April marks my 14th year in the Culinary Corner, and I had thought I could aim for 15. However, my usual indefatigable self has morphed into frequently fatigued, and my cheerful creativity has run out of patience with both of my capricious computers.
Effective next month, I will be chatting with you over a “cuppa” once a month on the third Thursday via this column. Ironically, that was what I was hired to do back in 2000, eliciting contributions from readers as well as running my own collection and travel experiences, but it immediately became so popular we became a weekly.
I encouraged folks to submit ideas, or “tell on” someone else who has served up something wonderful and ask for their recipe. One day an anonymous contributor left one for me at my doorstep, and it took some time to determine that the mystery man was my neighbor, Robert Lahr.
Bob is a wonderful cook, and that memorable creamy Bleu Cheese Potato Soup is still one of my favorites for special guests.
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Our conversations usually turn to good food and at a recent birthday party for our mutual friend, Sally Kube, Bob compared the traditional carrot cake with the scrumptious one he prepared for this Easter’s dinner. Though labor intensive, it proved to be well worth the time and effort!
Glazed Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1 8-ox. can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans, or walnuts
Line three 9-inch round cake pans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour the wax paper and set the pans aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together the first four ingredients and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and the next four ingredients at medium speed until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended.
Fold in carrots and the last three ingredients. Pour batter into prepared cake pans, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Meanwhile, prepare glaze and frosting. When layers are done, drizzle Buttermilk Glaze evenly over layers and cool in the pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Carefully remove from pans using wax paper or plastic gloves and cool completely on wire racks. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on the top and sides of cake.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Bring first five ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil about four minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
- 3 cups sifted powdered cream cheese
- 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, beat until smooth. (Cook’s Note: This luscious cake was so “over the top,” there was nary a crumb left for a photograph to illustrate today’s feature story. One cannot only envision how spectacular it looked, but also how it tastes!)