May 11, 2010

Tasty Tuesday

So...I have a bit of a confession. I never learned how to cook. I can bake most things by following a recipe but I can't really cook. Now, it's a bit more difficult to find straight recipes that fit the gluten-free diet. I thought it might be nice to start a bi-monthly series here on my efforts to learn to cook. The recipes will all be gluten-free but I think you find it quite easy to substitute with wheat based products if you desire. This today's recipe is still pretty much in my comfort zone but we have to start somewhere, right?

Without further ado, today's recipe is a yummy Carrot Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing.

This recipe is modified from the Gluten-Free Goddess's Gluten-Free Coconut Carrot Cake recipe. (Mostly because my dad hates coconut and I was making this for our Mother's Day dinner).

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

3 free range large organic eggs
1/2 cup canola oil (or a vegetable oil)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (or other gluten-free plain yogurt)
2 teaspoons Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I add a little more)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (Again, I add a little more)
2 cups gluten-free flour mix (I like both the Pamela's Baking Mix and the Namaste Foods Perfect Flour Blend)
2-1/4 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°F

In a mixing bowl beat the eggs, add in the oil and the brown sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the yogurt, vanilla, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Add in the flour 1 cup at a time and mix until combined. Fold in the carrots, raisins and the pecans.

In a 9" greased pan, pour in batter, spreading evenly in the cake pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until cake is firm and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing

4 oz. softened cream cheese
2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
2 teaspoons Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract (I added a little more...can you see a pattern here)
3 cups confectionery sugar

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and the butter until fluffy. Add in the vanilla and mix until combine. Add in the confectionery sugar 1 cup at a time and beat until smooth.

I used a 9" square pan and cut the cake in half stacking into a double layer cake. You can also use a 9" circular pan and make a single layer cake.

We had this for dessert on Sunday night and it was delicious. The cake is nice an moist with the yogurt, for added moisture you an put in a little honey.

We only had two changes for next time. The first is to shred the carrots with a grater. The Cuisinart shredded really long pieces of carrots and made a mess of the counter (Why does Ina Garten never have such trouble with her Cuisinart? lol) The second comment is mine, I think 3 cups of confectionery sugar is too much so next time I am trying 2 to 2-1/2 cups. It tastes great but I don't like sweet icing. All in all a good experience.
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