April 4, 2015

Carrot Cake for Easter


An early, kind of lonely, but fresh from the light rain morning.
At the store's parking lot, while I was putting bunches of flowers into my car, a friendly, elderly gentleman smiled at me "You are buying Spring, eh?" 
Was I really trying to buy Spring? Was that a good thing? Or a bad thing? Could I buy Spring in a world where pretty much everything can be purchased? It made me ponder... I didn't have an answer, but one thing for sure, I was and still am in desperate need for spring, for colours, for light, for happy birds, green trees and scented flowers.
But Spring heralds more than a change in nature. With the rebirth of the earth, I start to feel inspired and brave, alive and ready for a transformational change in my mind, in my life. There is always this tangible sense of anticipation. There is always new energy that envelops the body. New Awakening!
Spring in my soul, in my spirit, in my self. Gladness in my heart. Vigor in my faith in sanity of the world, in the morality of others, in the power of suffering and forgiveness. Going back to my self. Touching my true nature - being one with the Light, unafraid of pain and joy, being Here. Whole! 
  
"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity." 
                                                                                                                                                                                                       ~Paulo Coelho 


To all of you who celebrate Easter, I wish you enlightenment. When He raises the crucified man and gives him eternal life, may He rise us all to the highest awakening of being humans - spiritual, vulnerable, humble, brave, honest, non-judgmental, compassionate, generous and forgiving. May He rise us to the understanding that the strongest, graceful soul "emerges out of suffering." Once we truly understand hardship, we understand happiness. Thank you all for making me believe in me, in you, in the goodness of humanity. 





Carrot Cake 

This is my first ever carrot cake, and I have to tell you, it is the best carrot cake I have ever made. Seriously, beneath this unpretentious look, lie multiple layers (not very even) of moist and chewy, back-to-the-basics flavorful cake rich on sweet carrots, walnuts and little bits of raisins, exotic spices and delicious cheese frosting. I combined several recipes to come up with this one. 


Ingredients:

2 cups finely grated carrots
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cup oil
4 large eggs at room temperature
2 tsp. pure vanilla
finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 1/4 all- purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmegs
1/4 tsp/ allspice (optional)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins

Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 pkg. (250gr. each) cream cheese, softened
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. pure vanilla
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tbsp. honey  


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and dust with flour.


2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside. 


3. In a large bowl, beat together sugars, oil, eggs (one at a time), vanilla, and orange zest. Whisk in the dry ingredients, until well combined. Using a spoon, stir in the carrots, walnuts and raisins. 


4. Divide batter into the two prepared pans and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pans on a wire rack. 

 5. Make the icing by blending the cream cheese, butter, vanilla lemon juice and honey. Gradually add sugar, beating until incorporated. 

 6. Place one of the layers on a serving plate. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with second cake and spread the remaining frosting over top and side. 




Enjoy and have a Happy Easter!







8 comments:

  1. This is an absolutely flawless perfect post. You have a way with words, of thoughts, of photos - just wow. I couldn't even dream up something like this. Well done. I wish you every joy this Easter season and spring. God's blessings to you and yours. ♥

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  2. Blessed Easter to you and yours, Sylvia! Carrot cake is my favorite. I want to step through your photo into your beautiful space and share a piece with you!

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  3. The man and what he said...I think you might take it, as would I, as we just can't have spring here soon enough! So we to create it the best we can. And your cake, lovely. The bunny and eggs, all representative of fertility and rebirth.

    I love the quote and I will definitely make the cake!

    Have a happy and blessed Easter, sweet lady!

    Jane xx

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  4. We can't buy the happiness that was already paid for on this day of celebration, and your ponderings are wonderful my friend. We all want those colors, that light, those signs of life,and they are coming in small portions for us here. But deep inside, that eternal spring is welling up so far that sometimes I feel I am going to burst. Oh my friend, yet another lovely post of recollections and beautiful photography! LOVE TO YOU! Anita

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  5. Happy Easter! Your cake looks wonderful and your photos are gorgeous. Love seeing your article in the magazine laying on the table.

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  6. Buying flowers meets our inner need for color, for a bit of spring even if it hasn't arrived outside. We all feel it this time of year. Lovely cake! The best thing about homemade is that it is perfectly imperfect! Being lop sided, uneven adds to beauty of being homemade. Thank you for sharing these wonderful finds!

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  7. Hi Sylvia,

    Hope you and your family had a wonderful Easter?! Your carrot cake looks really scrumptious! It's one of my favourite bakes.

    Am I right to understand that you published your own cookery/baking book? Would love to hear more!!

    Thank you for your kind comment on my last blog post too. I am still blushing :-)

    Happy weekend!

    Madelief x

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