Carrot Cake recipe from Cook’s Illustrated magazine Jan-Feb. 1998 edition
2 pounds of carrots grated fine (makes about 7 coups … a food processor saves a LOT of time grating and scraping knuckles.)
1 cup plus 2/3 cup granulated sugar
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
20 ounce can crushed pineapple drained (or if you only have chunks or rings, drain and put them through the food processor.)
¾ cup toasted, chopped pecans or walnuts
¾ cup raisins steamed with a bit of water in microwave (this plumps them up a bit, drain the water.)
Mix separately and set aside:
2 2/3 cups of sifted all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
Sift and stir all together and set aside.
Toss grated carrots with 1 cup of the granulated sugar in a colander, set it over a large bowl. Drain until one cup of liquid has collected. Takes about 20-30 minutes. I do this first and then proceed.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet over a medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Cook until golden brown. Takes 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and cool 10 minutes.
Whisk in the remaining granulated sugar and brown sugar.
Add eggs one at a time, whisking thoroughly before adding: vanilla, flower mixture and stir until combined.
Mix in the carrots, the drained crushed pineapple, nuts and raisins.
Pour into 2-3 inch pans that are greased and floured. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. (I like to let the cake settle in the pans, maybe even overnight.. Invert cakes and remove from pans.)
Cool and frost with tangy cream cheese frosting
1 pound softened cream cheese
1 stick butter softened
2 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon sour cream
Mix cream cheese and butter completely. Add confectioner’s sugar and sour cream. Beat until smooth and then another 2-3 minutes. Frost cake.