Wednesday, November 21, 2012

From Cherie's Kitchen: A holiday treat, Andre Black's Carrot Cake

In my family, as in many others, baking is holiday tradition.  Even people who don't cook or bake the rest of the year will be out in the kitchen measuring flour, sugar and butter to recreate old, traditional recipes or try out new ones.

Andre Black's Carrot Cake is one of my favorites.  It was clipped from The Detroit News years ago and was saved in my old-fashioned recipe card file.  Since then, it has made its way to a multitude of Internet recipe sites. 

It is a great new tradition for Thanksgiving or as an alternative to a traditional Christmas fruit cake.

The cake is a Detroit original.  It won Andre Black, a local culinary student, a $10,000 scholarship to Johnson and Wales College, now Johnson and Wales University.  His recipe was one of 19 winners chosen from 270 entries.

Because the recipe was written in professional baking terms, it was adapted for home cooks by food writer and author Robin Mather.

The cake is vegetarian, but not vegan because it contains eggs.  (If you're feeling adventurous, you could experiment with a commercial egg replacer like Ener-G, or maybe applesauce.)


The recipe may be prepared as a three-layer cake, but I like to keep it simple in a single 13-by-9-inch pan and baking it for about an hour, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  I've also made the recipe as cupcakes.

Also included is Black's cream cheese frosting recipe.  It makes an ample amount, so slather on a generous amount and enjoy.

Is baking a feminist act?  Vegan chef and blogger Lagusta Yearwood thinks so.  Read her essay here.


Andre Black's Carrot Cake

Cake:

3 large eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar
1 cup & two tablespoons salad oil
2 cups & 1 tablespoon sifted cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup & two tablespoons crushed, drained pineapple
1 cup & two tablespoons crushed walnuts
1 cup raisins

Frosting:

1/2 cup softened margarine or butter
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 pound confection sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fareheit.  Grease and flour three eight-inch layer pans, or one 13-by-9-inch pan (see my note above.)
  • Combine eggs, sugar and oil.  Beat on high speed until creamy and thick, three to five minutes.
  • Sift together flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.
  • Slowly add one-third of dry igredients to egg mixture; beat well.  Repeat with remaining dry ingredients, beating well after each addition.  Batter will be extremely stiff; it may be necessary to blend with a spatula or spoon.
  • One by one, fold in coconut, carrots, pineapple, walnuts and raisins.  Divide batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes for layers, or one hour for 13-by-9-inch pan or until a tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  For layers:  Let cool in pans five minutes, then turn out on rack to cool completely.  (I usually frost my 13-by-9-inchn cake right in the pan.)
  • Prepare frosting by combining ingredients and beating until smooth.  Frost cakes when they are completely cool.

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