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Monday, September 7, 2009

Fall is in the air...

So I thought I would make a nice, fall dessert for a Labor Day weekend party we went to last night. I found a recipe for carrot cake in my Best-Loved Recipes cookbook that looked super easy and I had all the ingredients I needed. It was my first attempt at a layer cake and it turned out pretty well but I learned a couple things too. Namely make sure the bottom layer is flat to stack them so that there isnt a large gap to fill with frosting. I forgot to take the camera to the party so I don't have a picture but it did get rave reviews and was pretty much gone at the end of the night.

Carrot Layer Cake

For the cake:
1 pkg Yellow Cake Mix (I used Pillsbury Moist Deluxe)
4 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce (original recipe calls for vegetable oil)
3 cups grated carrots
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg (I added this to the original)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour 2 9-inch round baking pans. Combine all ingredients and mix on low until moistened. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into pans and bake for 35-40 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.

For the frosting:
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar

Beat butter, vanilla and cream cheese in a bowl until smooth and creamy. Add sugar gradually, beating until smooth. If frosting becomes too thick, add milk to thin as needed. (Mine worked just fine with these measurements).

Put a layer of frosting on the top of bottom layer. Stack the 2nd layer on top and put a thin layer of frosting around the sides and on top. Chill for frosting to set. Add more frosting as desired. (I had plenty left over).

Since Labor Day also marks the end of summer, I made another batch of homeade ice cream this week as well. I had leftover buttermilk from my scones I made last weekend so I found a vanilla buttermilk ice cream recipe on cooks.com. It was a very simple recipe with only 4 ingredients and no cooktime required so I figured I would try it. The ingredients were too much for my KA ice cream freezer so I had to cut back a little. Here's the original and below is my adaptation. I think its a little on the tangy side with all the buttermilk, so if I make it in the future, I'll reduce the buttermilk a little more. It is excellent with caramel sauce.

Buttermilk Ice Cream

1 pint heavy whipping cream
6 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar

Combine all ingredients in ice cream freezer and blend per machine directions.

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