This past Saturday, my friends Cecilia and Julia came over to my condo for a cookbook dinner party. We each chose a few recipes from Barefoot Contessa's Foolproof. Combined with a few appetizers and three bottles of wine, this turned out to be another fun evening with good friends.
For one of my recipes, I made Ina Garten's Carrot Cake with Ginger Mascarpone Frosting. Because I followed the directions exactly I'm not going to retype it: you can find the recipe here.
One of the hardest things about this cake was grating a pound of carrots by hand. I was tempted to use a food processor, but Ina said it would make the cake too wet...and who would want that?
Although I've never baked a carrot cake, I've had them in the past. What I liked about this recipe was that it wasn't heavy in the spice department. The only spice, in fact, that Ina used was cinnamon. Other than that, it was a basic recipe with carrots, walnuts, raisins and vanilla.
I recommend you use golden raisins!
The cake was baked in two separate pans and had to be completely cooled before being iced. My entire condo smelled amazing!
The icing was incredible: mascarpone, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and crystallized ginger! I really liked the addition of crystallized ginger for both the texture and the flavor.
The cake only got the icing in between the layers and on top. I liked that it looked rustic and not fussy. Of course you can make yours look a bit more perfect...but why?
And now for the taste: the cake was incredibly moist and tender. The icing was creamy and not too sweet. Make sure you are not left at home by yourself with this cake or you'll eat it all! I was sure to share this with my friends ;)
And a few shots from different sides ;)