Photo: the ingredient that makes it what it is © 2011 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved
Yesterday, we went for a long walk in the countryside with the kids. We searched out the neighborhood farm, where we saw THREE TRACTORS and smelled COW MANURE! Then we walked out into the fields and saw a DUST DEVIL and got shocked by an ELECTRIFIED LIVESTOCK FENCE! It was a big day! So what could the uncles think up to top a day like that?
This morning, we told the kids that our project for the day would be to make very special American cake: a gâteau aux carottes.
Carrots?! Carrots in a cake?! Ugh.
Well, yes. There are little pieces of carrot in the cake but there’s no carrot taste. Tonton Michael doesn’t even like carrots. There are little pieces of nuts, too. You’ll see! It’s good.
I don’t like nuts.
The kids were dubious, and rightly so. The idea of a cake made from carrots is a little strange on first hearing of it. A friend on Facebook suggested that maybe we should do a red velvet cake in keeping with my Southern heritage, instead. Too late for that: 1 kilo of carrots and a sack of pecans had already been purchased especially for this occasion … and after all, as far as I’m concerned, the cake is just the vehicle for delivering the cream cheese icing to my mouth anyway!
À la cuisine !
So, what was the verdict? MIAM (“yum”) … well, at least from the adults. The kids decided to eat yogurt instead. Oh well, you can’t please everybody. In any case, I’d like to think that our carrot cake is the second best in France, after this one.
I’m grateful that Philadelphia® brand cream cheese has made its way onto the shelves of French dairy cases everywhere, whether it’s to slather on a bagel (once I find a good one here) or whip into a tasty icing for my next carrot cake. I am also convinced that if the French start making carrot cakes and red velvet cakes, “Philadelphia” will eventually become the “Xerox” of cream cheese in France. The brandname “Philadelphia” and the phrase “Oh, my gosh!” have already become synonymous with this American culinary tradition. Check out Philadelphia’s current commercial for the French market:
The recipe we used:
(For a MUCH better carrot cake, though,
try my mama’s recipe in this post from October 2012.)
- 175 grams (3/4 cup) of flour
- 1 packet of leavening (baking powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 340 grams (1-1/2 cups) of sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup of cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons of hot water
- 200 grams (7/8 cup) of shredded carrots
- 150 grams (2/3 cup) of chopped pecans
- 400 grams (1-3/4 cups) of cream cheese
- 4 tablespoons of powdered sugar
Mix the flour, leavening, salt, and spices in a small mixing bowl. In another larger mixing bowl, beat the eggs and add the sugar. Beat well until fluffy. Mix in the hot water and cooking oil. Slowly combine the flour mixture with a beater. Finally, stir in the carrots and nuts. Pour into a buttered and floured cake pan, and bake for 55 minutes at 180º C (350º F). Remove the cake from the cake pan and let it cool. For the icing, simply whisk the cream cheese and sugar together until combined.
Cut the cake into two layers. Ice the bottom layer, add the top layer, and then ice the entire cake. Slice and enjoy!
© 2011 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved