pairings | carrot cake with goat cheese frosting

I’m sitting here, my eyes getting heavier in the dim light. As an early riser, the after-dinner hours are typically my low-energy period where I sit, reflect, or browse various media to find inspiration. Sometimes it takes quite a bit to light a fire under my feet, other times I am inspired by the way the light comes into the dining room.

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My life is quiet. I wake up anywhere between 5am and 6am; many mornings the stars are still visible as I sip at my coffee (read: apparently i actually drink my coffee pretty quick, so maybe *guzzle* is a better term?). Most days I have a house to myself as I putter in the kitchen, chopping, mixing, kneading, sauteing. For many people, the bedroom is their peaceful place, where they go to escape. The kitchen is mine; I find my mind wandering elsewhere as I chop, mix, knead, saute. Yet at times, my mind is quiet and clear – free of worry.

I have also found a deep connection with my yoga mat; finally, after a few years of home practice, I am comfortable to be there without direction. I move as my body wishes, breathing fresh air into the places it asks. I really am thrilled by what simple, small movement can do for me as a person. I have never been so at ease, so comfortable, aware.

I have been playing with some new flavors in my kitchen, lately. New flavors paired with trusting, familiar flavors. It can make something old and worn out new and fresh again, reminding you of why it became old and worn out in the first place. The best things always are.

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This cake flew out of my kitchen. I made it, I chilled it, and it was gone. I got to try the cake and the icing separately, but not together. There were reviews were good, though, so I’ll give you that. The cake is insanely airy and fluffy – no where near being heavy. The frosting has an extra kick to it, with the addition of goat cheese – the tang is killer, in the best way possible. There were good reviews so I’ll give you that.

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Note: I made my cakes in two 9 inch pans because I planned to cut them out and stack them as mini cakes (this results in a bunch of cake scraps left over, perfect for picking at). If you are making this as one big cake, I suggest making them in two 8 inch pans for the layers to be a bit thicker, as the 9 inch layers were quite thin. Alternatively, you could make these as cupcakes which would be equally as great. I kept the frosting quite plain and simple, as I wanted the goat cheese tang to really shine through. If you’re not a fan of goat cheese, frost the cake with your favorite cream cheese frosting.

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  Carrot Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting

Cake

  • 1 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup spelt flour (can sub. whole wheat pastry (or a mix of whole wheat & a/p)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup finely grated carrot, packed (roughly 2 large carrots)
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup almond buttermilk (1/2 tbsp lemon juice in measuring cup, topped off with almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup additional almond milk
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting

  • 6 tbsp soft goat cheese
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened slightly
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • splash of almond milk, if needed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour cake pans. If making cupcakes, greasing a non-stick pan should be plenty.

2. Finely grate carrots and set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients.

4. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until light in colour. Whisk in remaining ingredients, except for carrots, one at a time. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined. Fold in the carrots.

5. Pour into your desired pan. If baking cakes, reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for 30-40 minutes, until springy in the center. If baking cupcakes, bake at 350 degrees and bake for 25-35 minutes until springy in the center. Once cooked, allow to cool completely before frosting.

6. For frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together goat cheese and butter until soft and homogeneous. Sift in powdered sugar. For a thinner, drippier frosting, add a tiny splash of almond milk – 1/2 tsp should be plenty. Allow the frosting to chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before frosting.

7. Frost your cake: level your cake, if needed, and frost the top of one layer with 2-3 tbsp of frosting. Place the other on top and repeat. Any left over frosting can be plopped on top for good measure or used to crumb-coat the outside. If you crumb coat the outside, consider pressing shredded coconut up against the side for extra texture.

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