Carrot Cake by frankenspam

I have mentioned before I am not a baker and being honest, I have never, ever liked carrot cake. I am just not a fan of nutmeg and cinnamon type of spices. Just not my thing. But I went to dinner with my in-laws one night and it got me thinking. My father in law had to take some medication to, well, “calm down”. Long story, they never take medication. So, he was, well high as a kite. haha It was great! It was like watching someone on ecstasy. Not that I have ever done this thing called ecstasy OR been around it per say, it’s just what I would imagine it would be like, with all the press coverage. So anyway, he loves carrot cake and bread pudding. He ranks it every time he goes to a restaurant. Well, he ordered it this particular night and was immensely let down by them not having anymore. But I thought to myself, “Self…what the hell is so good about it? Maybe we (self and I) should give it another try.” I mean, I used to hate lots of things but couldn’t imagine having dinner with out some of them. So, I started googling around. Now you must know, my grandmother (mom’s mom) made the world’s best Zucchini bread and as much as I liked it, I still didn’t like the spices that much. But, it was good enough bread I could overcome the spices. So, with all that in thought, I looked for carrot cakes recipes that had good amounts of carrots in it. Well I ran into a website called Chow.com. GREAT site and great find. Well I was on there doing something else (researching where a particular tool came from) and one of the side ads kept suggesting carrot cakes. Yeh, the world of google ads keeping an eye on you. :rollingeyes: But this time it worked. They suggested a carrot cake on chow.com that you are about to see. It is delicious, moist, fresh, and the larger carrot shreds add to the dynamics of this simple to make cake. I have linked the recipe on my site (below) and in the recipe I give props to chow.com’s website link as well. The only “wrecking” I did to the original recipe was I browned some of the carrots, I added different types of nuts and then finely chopped them up,¬†and added almond extract to the icing.

This cake is a winner in my opinion. The fresh spices give this cake such a fresh taste. So grab a microplane and then a paddle attachment for your mixer and amaze your friends and spouses with this carrot cake recipe!

Grate those carrots!
Microplane that nutmeg!

 

All the wet ingredients
Fold dry and wet together.
When about half done folding wet and dry add the carrots and finish folding.
Smells soooooooo good!
Icing main ingredients.

Making the icing!
Iced.
Nutted. ūüėõ

 

Not being a nut fan, these were actually very good.

 

 

 

Chow.com’s Carrot Cake by frankenspam

Serves 10-15 servings
Prep time 2 hours
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 2 hours, 40 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk, Tree Nuts
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly
Occasion Barbecue, Casual Party, Christmas, Easter, Formal Party, Halloween, Thanksgiving
Region American
frankenspam.com Chow.com
I don't like 99% of carrot cakes out there. Probably closer to 99.9%. But I love veggies and I always wonder why carrot cake recipes don't take advantage of MORE carrot. I know why they use them, but this cake is truly a carrot cake. It has the traditional spice flavors but with a clean and fresh taste that will make you want another piece. It will wow your friends!

Ingredients

Dry

  • 2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Cinnamon (grated by YOU)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fresh Nutmeg (grated by YOU)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fine Salt (I used a mortar & Pestle to make mine fine)

Wet

  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 cup Whole-milk Plain Yogurt

Carrots

  • 1 1/2lb Shredded Carrots (Peeled and grated on box grater or on food processor)

Nuts

  • 1oz Walnuts (Crush up into big chunks)
  • 1oz Almonds (Crush up into big chunks)
  • 1oz Pecans (Crush up into big chunks)

Icing

  • 2 sticks UNSALTED Butter (ROOM TEMPERATURE)
  • 16oz Cream Cheese (ROOM TEMPERATURE)
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar (SIFTED)
  • 3/4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract

