carrot cake

cakedone_2

since i discovered lily vanilli a few months ago, i’ve been really inspired by her unique designs. i love that they are works of art, partly messy, always beautiful. i’d been wanting to make another very decorated cake and finally found the chance to.

who doesn’t love a warm, cream-cheese frosted, carrot cake?

carrots

there was no special occasion, really, however i do want to make amelia and roman each a cake like this for their birthdays, so i wanted the practice.

i originally wanted to make this with three layers, getting smaller at the top, but it didn’t make much sense seeing as it was just the family and i to eat it. apparently there is a thing called too much cake.

batter

roman enjoyed helping, as he always does… and amelia enjoyed licking the frosting spatula. i love baking with kids.

if you are inspired to make your own, make sure that the flowers you use are edible.

CAKE INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 4 whole Eggs
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger
  • 2 cups Grated Carrots

combine the sugar, oil and eggs together until well incorporated. mix the remaining dry ingredients (not the carrots) in a separate bowl. add the dry mixture gradually to the wet mixture in well mixed. add the carrots last. Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes… depending on the size of the pan. I recommend using two round 9″ pans. (I used one pan and had to cook it for much longer. Than cut this one cake into two separate layers)

rome

cream cheese frosting is so delicious… here is the recipe i used:

frosting recipe

  • 1 8oz package cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar

leave the cream cheese and butter out until room temp. than whip, whip, whip, adding the sugar one cup at a time. whip more!

cakes

frost the cake in layers… for example, frost once- don’t worry if it’s crumbly and messy- then put it in the fridge and let it harden for an hour or so. then frost again! use thick layers of frosting to help avoid crumbs making their way onto the top, ruining the aesthetic.

frost

decorate the cake with whatever you’d like… i used candied mango, poms and baby’s breath. Again, make sure your flowers are edible!

mango

don’t forget to take photos of your masterpiece…

cakedone2

how to make fresh pasta

pasta2

fresh pasta is something i’ve only discovered in the past couple of years. it’s very easy, though admittedly quite laborious for the amount of time you actually spend consuming it. perhaps pair it with a nice cabernet, a light garden salad, and a best friend for a more intimate, time consuming meal so that you get your effort’s worth out of it.

pasta recipe copy

flour and eggs is what you need. 2 cups of flour, and 4 eggs, specifically will make you just over a pound of pasta. enough for a family of four, or plenty for a couple of old friends sharing a meal over nostalgia inspired conversation.

flourbowl

pretty much a fool proof dough.

measure the flour into a bowl and create a hole in the center, similar to a well or volcano. crack the eggs into this space. then mix everything until it’s a well incorporated dough. add flour as needed if it’s too sticky. you should be able to knead it without it sticking to your hands.

roman_flour

this is a great project for kids to help out with, too, if you don’t stress about the mess.

flour

flour dusted toddler toes. inevitable, really.

knead about ten minutes (by hand), or until smooth.

if you have a pasta maker, you can put the dough right through. lucky you! if not, continue on…

dough

before kneading

dough2

after kneading

divide the dough into quarters and roll out the first one very flat with a rolling pin. the length and width depends on the size you want your pasta to be. super thin? thicker, like linguini? you decide.

then cut the rolled layers into thin strips, similar to linguini. i have used both a large knife and a pizza cutter to cut, and i find the pizza cutter is faster. don’t worry about your pieces coming out the same size or lines being even. as long as they are all similar in width/length, it doesn’t matter if they are not identical to one another.

dough_pieces

 

cut

yum

if you are hungry from all the kneading and rolling, throw in your first freshly cut quarter pound of pasta, and start rolling out your next quarter while you wait. if not, dust the fresh pasta with flour 1) hang it over something to dry, such as a stick or something similar to a laundry drying rack, 2) allow it to dry about 20 mins, and then roll it up into a nest. store in an airtight container for another day. 3) ideally you’re making these for dinner, so allow them to dry flat, and boil 3-5 minutes when you’re ready to eat them.

pasta

enjoy

repeat these steps with your remaining quarters of dough.