Monday, May 13, 2013

Recipe for a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Carrot and cream cheese cake / Porgandi-toorjuustukook

My beloved maternal grandmother Senta turned 93 last week. NINETY-THREE. The digits 9 and 3 bother feature in my current age as well, meaning I have known my dear grandma for 39 years in total. She gave birth and raised five children - 4 girls and 1 boy. Now, at the age of 93, her family consists of 5 kids, 11 grandkids, 11 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.

She had to feed and raise the kids, run the whole household consisting of cows, sheep, poultry (all that in addition to having to milk all the cows in the big sovhoosilaut or a collective farm). And once the kids were all adults, she regularly had to take care of her 11 grandchildren who spent weeks at the countryside during each summer. A remarkable woman, and it's only recently that her mental and physical health has been failing her. She's a role model to me in so many ways (so is my paternal grandmother Adeele, who'll be 92 in September, but in very different way :)).

Here's a photo of my grandma and our youngest child, taken at the birthday party last week. They're 92,5 years apart:
Vanaema Senta (93) ja Karoliine (6 k)

My grandmother has been living with my parents for a few years now, and my mum asked if I could bring a cake to the party. Of course I could, and I decided to make this layered carrot and cream cheese cake that some of you were asking for and about after seeing it at Nami-Nami's 2013 Easter Brunch (see overview here). Here's the version I made last week, and before you ask, my two older kids were in charge of decorating the cake. That's why all the chopped pistachios ended up the way they did :D

 photo (45)

The other two photos were made during the Easter, when I baked three carrot cake layers. The recipe below - and the cake for my grandma's birthday - had four cake layers - it's easier and more layers look more festive.

PS I've mentioned my grandma Senta on several occasions. Here's her recipe for an egg and smoked ham sauce, and she's the co-star in my post about the fermented oat flummery. She's also behind every story about Paluküla - the village where I spent all my childhood summers together with some of my cousins.

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
(Porganditort toorjuustukreemiga)
Serves 12 to 16

 Porgandi-toorjuustukook / Carrot and cream cheese cake

Carrot cake layers:
500 g carrots
4 large eggs
250 g caster sugar (about 300 ml)
a pinch of salt
240 g all-purpose flour/plain flour (400 ml)
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla sugar or extract
100 g vegetable oil (about 150 ml)

Lime and cream cheese frosting:
400 g cream cheese, at room temperature
300 g thick sour cream
100 g caster sugar (just over 100 ml)
2 tsp vanilla sugar or extract
2 limes, zested and juiced

Preheat the oven to 200 C/390 F.

Carrot cake layers: peel the carrots and grate finely.

Measure flour, baking powder and vanilla sugar (if using) into a small bowl, give the mixture a stir.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with sugar, salt and vanilla extract (if using) until thick and foamy. Gently fold in the oil, then the grated carrots and finally the dry ingredients.

Line two large oven sheets with parchment paper/baking paper (mine are about 32 x 35 cm/12 x 14 inches)*. Spoon half of the batter onto one baking sheet, and the other half onto the other.

Bake, one at a time, in the middle of the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, until light golden brown and lightly springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and bake the other carrot cake layer as well.

Let cool completely.

Lime and cream cheese frosting:

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, vanilla and lime zest and juice in a bowl, and whisk thoroughly (it's easiest to use an electric whisk here).

Putting the cake together:

Cut both carrot cake sheets into two, so you'll end up with four rectangles. Place one carrot cake layer onto your serving tray, spread with one-fourth of the cream cheese frosting. Repeat three more times.

Garnish the cake with chopped pistachios and fresh mint or lemon balm leaves.

The flavour improves if you let it stand for a 3-4 hours in a cool place.

* If you want to bake three separare layers, then I used a 25x30 cm pan (10x12 inches), known as långpanna in Scandinavia. 


Anonymous said...

Question - what qualifies as a "large" baking sheet? Approximate measurements would be appreciated. (The layers look wonderfully thin and light!)

Pille said...

Anon, I did have the measurements for the large baking sheet, but I've now added the inch-measurements as well, so it's more visible :)

grosir jilbab murah said...

thx for the recipe, i really love cheese but never wonder that it can be combine with carrot

Rochester said...

Can't wait to try this out when I go to my parents' house this summer! I want to try it out now, but I have no oven here in my Pasig condo. :( said...

This recipe sounds great. I must try it.

binchang said...

My, that's a yummy looking thang. :0