Directions

Carrots
Step 1 Place an oven rack on the top, near the top burner, and turn oven on broil. Now Grate your carrots
Step 2 Take about a third of your carrots and put them on a cookie sheet. Spread out so they aren't stacked on each other. Now place cookie sheet under broiler. KEEP an eye on them. We don't want black pieces, only browning. Some may get "burnt" but DON'T put them back into your mix of grated carrots. Once you are happy with the broiler results put the finished carrots back into the rest of the carrots.
Step 3 Make sure there is a rack in the middle of the oven and turn oven to 350*.
Dry
Step 4 Grate your nutmeg and cinnamon. You COULD use the stuff in a container, but this cake SHINES with fresh nutmeg and cinnamon. I MEAN SHINES!
Step 5 Place items in "Dry" group into a large bowl and whisk together. Ensuring there aren't any lumps.
Wet
Step 6 Place items in "Wet" group into a separate large bowl and whisk together. Ensuring mixture is well mixed.
Step 7 Using a rubber spatula, fold the "Dry" ingredients into "Wet" ingredients. Once about half way mixed, mix in the grated and broiled carrots. Fold until you have a consistent mixture. DON'T over mix. The activated glutens will get your cake started to early.
Step 8 Pour the batter into a 13" X 9" glass baking dish. Don't oil or flour the glass pan. If you don't have a glass one, a metal will be fine as well. You should probably spray the metal one with baking spray (shortening and flour). Smooth the mixture into the corners with the spatula
Step 9 Bake, rotating the dish/pan after 20 minutes. A toothpick in the middle of the cake with no or just a few crumbs means done. About 40 minutes. Transfer cake to a cooling rack, for at least 2 hours. You don't want a warm cake when putting on the icing.
Nuts
Step 10 Now, take those crushed nuts and put on cookie sheet. Spread out. Place in oven for about 10-15 minutes at 350*.
Step 11 Once nuts have lighted browned and are fragrant stick them in food processor on chopped. Chop up into a fine mixture. Put in a bowl for later use.
Icing
Step 12 Place the butter and cream cheese in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light, fluffy, and fully mixed. About 3 minutes. If you don't have a paddle attachment. You can try with normal mixer attachments, but I suggest if you are going to get into baking and making icing, get a paddle attachment.
Step 13 Stop the mixer after after that first 3 minutes and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Turn on the mixer to low for about 30 -45 seconds.
Step 14 Stop the mixer and scrape down again. Now turn mixer on medium high speed and mix until the frosting is creamy and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Step 15 Once the cake is COOLED down. Spread the frosting in an even layer over the cooled cake. Chow.com says ALL of the frosting, but I only used about half. I also used a metal pan and took the cake out to put icing on. I didn't put icing on the sides either.
Step 16 Take your nut mixture and sprinkle over cake in an even manner. If you don't munch on this cake within 4 hours, put some saran wrap on it or put in cake container. It'll keep in fridge for up to 3 days. Don't serve cold, the flavors SCREAM AWESOMENESS at room temperature.
Step 17 frankenspam.com says, eating with friends is great but cooking together is even better.

Note

FRESH ground nutmeg and cinnamon are a MUST! Worth every mile of you going to the store and purchasing a microplane to grate that nutmeg and cinnamon.

Don't over mix the wet and dry ingredients.

DON'T put icing on a warm cake!

 

 

 

 

Dr Pepper Cupcakes

The internet is full, I mean FULL of crazy recipes. I was reading a few of these recipes and blogs on cooking with soda…or pop. ūüėõ I was reading more about making BBQ sauces and cooking roasts and ran across Dr Pepper Cupcakes. I don’t know what got into me but I had to make them. Yeh I know. Everybody who knows me asks the same thing, “Baking? You?”. Baking is too much for me. Way too “recipe” demanding. You can’t sway from the main building block parts of the recipe. I suck at it.

But, the Doctor is calling me on this one. I want to be a Pepper. How about you?

I owe this recipe to “The Chic Site“. Oh shush your mouth. How do you expect to get along with women if you don’t read what they are writing or listen to what they are saying. Okay, at least act like you are listening.

Ingredients:
1- 15.25 oz Boxed Cake Mix, chocolate flavored, use devil food. Just do it.
3/4 cup buttermilk (The Chic’s said room temperature, but I forgot)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup Dr. Pepper

Instructions: *Don’t follow the back of the box instructions
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Go ahead and put some cupcake wrappers in muffin tins. I EASILY made 24 cupcakes. Put pans off to side.
2. In the icing recipe below it calls for butter. Get that stuff out of the fridge now. You will HATE making icing with hard butter.
3. Grab 2-3 handfuls of maraschino cherries and throw in food processor. Throw on chop for a few seconds. Get them in small bits. This is my own touch. I don’t see anywhere else people suggesting to do this. I like it, it adds a nice interesting touch to the finished product.
4. ¬†In mixing bowl of a stand mixer (The Chic Site says to use a paddle attachment. Yeah, I don’t have one of those. So I used a regular mixer but never went faster than medium) add chocolate boxed cake mix. ¬†Mix on low speed to break up any clumps. ¬†While mixer is on, add room temperature buttermilk, vegetable oil, and chopped cherries and mix on medium speed until mixture is moistened.
5.  Now, add eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next.  Once all the eggs have been combined, slowly stream in Dr. Pepper with the mixer running on low. Mix until combined.
6. Alright, pour your mixture into the muffin tins. Distribute batter among prepared muffin tin. ¬†I like flat top cupcakes so I only fill them almost 2/3 full. Maybe even a little less. Bake for 18-22 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. ¬†Rotate muffin tin midway though baking to ensure even cooking (great advice by the way). ¬†Let cupcakes rest in tin for 3 minutes before unmolding. ¬†Allow cupcakes to cool to room temperature on wire rack before frosting and decorating. Don’t frost while warm or hot!!!

