Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Baking, Cooking, and Valentine's Day Surprises

Yesterday was busy. After work, I wanted to bake a cake and a lasagna. I made a carrot cake for my boss' birthday. He had told me it was his favorite once and since I had never made a carrot cake, I was excited about the challenge. Carrot cake sounds difficult to make on paper, but was a lot easier than I expected. I just hope it tastes okay! I got the recipe from one of my favorite sites

Here is my cake batter.
Carrot Cake Batter

Here is the naked cake, fresh out of the oven.
Naked Carrot Cake

And here is the frosting from hell. This was my first time making frosting from scratch, my mixer broke just as I was about to use it which made the whole experience a difficult one. I had to keep adding butter to soften it up, but I'm afraid the frosting was a lost cause. It might taste okay, but next time I'm just going to pay the $2 and buy some.
Making Frosting

Oh what a horrible mess. This cake is borderline embarrassing, but I'm okay with that. I added a little heart, since it is Valentines Day and what carrot cake would be complete without a little frosted carrot, right?
Frosted Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in chopped pecans. Frost the cooled cake.

Onto the Lasagna, I made a turkey-tomato mixture with a ricotta-spinach mixture and layered away. I'm a little old fashioned when it comes to the boil/non-boil debate over lasagna noodles. Even though it's more work, I really like to boil my noodles, at least for a few minutes before using them.
The Noodles

Here is my turkey-tomato mix.
The Turkey Tomato-ey Mixture

Before the oven

After the oven

After all this cooking and baking, I was feeling worn out. That all changed when my surprise valentine came over and brought me some surprise valentines! Super sweets from my super sweet! Aren't they cute? And the card! Ohh, the card! The cupcakes are from Dots Cupcakes, which I've never been to, but has a cute website and the cupcakes were tasty! The chocolate was amazing!
My Valentines from Bpy


brian said...

i forgot to mention that the carrot cake was incredible! see ya tomorrow night!

Davina said...

Cupcakes for Brian's little Cupcake!