Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Carrot Cake Hawaiian Style

Printable Recipe

Carrot Cake from Hawaii? Nah, not really. I just dubbed it that because it is loaded with pineapple and coconut which is just the way I imagine Carrot Cake on Kauai might be. Lots of people who love this cake and think they don't like coconut don't even realize there's coconut in it since its texture mimics the shredded carrot. The pineapple sweetens this cake without making it sugary and makes it extremely moist. Best of all, it comes together almost as fast as a cake mix except it doesn't taste like Play-doh. Yes, that's the flavor I always think of when I taste carrot cakes not-made-from-scratch. And, no, I haven't eaten Play-doh (that I remember), I'm just guessing at flavor based on scent.

Before we start to make cake, get a stick of butter and a block of cream cheese out and set them aside for later. They need to come up to room temp. But, for the cake: Let's start with the dry ingredients and we're going to whisk them together by hand right in the mixer bowl. We'll move it over to the stand mixer to add the wet ingredients in a few minutes. Here's the list of dry:
2 teaspoons vanilla 2-1/4 cups flour,  2 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt.   Whisking everything together breaks up any lumps and incorporates the spices, soda, and salt smoothly into the flour so nobody gets a bitter bite of any of that in their cake later.

Now move the mixing bowl to the stand mixer and line up the wet ingredients to add in alternating bunches to the dry mix. Here's that list:  1-1/2 cups oil, 3 eggs, 1 Tbs Vanilla, 2 cups shredded carrot, 2 cups coconut, 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained.  I know this picture just shows 2 carrots, but it will take probably 4 carrots at least to equal two cups finely shredded. I do them with the fine shredder of the food processor and they're ready in about 30 seconds. Drain pineapple well.

Drain pineapple well in a colander.
Start by adding the eggs and oil and vanilla to dry ingredients, then follow with pineapple, carrots, coconut, and lastly the nuts. Just mix those in briefly so they don't start getting ground up by the beater. And ready to pour into a Pam-sprayed 9x13 for the oven! Bake at 350 for around 30 minutes and check it. As soon as a pick comes out clean and it's no longer liquidy in the middle, remove from oven. This is a very moist cake if not over cooked and you can't judge by the color when done. Test with a toothpick and remove at first sign of a crumb even if the crumb is damp.                                               
Ready for the oven.

Ok, before you clean up that wretched kitchen mess let's get the icing done while the cake bakes and. Um. Walk away and think about it later.  If the 1 stick butter and 8 oz cream cheese is at all cold then give each just A FEW SECONDS in the microwave and check till you have nice soft, but not melted, ingredients. Beat them together in the mixer with 1 tsp vanilla and a pinch of salt until nice and smooth. Reduce to lowest speed and add the first cup of confectioners sugar until it blends in, then another cup, and finally a third cup, mixing slowly each time. When it has blended in enough for the powdery mess to die down, then kick the speed up and really let it go. It should be nice and smooth and thick, not runny. I think it really tastes best if you can avoid adding the 4th cup of sugar.
Here' a little hint - toss a kitchen towel over the mixer when something powdery is in there and you'll cut the risk of flour coating your kitchen like a frying chicken.

So, E ʻai kākou, ya'll! (That's Hawaiian for, Let's Eat! which is about as close as we can get to Bon Appetit! island style.)
2-1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups oil
3 eggs
1 Tbs Vanilla
2 cups shredded carrot
2 cups coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
Pinch salt
3-4 cups confectioners' sugar

FallFest is continuing at the Food Network website through December! Every week we'll be sharing great recipes for fall and early winter vegetables. For now, check out all kinds of other recipes for Carrots: 

Thursday Night Dinner: Pickled Carrots
Virtually Homemade: Roasted Red Onions and Carrots With Pomegranate Gremolata
Haute Apple Pie: Carrot, Apple and Radicchio Slaw
What's Gaby Cooking: Thyme and Honey Roasted Carrots
Glory Foods: Honey-Carrot Bread
FN Dish: Quick Carrot Sides for Thanksgiving
Cooking With Elise: Spiced Carrot Marmalade
Dishin and Dishes: Roasted Honey Balsamic Glazed Carrots
Daydreamer Desserts: Carrot Cheesecake
Mooshu Jenne: Apple and Carrot Hearts Salad
The Sensitive Epicure: Maple Bourbon Glazed and Braised Carrots
Daydreamer Desserts: Carrot Martini

1 comment:

  1. this looks delicious! i submitted my recipe for spicy cafrrot salsa but, sadly, 6:00 pm tuesday night west coast time was too late to make the list. hope you will check it out.


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