digging deep: a carrot cake

I actually quite like carrot cake. Ever since I started as a baker, carrot cake was one of those desserts that I came to appreciate, because it takes a lot of ingredients to transform a vegetable into a dessert, in my opinion. I really love the idea of making a carrot cake that resembles digging through dirt, since it’s playful and funny, so I wanted to do a take on edible dirt, but not a chocolate crumble. I went with activated charcoal coconut macaroon crumble instead, since that’ll add some crunch, texture, and it’ll just taste great with a carrot cake and those spices! For my other layers, I wanted it to resemble gradients of mud, granite, and stone, so I went ahead and did a walnut-goat milk Bavarian, made by steeping, pureeing, and straining walnuts into goat milk, as well as a brown butter cream cheese frosting, something that will just taste delicious. I wanted to do the walnut milk because it would really elevate an otherwise semi-gourmet cake.

For the carrot cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup grated carrot
3/4 cups muscovado sugar
1/4 cup brown butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of ginger
a pinch of nutmeg

Combine ingredients together and spread on a lined sheet tray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Cool completely before cutting out 3 6-inch rings.

For the macaroon layer:
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup crushed walnuts
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 egg whites
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons activated charcoal powder

Combine and blend into a dough. Spread onto a sheet tray and bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.

For the Bavarian:
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup goat milk
3 tablespoons muscovado sugar
1/4 cup walnuts
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon water

Toast walnuts in a pan before deglazing with the goat milk and simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes. Puree and pass through a sieve, pressing to extract as much walnut flavor as possible. Combine with the gelatin and melt down on medium heat. Whip egg yolks with muscovado and add in the melted gelatin milk. Whisk on medium heat for 2-3 minutes and pass through a sieve again. Whip heavy cream to stiff peaks. Fold into the cooled down egg mixture.

For the cream cheese frosting:
16 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 stick unsalted butter; browned
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream together cream cheese, brown butter, salt, and vanilla. Reduce water and sugar into a syrup and pour into the cream cheese, whipping until smooth and glossy.

For assembly:
Cut out a roughly made 6-inch ring of cake using the scraps. Line a 6-inch ring mold with parchment and place that piece in first. Pour in about 1/3 of your cream cheese frosting, then some of your macaroon mixture, then half of the Bavarian. Repeat with your other layer of cake, then with the third layer, spread on last of the cream cheese and then garnish with your macaroon mixture and sprinkle on any last bits of cake that you have.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

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