Custom Dr. Pepper Frosting

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (important if you want “easier” to make frosting)
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
5 Tbsp Dr. Pepper (I used a smidgen more than this)
maraschino cherry, for garnish
chocolate jimmies/sprinkles, for garnish

Instructions:
1. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (like mentioned earlier, I don’t have one of these. So I did most of this step by hand and then finished with the mixer), cream together butter and shortening until smooth.
2.  In another bowl, sift together confectioners/powdered sugar and cocoa powder.  Add half of mixture to mixing bowl with butter.  Mix on medium speed until incorporated.
3. ¬†Slowly add Dr. Pepper with the mixer running on low. ¬†I only added half the liquid. Add remaining half of sugar-cocoa mixture, mix on medium speed, and add remaining Dr Pepper until all combined. ¬†Transfer to pastry bag or zip-lock bag to pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. ¬†It is full ghetto here, I used a ziplock bag and cut a tiny corner off. Garnish with maraschino cherry and chocolate jimmies for garnish. The cherries are too wet. I made this for the office the next day and did not garnish with the cherries. Besides, with the chopped cherries in the mix, you probably don’t want too much more cherry flavors.

These were very yummy! The original recipe writers say you can’t taste the Dr Pepper, but I think by me adding a smidgen more than what the recipe calls for in the icing you could definitely taste the Dr Pepper. I think icing was “wetter” because of that. It isn’t light and fluffy like you’d expect from a high end cupcake shop. But believe it or not, this was easy to do. The icing is a wake up call of how much butter and shortening go into it, but folks, this was yummy and easy.

Are you a Pepper?

Smokey & Spicy Pinto Beans

Been trying to find time to make some good ole pinto beans and corn bread for a few weeks now. Just could never find time to get it done. So Friday I was determined to make it happen. But I of course, they can’t be normal. I went for smokey & spicy Pinto Beans.

So I put some hard beans in water to soak over night. I know I know not a necessity but it makes for a quicker cook time (2.5-3.5 hours versus 4-6 hours).

Beans are great! Cheap, easy, and full of protein and fiber. Good for your heart. Hell, the more you eat them the more you…

Any toot, some good friends invited us over to watch some football today. That invite was Friday, after I started my bean soak. Hmm…I wonder if can I wreck the pinto beans well enough that a football crowd would like them? I mean, who serves pinto beans at a football game? They would have to be wrecked enough to be able to stand proud in the same room as barbecued sausages and expertly made chicken wings? By the way, STELLAR wings Eric. Stellar. Pancake syrup, would have thought. haha Well anyway, let’s give it a try.

Bag of pinto beans, mine were soaked over night. You don’t have to if you don’t want. 2 cups of Vegetable Broth and 4 cups of water. Cut up 5 thick slices of bacon into about 1 inch pieces. Throw them in. Bring to boil and then back it down to a simmer for an hour to hour and a half. Always keep an eye on your water level. Basically, make sure the fluid starts off about 2 inches over the beans.
At about hour and a half add 2 medium onions, diced up. 5-6 cloves of garlic, minced and/or diced up. Dice up a whole green bell pepper (red is better for color, but I didn’t have any) Throw them all into the pot. Continued cooking for about 15-20 minutes.
Alright, add 3 big pinches of salt, 1/2 TBSP of chili powder, 1/2 tsp of black ground pepper, 1/4 tsp of crushed/ground celery seed, 4 TBSP of frankenspam smoked jalapenos. Stir Well
Add a hunk of Pork Sirloin. But cut it into large chunks. Chunks small enough they will cook fairly quick yet large enough you can pull them out in about 1/2 hour.

I don’t have a picture, I was rushing, but in about 20-30 minutes take that pork sirloin back out. Let it cool (rest). Then throw into a food processor on “chop” for a couple of seconds. Or dice up with a knife. BUT let it REST! Don’t chop it up hot! In food processor for only a couple seconds. Not long. Just a chunky chop. Throw it back in. Stir it up. Taste your creation, salt and pepper as needed. Now, let it stay just below simmer for another hour and you’ll have some really damn good pinto beans. Or eat right away for some very good pinto beans. Don’t forget the cornbread. ¬†I took this to a party of about 20-25 people, they loved it. Just used chips as scoops. I gotta say, this was some really good pinto beans!

YUMMY! Obviously you could have not soaked your beans, used a ham hock, or whatever you want. I bet it’ll be good. Give it a try!