist on traditional cream cheese icing.

The cake was moist and flavorful and turned out looking much like regular old carrot cake...but if you look closely, really closely, you can see little flecks of purple.

Carrot Cake
Adapted from Everyday Food From the Kitchens of Martha Stewart

1.5c unsweetened, shredded coconut*
1/2c sugar
1/2c maple or agave syrup
1/3c vegetable oil
2T fresh orange juice
1/2t vanilla
2 large eggs
1t baking powder
1/2t baking soda
1/2t ground allspice
1/2t salt
1/2c whole wheat flour
1/2c spelt flour (or unbleached white)
1.5c shredded carrots
1/2c chopped walnuts
1/2c raisins (I used golden)

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Spread coconut on a baking sheet, and toast in the oven until golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Transfer coconut to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

2.  In a bowl, combine sugar, syrup, oil, juice, vanilla, and eggs.  Stir in baking powder, soda, allspice, and salt.  Add the flour and mix.  Stir in carrots, walnuts, raisins, and 1 cup of the coconut.

3.  Oil and flour a loaf pan; distribute batter evenly.

4.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.  Let cool on a wire rack before frosting with cream cheese icing.  Garnish with reserved 1/2c of toasted coconut.

*Note:  In Denmark the only shredded coconut I've been able to find is the unsweetened version.  I've come to like it better than the sweetened kind available in the States because it adds the coconut flavor without all the extra sugar (and preservatives).  While I believe that the unsweetened variety is available in most health food stores in the U.S., feel free to use the sweetened version.

Mascarpone-Cream Cheese Icing
From Elle à Table

scant 1c cream cheese
scant 1c mascarpone
4-5T powdered sugar
zest of one orange
1t vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

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