Monday, April 25, 2011

cook's illustrated carrot cake and cream cheese frosting

cook's illustrated  recipe for carrot cake and cream cheese frosting is my new go to, gotta have, can't do without recipe. i baked this for easter sunday and it was a hit! it was really a hit with my husband, so it is a true keeper in my book. it baked tall and moist, frosted with a delicate cream cheese frosting that is not overly sweet or thick. i just loved it....all. i just ate a piece for breakfast. shhhhhh. enjoy.

simple carrot cake with cream cheese frosting-cook's illustrated magazine 2003
makes one 13 by 9-inch cake

you can add walnuts and raisins, both or neither, if you do both, add about ten minutes onto your baking time. i added one cup of toasted walnuts. delicious!

carrot cake
2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 pound (6 to 7 medium) carrots, peeled

1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) packed light brown sugar

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups safflower, canola, or vegetable oil

cream cheese frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened but still cool

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool

1 tablespoon sour cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar

1. for the cake: adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. spray 13 by 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in large bowl; set aside.

3. in food processor fitted with large shredding disk, shred carrots (you should have about 3 cups); transfer carrots to bowl and set aside. wipe out food processor workbowl and fit with metal blade. process granulated and brown sugars and eggs until frothy and thoroughly combined, about 20 seconds. with machine running, add oil through feed tube in steady stream. process until mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 20 seconds longer. scrape mixture into medium bowl. stir in carrots and dry ingredients until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain. pour into prepared pan and bake until toothpick or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time. cool cake to room temperature in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours.

4. for the frosting: when cake is cool, process cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla in clean food processor workbowl until combined, about 5 seconds, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. add confectioners' sugar and process until smooth, about 10 seconds.

5. ice cake and store in the fridge. i think it tastes best served cold. yum.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

pyrex princess....cinderella to be exact

i love vintage pyrex and have decide to act upon my's purchase.

i am quickly becoming a regular at the thrift stores with a ziploc of change in tow. i want your pyrex. check your cupboards. gimme. please. now.

i will give you eggs. deal?

i beg of you. enjoy.

the end. pretty please....

Thursday, April 7, 2011

easy and creamy rice pudding

i have been on such a rice pudding kick lately, well that and jello salads! i grew up on the dry and sometimes not so tasty baked rice puddings, but really love the cold, creamy ones made on the stove top. this one is perfect. it is simple, quick, hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, not too sweet and chockful of raisins and dried cranberries.

 let me tell you how to make it.

beth's rice pudding

in a large saucepan, bring a cup and a half of water to a boil. add in 3/4 cup of long grain white rice. simmer covered for about 20 minutes. now add two cups of half and half, two cups of one percent milk and a half cup of sugar. once the sugar has dissolved, taste it and see if you want it a tad sweeter. if so, i would add it in a tablespoon at a time to get it where you like it. now let this cook for about forty minutes, over medium heat, stirring often. it will get thick almost like porridge. don't let it get too thick or when it cools, it will be a solid mass. now, the last ten minutes or so of cooking i add in a good shake of cinnamon, a few grates of fresh nutmeg, a big pinch of sale, a huge splash of good vanilla extract and about a quarter cup each  raisins and dried cranberries. you could do all of this, just some or none. i have even had rice pudding with pineapple tidbits folded in. i would that once it cooled. okay, take it off the heat when done, cool just for a few minutes, transfer to a bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap. place it directly on the pudding touching it.  this will prevent a skim as it cools. plunk in the refrigerator for several hours and then devour. it is great warmed slightly with some butter or ice cold topped with whipped cream!

enjoy! i know i am.