Monday, April 11, 2011

Revamping Recipes...Carrot Torte

Don't you love it when you learn a new baking technic that makes you look  cook better in the kitchen?

Last week I showed you a picture of hubby's birthday cake...a chocolate torte.  Experimenting with the recipe resulted in something fantastic...a carrot torte, if you will.

Here's another picture...I'm not the greatest at taking food shots; I love the up close perspective of the photo above, but the love the coloring of the photo below.  Maybe someday I'll get it right.

 Here's the modified recipe:

Carrot Torte
1 spice flavored cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1 3.5oz pkg of vanilla pudding
3 eggs
1 1/3 cup water
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup frozen carrots, thawed and chopped
1 cup raisins
(1/4 cup flour...for high altitude. We are at 3500 ft so I always have to add extra flour)

1. Mix together all ingredients except raisins. If everyone is opposed to raisins, you may consider adding 1 cup of carrots instead.  Extra vitamins never hurt anyone.

{In our house we are divided between those who like raisins and those who don't. Plus, I planned to take it to mutual for treats and figured I might have a mixed reaction.  I poured half of the batter into prepared pans and then added raisins to the batter before pouring into the second pan.}

2.  Prepare the pans.  I am a huge fan of parchment paper when I am turning a cake out of it's pan.  Spray with pam, add parchment paper, and respray. 

{I used two heart-shaped pans so I could cut them in half to make a carrot shape, however, a round cake would work, too. If you 're feeding a crowd, use a sheet cake pan and frost the top...the presentation won't be quite the same, but it'll still taste just as yummy.}

3.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45, increase the time on the box by about 5 or 10 minutes because of the carrots and raisins.  Just remember that a toothpic should come out clean before it's done.  FYI... A sheet cake usually will cook in 20-25 minutes.

4. Let cool and frost with the same amazing frosting from this post.   BTW, I used low fat cream cheese and it turned out just fine.  Tasted delicious!

1 pt. HEAVY whipping cream (no exceptions)
1 (8-oz.) block Cream Cheese (full calorie, NO exceptions)
2/3 c. Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
½ tsp. Salt

In you mixing bowl whip your whipping cream until very thick. In a separate bowl blend together cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Now fold together the cream cheese mixture and the whipping cream.

To assemble your carrot shaped torte, cut each heart-shaped cake into four pieces by cutting in 1/2 to make two carrot shapes and then in 1/2 again horizontally.  Should've taken a picture.  The cake with raisins is a bit difficult to cut due to the raisins inside.  I would like to slightly blend the raisins next time to break them up.  If you are making a cake with AND without raisins, be sure to stack/layer the four layers without raisins together or you'll defeat your entire purpose.  This will require that you turn cakes upside down to keep your heart/carrot theme going.  Simply position one cake layer, frost, another layer, frost, until all four layers are in position.  Top with orange sprinkles.  Or you could be super crafty and color white chocolate meltys orange and make some cool orange chocolate curls.  There's a great tutorial for chocolate curls here.  Lastly, add some greenery for carrot tops.  I bought dollar store greenery, but my friend Tiffany mentioned that parsley would have also looked amazing.

Just in case you thought this post wasn't long are a few pictures from mutual.  Our Mia Maid class was in charge.  The girls brought easter eggs, paper, and pencils. We divided into groups of four and set up a hunt for the first 30-45 minutes.  Then we switched off and went hunting.  The girls had plenty of fun.
Waiting for all the groups to finish...

 Finding clues...

Waiting for all the groups to finish the hunt...

The LAST group, My Mia Maids.  The Laurels made our egg hunt and it was super HARD.  There were several clues hidden had grown dark and it was raining.  Still plenty of fun.

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