Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tuesday Tutor with Piece of Cake

Healthier Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese and Walnuts
Healthier Carrot Walnut Cake


Each Tuesday I ask a friend to be my tutor for a day. I select one of their original recipes, I follow my friend's recipe instructions, I snap a multitude of pictures, I sample the results - and then I share everything I love about my friend's recipe. Learn More



It's because of bloggers like Mich that I'm so glad I started Made with Love Mondays. There are so many talented foodies out there and it's certainly hard to keep in contact with even a select group, let alone continuously search out new blogs and new friends. But Made with Love Mondays has introduced me to so many wonderful new bloggers I would never have otherwise met - like Mich!

Mich writes a wonderful blog with all kinds of creative twists on classic foods. Like the carrot cake I'm featuring today. In fact, Mich has a multitude of different versions of carrot cake and every version looks just as tempting as the last! And when she's not sharing a scrumptious new carrot cake, she's busy inspiring foodies with a wonderfully eclectic mix of recipes. Even better, Mich shares a passion for cooking wholesome food for her loved ones. Can there be a better reason to cook?

So please give a big welcome to Mich - Welcome, Mich! And thank you so much for being my tutor!



Mich from Piece of Cake
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Mich, a mother of three kids, started her blog Piece of Cake so that she can share her culinary experiences cooking and baking healthier food for her family and friends. Mich works in a corporate communications job in the day, and when she isn't working or in the kitchen, she's likely to be picking up after the children.

Featured Recipe: Healthier Carrot Walnut Cake


More About Today's Tutor
  1. The first time I cooked was during college days in the US - because I had been eating ham and cheese sandwiches for three whole months and was tired of it!
     
  2. I didn't do much cooking and baking after college until I had three kids (who are now 8, 6 and 4) - that was when I decided it was important to feed them right so that I can teach them how to make healthier food choices on their own.
     
  3. I can't figure out which part of the process I love best - the cooking/baking, photography or blogging - but its overall very enjoyable and therapeutic.
     
  4. I dream of starting a school and teaching people how to bake and cook healthier meals for their families.
     
  5. I am truly thankful for the friendships I've formed and the generosity of sharing within the food blogger community - blogging has got to be one of the best decisions I've made!



How to Make: Healthier Carrot Walnut Cake
For a printable recipe and complete list of ingredients and steps, see the original recipe

Flour, Leveners and Cinnamon in Sifter
Add 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking power, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to a sifter.

Dry Ingredients with Sugar in Large Bowl
Sift the ingredients into a large bowl; add 1 cup of sugar to the flour mixture and whisk together to combine.

1 Cup Grated Carrot
Coarsely grate 1 cup of carrots (about 3 medium carrots).

1 Cup Walnuts
Measure and chop 1 cup of walnuts (I used a nut chopper).

Carrots, Walnuts Combined with Dry Ingredients
Add the grated carrot and chopped walnuts to the dry ingredients and stir to thoroughly combine.

Eggs, Oil and Vanilla, Combined
Beat together 1/2 cup of canola oil, 2 large eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Egg and Oil Mixture Added to Batter
Add the egg/oil mixture to the dry ingredients.

Carrot Cake Batter, Just Mixed
Fold together with a spatula until the batter is fully moistened and just mixed.

Greased Corning Ware Loaf Pan
Grease a 6x4x4 inch cake or loaf pan with non-stick spray (or use a paper liner).

Carrot Cake Batter Added to Baking Pan
Add the batter to the prepared pan.

Carrot Cake, After Baking and Testing
Bake the carrot cake at 350F for 45-60 minutes (depending on the type of pan you use) until a toothpick comes out clean. My cake took about 55 minutes to bake through because I use a ceramic Corning Ware dish. Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Organic Neufchatel Cheese
While the cake bakes and cools, allow 8 ounces of low-fat cream cheese to warm to room temperature. I used Neufchatel cheese. Use a spatula to soften the cream cheese before spreading on top of the cooled cake.

Healthier Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese and Walnuts, Overhead
Spread the cream cheese over the cooled cake and sprinkle generously with chopped walnuts. Slice and enjoy!


Thoughts while scarfing...
  • It's so moist! And so tasty, packed with bits of carrot and walnuts. And the cake has a bit of crispiness from the sugar. I've tasted a lot of carrot cakes, and when it comes to the cake itself, this one would have to be right up at the top. It's so good, it's tough to believe it's actually more healthful than a traditional carrot cake.
     
  • My cake collapsed a bit in the center. But I don't believe this is a fault of the recipe itself but rather with my own testing of the cake with a toothpick. I used a Corning Ware dish to bake the cake (rather than metal) so my cake wasn't fully baked through when I tested and so too much steam escaped, causing it to collapse. If you're not using a ceramic, cast iron, pottery, stoneware, glass or other non-metal pan, I recommend baking for at least 55 minutes before testing.
     
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for about 30 minutes before turning out to finish cooling. This helps to keep some of the moisture in the cake. Also, do not cut the cake (even if you're not icing) until it has cooled completely - this will also help prevent moisture of escaping with the steam.
     
  • I used Neufchatel cheese which is basically a reduced fat cream cheese you can find almost anywhere. But I think it tastes closer to full fat cream cheese than other forms of reduced fat cream cheese. Just make sure it's truly at room temperature before you attempt to use as a frosting or it will not spread...

9 comments:

  1. Mich @ Piece of CakeMay 28, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    Thanks for this, Mark!

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  2. Kayle (The Cooking Actress)May 28, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Aw I love this, thanks for introducing me to Mich!

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  3. So happy to have had you as my Tutor, Mich! It was such a delicious carrot cake!

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  4. I'm so glad you enjoyed, Kayle, and happy to have been able to introduce you to Mich. She's a wonderful blogger...

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  5. Terrific tutor! Mich is new to me, so thanks for the intro. Great looking cake!

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  6. I'm so glad you've had a chance to be introduced to Mich - I hope you enjoy her blog as much as I do. And the cake was very tasty - the texture and flavor was exactly what I hoped for...

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  7. I am always eager to get to know new food bloggers, nice to meet you Mich. =)
    Mark you did a terrific job and what a great choice. I am glad to have found a new carrot recipe to try. =D

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  8. I'm so glad you enjoyed meeting Mich, Helene! I hope you enjoy her blog as much as I do. And the carrot cake is delicious, so please do enjoy if you get a chance to try it...

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  9. This recipe sounds delicious! It's nice learning a bit more about Mich too :-)

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