one of the shocking things about being a prep cook is the sheer amount of quantity. you don't destem a handful of swiss chard - you destem a case of swiss chard. so what you start to learn and to prioritize are speedy tricks. how can you move your hand faster? what's the minimum movement needed to accomplish something? you think about food in a different way as cooking is no longer just a leisure activity - it's a race against time. i get frustrated by not being perfect and i am the furthest thing from perfect. it's humbling and i have to remind myself you're still new, this is okay. it's a challenge but one that has a thousand lessons to teach.
the other day, i noticed how the desserts section here was starting to bulge around the middle. then there's my woefully neglected beef and chicken categories, which really help to highlight my shame. alright, i thought, no more sweets. we're going to focus on beefing up the beef section.
but then, i'd also promised to make carrot cake. and my mom recently visited and got me the momofuku milk bar cookbook. and i would never lie about carrot cake. and guys, guys naked cake is so good. so, here we are - just you and me and a whisk. and maybe a few rainbow sprinkles.
recipe adapted loosely from smitten kitchen
2 cups flour
1.5 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup canola oil
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp allspice
2.5 cups grated carrots or ground in food processor (add 1/4 cup oil if carrots are grated)
preheat oven to 350.
combine flour, salt, baking soda, and spices in a bowl. whisk to incorporate. in a medium mixing bowl, mix sugar and oil until well combined. whisk in eggs, slowly and one at a time. add dry mixture in three parts. mix until well incorporated. add carrots. pour into two well-greased 9" cake pans. bake for 40 minutes or until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
maple cream cheese frosting
1 cup cream cheese
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
combine all. mix to taste.
to assemble, use an empty soup can or glass to punch out three rounds from baked cake. cool completely (i placed it in the freezer overnight). ice cold cake on top and layer. sprinkle.