It was exactly this date one year back when I posted my recipe for Creme Caramel. The past one year has been a fascinating journey for me. When I stepped into blogosphere I was extremely unsure if I had the time or dedication to cook, click, edit,write,publish and promote blog posts on a regular basis. In fact, I still marvel at all those wonderful food bloggers who come up with such amazing posts every couple of days, even scheduling posts for times when they would be away. I feel lucky if I manage to publish even one post every week. I sometimes find myself fretting if I haven’t posted for a while but then I remind myself that blogging is something that I took up because I wanted to enjoy it. If it becomes yet another chore , it will lose it’s charm and that would reflect in my posts.
|Some of my creations during the past one year|
During the past one year I have learnt a lot about cooking, baking, food photography, social networking etc etc. One of the most enjoyable aspects of blogging for me has been food photography. Until last year I had never explored the manual settings on my camera. Words like aperture, shutter speed and ISO were Greek to me. I haven’t yet graduated to a DSLR but now I find myself fiddling with these settings on my humble Canon Powershot. A DSLR is on top of my wish list right now and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my husband is going to surprise me with one very soon . Actually, he has told me many times to go and buy one for myself but I really want him to do that for me because that’s going to make it even more special for me 🙂
The world of blogging has also introduced to so many lovely ladies whom I might not have met in person but seem to know a lot about them. Each day they inspire me with their talent and encouraging words . A big thank you to all my great blogger friends and readers for inspiring me to keep blogging.
To mark my blog’s first anniversary (or should I call it birthday ?) I made one of my favourite cakes – a classic carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. The recipe is slightly different from the Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting as I have used crushed pineapple instead of grated apples.You can leave out the pineapple if you wish, though they make this lovely cake even more flavorful and moist. This time too I didn’t add any walnuts to the batter as my husband doesn’t like nuts but just used for decorating the sides of the cake. If you love some crunch in your cakes you will enjoy them if you add them to the batter. . Also, this time I remembered to buy the block cream cheese instead of the tub, so the consistency of the frosting was much better.
Classic Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Slightly adapted from Joy of Baking
1 cup (100 grams) walnuts (optional)
3/4 pound (340 grams) raw carrots (about 2 1/2 cups finely grated)
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar
1 cup (240 ml) canola oil (or other flavor less oil)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (125 ml) crushed and drained canned pineapple
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in centre of oven. Place the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast them for about 8 minutes. Cool and chop coarsely.
2) Butter or spray two – 9 x 2 inch cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper.
3) Peel and finely grate the carrots.
4) In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon.
5) In bowl of electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light coloured (about 3 – 4 minutes).
6) Add the oil in a steady stream and then beat in the vanilla extract.
7) Stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated.
8) With a rubber spatula fold in the grated carrots, chopped walnuts and crushed pineapple (if using).
9) Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake 25 to30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. If you are using crushed pineapple you might have to bake a couple of minutes longer.
10) Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 5 -10 minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pans and parchment paper. Re invert the cake so that the top faces up and then cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces (227 grams)cream cheese, softened but still cool
2cups (230 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing)sugar,sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In the bowl of electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese and butter on low until smooth.Gradually add the icing sugar on low speed and beat on low speed until incorporated and smooth.Beat in the vanilla extract. Frost and decorate the cake as desired. Keep refrigerated.
Unlike butter cakes, this cake can be served straight out of the fridge since it uses oil and hence does not become hard in the fridge. I enjoy it cold though you may bring it to room temperature before serving, if you prefer it that way.
I’m linking this post to Favorite Cake Recipes hosted by Zesty South Indian Kitchen