Monday, June 17, 2013

The Perfect Carrot Cake, Father's Day Style

Yesterday was Father's Day, and it was a darn good one! M and I had a tough time figuring out what to do, since his dad is in NJ, and mine is in CT. We often do a 3+ hour tour de Rt. 95 on holidays so that we can see both sets of families, but decided against that this year.  He went to take his dad to play golf, and I went to my family where my sister was throwing a Dad's Day cookout.

It was so great to see my dad, grandfather, and uncles and spend time with my family.  We are known to have a lot of family parties, but even always feels like it's been too long since I've seen them.

For Father's Day, we got my dad a gift certificate to go golfing with M and my sister's husband (whom we refer to as Mike 1, and yes...that means my Mike is referred to lovingly as M2 around my family).  We also made him a mug on Shutterfly to bring to work, which featured the newest member of our family whom he's a father too...Eli! 

It came out really cute, and my dad loved it.  We stuffed it with a couple of chocolate bars and the gift certificate, and it was a really nice addition to his day. 

I also made a carrot cake in honor of him, and to coincide with our gift.  It was my first time trying to make M's family's recipe, which I've taste tested plenty of times at parties.  It really is the perfect carrot cake. 

Actually, was MY 1st and 2nd time making it,  all in a matter of 12 hours! Let me explain- the recipe called for 2 teaspoons of baking soda, which seemed reasonable.  After tasting a sliver, I knew something was off.  Then I looked closer and saw green carrots! It actually didn't taste terrible, and the green carrots are (allegedly) perfectly safe, but I couldn't let my first try at this be mediocre.

I remade the cake (with an adjusted baking soda quantity), and then did this to it:

The pictures make it look a little more lime-green than it really was, but it turned out pretty cool.  I used green food coloring in the cream cheese frosting, then traced a putting green out of a paper plate to cover where I wanted the cake frosting to stay smooth. From there, I dusted green dyed (again just food coloring) coconut over the rest of the cake as grass.  I used a tee, golf ball, upside down chocolate chip, and flag (made out of a wooden skewer stick and red paper) to finish it. 

I used a mixture of walnuts and brown sugar, pulsed in the food processor, for the sand traps, and used the edge of a paper plate to keep them in place as I scatter them.

It came out great, and served a party of 15 adults, with a lot left over.  I think the addition of coconut, pineapple, and walnuts to the mix makes the cake dense, yet melt in your mouth smooth.  The cream cheese frosting is just an added decadence that takes it over the edge.  Second time's a charm! 

*Ingredients in gray reflect the change to avoid green carrots! 

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