February 17, 2010

Birthday Cake Joy

Valentine's Day on Sunday is always a special day in TeamCOTEY Land because the world was blessed with ManInCharge on this day. However, this year it also was Chinese New Year. I asked ManInCharge how he felt joining the ranks of the thirty-somethings on the New Year. He looked at me and said, "Well, it just makes sense that my birthday would signal the start to the Year of the Tiger."

Modesty, one of my husband's finest traits.

We celebrated in fine fashion this year. I made MiC his annual carrot cake. This year I modified a Cooking Light recipe. I have never been okay with adding more than a cup of vegetable oil to a cake batter {despite having NO QUALMS when it comes to a pound of butter in my pound cakes}. It was a grand success, though I might rename it a taste explosion due to the emergence of strong pineapple flavor.
Thankfully ManInCharge also loved the cake and ate all but one piece. In 24 hours. Considering that the cake had 16 servings, I am happy that I was able to bring the calorie count to just over 300 per slice (308 per serving). A normal slice of carrot cake runs between 350 and 450 calories. Give this a try. It is full of pineapple flavor, so not for carrot cake purists, but is really quite tasty. {And yes, each quarter of that cake yielded 4 ample slices, the cake is rich and portion control is a girl's best friend. ManInCharge on the other hand just would help himself to two or three pieces in succession.}

Here is the recipe:
CAKE:
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups of granulated sugar
1/2 cup flaked coconut (you could use sweetened...but the cake is plenty sweet)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (pecans, almonds or your favorite nut is fine)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 cups grated carrot
1 1/2 cups canned crushed pineapple (I used fresh due to supply issues here in Japan)

Preheat oven to 350F. To prepare cake: combine flour, sugar, coconut, nuts, baking soda, salt & cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir well with a whisk. Combine oil & eggs; stirring well. Add egg mixture, carrot and pineapple to the mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Spoon batter into a greased baking pan (13 x 9). Bake at 350 for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

**DISCLAIMERS**
1) I have no measuring cups or spoons, so this was done in approximation with a coffee mug, soup spoons and an ice cream spoon from Baskin Robbins.**
2) My oven is a microwave/convection/oven that operates on a Celsius scale in 10 degree increments, so my temperature was 4 degrees high**
3) I used 3 8 inch disposable cardboard rounds in absence of a large baking pan.**

...And yet, the cake was delicious and fragrant...

FROSTING:
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 block of cream cheese (low fat is okay...but I just used regular)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
[OPTIONAL]
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (if you have imitation...throw it away & add extract to your shopping list)
grated carrot or nuts for garnish.

To prepare frosting, combine butter, vanilla and cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat until creamy. Mix in sugar until just smooth. Spread the frosting on the cake in whatever way feeds your bliss. Decorate to your heart's content. ManInCharge was hovering for most of the day waiting for the finished product, so I ended up with a rush job this year.
**I chose not to ice my cake sides...because I like eating the cake, not eating too much frosting.**
ENJOY!
Love,
SillyGirlTree

2 comments:

Tnoy said...

That cake looks awesome! Sorry I missed the party. Hopefully we can meet up more before we both leave this island, miss you guys <3

sillygirltree said...

No worries Big T! Phil ate all of the cake {excepting one slice}...

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