I made that!

Happy Birthday Carrot Cake

Posted in All Sugar All The Time, Celebrating with Cake! by brandi on February 14, 2011

I will admit that I haven’t spent much time on this post. Things are busy (are you as tired as I am of hearing me say that?), but there’s always time for a birthday cake. (Happy Birthday Katie!) This is a cake recipe I’ve been dying to post, mostly for the selfish reason that I want it available to me online whenever a cake emergency arises. So here you are, with completely unspectacular photos, a spectacular carrot cake. This cake recipe comes from Molly, who I am realizing has quite good taste in cakes. This one might possibly be the most perfect carrot cake. Moist, tender, not at all too sweet as they sometimes are. And a complete cinch to throw together.

For the frosting I tweaked Molly’s recipe a bit, because I wanted something a bit more tart and sour. So being the obvious person that I am, I added sour cream. And lots more lemon juice. This particular cake I made for my friend Katie to take to a dinner, so I didn’t even get to eat a slice. That was hard, and I will probably have to make another one all for myself.


yield: 1 (8-inch) 3 layer cake


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

¾ tsp ground ginger

1 ½ cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

4 large eggs

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

3 cups finely grated peeled carrots

1 cup pecans, chopped

– Position racks in the top and bottom third of the oven, and preheat to 325°F. Lightly grease 3 (8-inch) round pans with butter. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper.

– In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Whisk well to blend.

– In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugar and oil until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well to incorporate after each addition. Add the applesauce, beating to mix. Add the flour mixture, and beat to incorporate, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if needed. Add the carrots and the pecans, and beat briefly.

– Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Slide the pans into the oven and bake until the cakes begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35-45 minutes. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes; then turn them out onto the rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 lb cream cheese, RT

5oz butter, RT

1 cup sour cream

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 TBSP lemon juice

1/8 tsp salt

– In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Sift in the powdered sugar, and beat on low speed until incorporated. Add the sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice and salt, and beat well to incorporate. If the frosting is lumpy from the sugar, bump the speed up to medium-high and beat the crap out of it.


Indian Dosa!

Posted in I Like Salt Too by brandi on September 14, 2009

So this month was my first time participating in the Daring Cooks Challenge! This month’s challenge was hosted by Debyi from http://www.healthyvegan.com, and she picked a recipe for a vegan dosa, with a coconut curry sauce. I was super excited, since I (shamefully) haven’t cooked much Indian food and have never even attempted these little Indian savory crepes.

I started out by chopping up all of the ingredients and putting them in cute little bowls:


Then I sauteed them. While I was doing that, John was hustling on the crepe batter and the coconut curry sauce. Because, well, I haven’t had a day off in weeks and I just don’t have the energy to spend hours on dinner! OK, and I was making 2 batches of jam at the same time, but still.


Then tossed in the spices to get nice and toasty.


Then I pureed some cooked chick peas and mixed them in with some tomato paste. Now at this point my confidence was at an all time low. As you can see, it wasn’t the most appetizing mixture. And well, I’m just not a huge fan of tomato paste. I decided to throw a little water and stock in and let it stew a bit, to let the flavors meld.


But I chugged along, because I was hungry and we had guests arriving to eat with us. I fried up a stack of crepes.


I stuffed the crepes with the filling and poured coconut sauce all over. And it was so good! I’ll never doubt the ability of Indian food to taste delicious even when it looks…well you know…



Serves 4

Dosa Pancakes:

1 cup  flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp curry powder
½ cup almond milk
¾ cup water
oil for cooking (I cheated and used clarified butter)

1.Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, slowly adding the almond milk and water, whisking until smooth.
2.Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray your pan with a thin layer of cooking spray, if needed.
3.Ladle 2 tablespoons of batter into the center of your pan in a circular motion until it is a thin, round pancake. When bubbles appear on the surface and it no longer looks wet, flip it over and cook for a few seconds. Remove from heat and repeat with remaining batter. Makes 8 pancakes.

Curried Garbanzo Filling:

5 cloves garlic
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 bell pepper, finely diced
2 medium hot banana chilies, minced
2 TBSP ground cumin
1 TBSP dried oregano
1 TBSP salt
1 TBSP turmeric
4 cups (30 oz) cooked or canned chick peas
½ cup (4 oz) tomato paste

1.Heat a large saucepan over medium to low heat. Add the garlic, veggies, and spices, cooking until soft, stirring occasionally.
2.Mash the chickpeas by hand, or in a food processor. Add the chickpeas and tomato paste to the saucepan, stirring until heated through.

Coconut Curry Sauce:

1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic
½ tsp ground cumin
¾ tsp salt
3 TBSP curry powder
3 TBSP flour
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups coconut milk
3 large tomatoes, diced

1.Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes, or until soft.
2.Add the spices, cooking for 1 minutes more. Add the flour and cook for 1 additional minute.
3.Gradually stir in the vegetable broth to prevent lumps. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the coconut milk and tomatoes, stirring occasionally.
4.Let it simmer for half an hour.