Jo Ellen gave Drew an awesome cookbook signed by the author as a graduation gift. It’s The Encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole Cuisine by John Folse, and an encyclopedia it is. At 852 pages and 9.5 lbs, I imagine that we will be trying new recipes, and soon to be old favorites out of this book for a long time. We’ve been able to make a couple of dishes so far, and one of my personal favorites has been the Classic Carrot Cake recipe. We had this for Christmas, and I was impressed with how moist it was and how tall it stood. It calls for pineapple, something that I was slightly skeptical about in the beginning, but as it turns out, the pineapple is extremely subtle and serves as extra layers to keep the cake together and again, nice and moist. The only drawback that I see with this cake is that I would soon be out of my wardrobe if I made it as often as I would like to, but beyond that…yum-o. I added a little fresh nutmeg and ginger to the dry ingredients, I don’t know if it made a difference, but I always believe that a little extra dash of this or that is a-ok.
Chef John Folse’s Classic Carrot Cake
PREP TIME: 1 Hour
INGREDIENTS FOR CAKE:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil and flour four 9-inch cake pans. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar and oil until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, whipping after each addition. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon. Add a little at a time into the egg mixture, blending well until all is incorporated. Fold in the vanilla, pecans and grated carrots. Once all is well blended, pour evenly into the 4 cake pans. Bake 30-40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool. While cake it baking, make filling by combining pineapple, sugar and corn starch. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Once mixture thickens, remove from heat and allow filling to cool. Remove cakes from baking pans and spread pineapple filling between layers. Ice with cream cheese frosting below and serve.
INGREDIENTS FOR FROSTING:
In a medium bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
**I added a little cinnamon and nutmeg to the frosting, and I’ve read other places where someone will put just a hint of orange zest in cream cheese frosting to erm, kick it up a notch.