It was my birthday Tuesday (PLEASE don't ask how old I am) and I decided to have a carrot cake bake-off. How this idea came about was I met two new friends Magda and Julia a few months ago and we got to talking about carrot cake. I claimed to make the best carrot cake and so did they. So what else was there to do but to have a bake-off and doing for my birthday would be the perfect occasion.
I invited a small group of about 15 for Champagne, wine, and of course, carrot cake. I thought it would be too chaotic to have everyone judge, so I decided on two judges: Vincent my partner, a bona fide carrot cake expert, and Julia's husband Pino, a pastry chef and teacher. We made sure we didn't tell them which was which till after they tasted them, so they wouldn't be biased. Needless to say, I was the winner and most of the other people at the party confided that mine was the best. Not that I would ever show off. Of course Julia and Magda were crushed and I found them huddled in the corner sobbing hysterically, shamed by their cruel and bitter defeat.Like they say on the reality show Project Carrot Cake, one day your carrot cake is IN, and the next day it is OUT. I was DEFINITELY IN that night.Finally Magda and Julia wiped their tears away and joined the festivities that lasted till 2AM.
By the way, I am still accepting extravagant and very expensive post-Birthday gifts such as a first class ticket to Buenos Aires, a gift card from Hermes, a Bulgari watch,dinner at Tallivent etc. Hint, hint.
My WINNING Carrot Cake Recipe (slightly altered from the recipe in The Loaves and Fishes Cookbook by Anna Pump)
Ingredients2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 cups of safflower or vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
7 pitted prunes diced
1 cup walnuts coarsely chopped
3 cups of grated carrots
8 oz. cream cheese- room temperature
1/2 stick butter- room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease tube pan
3. Mix sugar, oil, and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed till smooth.
4. In a separate bowl sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt.
5.Add prunes and walnuts to egg mixture, then flour mixture and beat on low speed for about 2 minutes. Add carrots and mix till blended thoroughly.
Pour batter into pan and bake for 1 hour and twenty minutes till toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool completely before adding icing.
Mix all ingredients with electric mixer till smooth. Spread over top and sides of cake. Garnish with 1 cup of chopped walnuts.
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte’s professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 3 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com