Last weekend was the most relaxing weekend I've had in ages. After the hustle and bustle of the week before - trying to paint the kitchen island with a toddler running around - I was glad to have some time to relax and focus on me. Saturday evening we went out for champagne and french fries, which was 100% my choice. There are only a handful of things in this world that I love more than champagne and french fries, one of them being Sebastian and the other, Brent. All three of us were there, enjoying each others company, Sebastian trying to entertain us with his toddler mannerisms and grunts, Brent and I gushing over how sweet our baby boy is. Sometimes I can't believe that we made him. Every once and a while I need to pinch myself just to make sure that things are real.
That night, Brent offered to sleep in the spare room so that I could have the bed all to myself and he would wake up with Sebastian in the morning. It was perfect timing because that morning Sebastian woke up at 6 am (which is pretty rare for him), and after a few glasses of champagne the night before, I was really happy to be sleeping those extra hours.
Later that day, while the guys were out doing their thing, I treated myself to a pedicure and manicure and then I did some gardening - which in retrospect should have been the other way around - and then I made myself a carrot cake and it was all so absolutely perfect.
The carrot cake is an adaption from the one made at Rebar in Victoria BC. If you are ever traveling through Victoria, you must make a stop at Rebar. It is one of my favorite restaurants ever. Every once in a while, I get the urge to make this carrot cake, probably when I start to get nostalgic about Victoria. This cake is loaded with all the best ingredients like coconut, pineapple, dates, walnuts, and spices. It's moist and substantial, while also being a bit light and delicate. The white chocolate cream cheese icing is incredible, and I basically want to eat it on my toast every morning. You can dress the cake as you like - decorative piping, chopped walnuts, shredded coconut. You can make the recipe into cupcakes, loaves, or a sheet cake. There are a lot of options. It is my go-to carrot cake recipe.
CARROT CAKE WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE ICING
yields one 8" round cake
prep time: 60 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple
3/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cups chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped dates
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
2 - 8 oz packs of cream cheese
2 tsp vanilla
4 oz white chocolate, melted
2 cups icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease two 8" cake pans and then dust with flour. For extra protection against sticking, you can also line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the grated carrots, crushed pineapple (including the juice), coconut, walnuts, and dates.
In a large bowl, beat the sugars, eggs, and vanilla on high until the volume has tripled in size. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the oil.
In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until combined. Add the carrot mixture and stir to combine.
Divide the batter amongst the two pans. Place the pans into the oven on the middle rack and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, remove them from the tins and let further cool on a wire rack.
While the cakes are cooling, prepare the icing.
Beat the cream cheese, vanilla, and melted chocolate on high speed until creamy and smooth. Add the icing sugar a half cup at a time and beat on low speed until incorporated. I like to taste a little after each addition and add more or less accordingly. The amount of icing sugar you use is optional.
Spread one-third of the icing on top of the first cake. Place the other cake on top and use the rest of the icing on the sides and top.
Can be store in the fridge for 4 days.