I've posted about carrot cake before. It is my favorite, so I continue to fill your thoughts with cream cheese frosting and dense, spicy, moist cakes. I'm still trying to figure out why one of my friends doesn't like cake.... to counter balance this un-likeness of cake, I have another friend who is mildly obsessed with my carrot cake. I oblige and make them at her request. She is a loyal supporter of the "dream bakery" and asked me recently to make a cake for her significant other's birthday.
I also threw out the idea of home made ice cream to pair with the cake. I had no idea which flavor, so I consulted the ice cream genius David Lebovitz directly. He responded (yay! I was really excited he answered my question) and suggested Cream Cheese Ice Cream or Goat Cheese Ice Cream. I ran it past my carrot cake fanatic, and she decided on the Goat Cheese Ice Cream. David Lebovitz also suggested adding some rum soaked raisins to the mix might be good, so I followed suit.
How delightful to make cake and ice cream for a birthday. I made a 6 inch cake with 3 layers, cream cheese frosting, and toasted walnuts. I like the walnuts on the sides. I fell in love with the look in college at a local coffee shop. They served giant slices of carrot cake with walnuts decorating the sides, and it looked so pretty in the case.... so tempting. The only ingredient I have mixed feeling about is the raisin. Sometimes I like them, sometimes they are a little overwhelming. I like to change it up and use currants instead of raisins sometimes, especially if making it for myself, because they are smaller and sweeter than your typical raisin. I usually let the paying customer choose this battle.
The goat cheese ice cream was interesting to make as well. It's simple. It tastes like sweet, creamy (yet icy), sweet goat cheese. If you're not a goat cheese fan don't try this at home. If you are... and you are weeping because you don't have an ice cream maker... don't fret! I have a feeling you can make this without one. After preparing the custard and mixing it with the cheese, you can freeze it in your ice cream maker (but this doesn't freeze the same as most ice creams) or you can mix it together really really well, place it in the freezer, and take it out and stir it every hour until it is thick enough to add some rum soaked raisins. Then let it freeze overnight. The reason I say this is because in the ice cream maker (since there is no whipping cream in the mix), the ice cream doesn't increase in volume, it just chills really well, and it looks curdled rather than smooth. The curdles smooth out during freezer time - and this is why I think it is unnecessary to churn. I imagine you can do the same with Cream Cheese Ice Cream.
Let me know how it goes in case you try this without one. The end result of cake and ice cream turned out well. The sweets were praised (how nice) and commended on their original pairing. Thanks to David Lebovits for the suggestion. And thanks to my friends for enjoying my baking so much!
Goat Cheese Ice Cream
adapted from The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz
makes 1 pint
2 1/4 C whole milk
1 C sugar
11 oz goat cheese
9 egg yolks
Mix the milk and sugar together in a medium saucepan, set over medium heat. Remove the goat cheese from the packaging and place it in a large bowl. Mix it up with a fork and set a mesh strainer over the top.
In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks. After the milk is warm to the touch, slowly temper the egg yolks and return the mix to the saucepan. Continue cooking over medium heat making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to prevent burning, until it coats the back of the spoon. (to test this, run your finger down the back of the spoon and see if the custard leaves a nice straight line - if it does, it is ready, if not keep heating).
Pour the custard through the mesh strainer into the goat cheese. Stir the mixture until the cheese is melted and set the bowl in an ice bath and stir until the mixture is cooled. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it is completely cooled.
Freeze in your ice cream machine, or do as I said above if you don't have one!
adapted from Birthday Cakes, by Kathryn Kleinman
(Full Recipe for 3 - 9" Layers)
1 C dark raisins
1 lb carrots (about 4 C shredded - you can leave skins on)
2 C minus 2 T flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 T cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla
1 C sugar
1 C dark brown sugar
1 1/4 C oil
1 1/2 C walnuts - roughly chopped
divide oven into thirds. Preheat to 350˚, butter and line 3 9" pans with parchment. dust with flour. steam the raisins covered 10 mins (alternately add some water to a heat proof bowl and microwave covered for 30 seconds or so to plump). Drain and reserve.
Sift dry ingredients. In a large bowl, beat eggs, then beat in vanilla, sugars, and oil. Mix in dry ingredients until just incorporated, then stir in the carrots, raisins, and nuts.
Divide among pans. Bake about 35 minutes - until the cakes start to pull away from the edges of the pans. Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks for 3 minutes. Turn onto a rack right side up. Once completely cool, wrap and freeze for one hour. (Overnight works great). Frost using Cream Cheese Frosting recipe! This cakes serves a crowd. It is really dense and tall so you can get a lot of slices from one cake. If you half the recipe you can make 3 6" cakes, or 18 regular cupcakes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz cream cheese (full fat)
1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 C powdered sugar
Beat butter and cream cheese (room temp please!) for a few minutes until fluffy. Add vanilla and sugar. Continue beating on high speed until smooth, scraping sides of bowl. Makes enough to frost 3 layers of cake plus sides.