Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Carrot Cake

On the anniversary of Dr. Stevenson's birthday, I made his Carrot Cake recipe for the J-School. When I got to UNC, Dr. Stevenson remarked at one research colloquium that it was his custom to bring in carrot cake on his own birthday. I figured that the least I could do would be to bring him one so that he would not have to bring his own.

The first year, I bought one at a local favorite grocer, Weaver Street. They have amazing desserts, including carrot cake. Dr. Stevenson was grateful, but the next day, he brought me his recipe for carrot cake, encouraging me to give it a try.

My second year in the PhD program, I was taking Dr. Stevenson's stats class during his birthday, so I made his carrot cake recipe and brought it to class. He ate a piece without a frown, so I think I made it successfully.

This year, I thought it only fitting to remember a professor who gave of himself to others, in large ways and small, with carrot cakes for the students and faculty and staff. One of our newest faculty members asked for the recipe, so here it is.

Bob Stevenson's Carrot Cake
3 c. sifted cake flour
2 c. sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple
2 c. raw carrots, grated and loosely packed
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c. salad oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. finally chopped nuts (this is Dr. Stevenson's notation!)

Grease and lightly flour pan. Mix together cake flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Drain pineapple, saving syrup. Add pineapple syrup to dry mixture; add eggs, oil and vanilla. Beat for three minutes. Stir in pineapple, carrots, and nuts. Bake at 325F for about 1 1/2 hours (I found that after 1 hour, you need to watch the cake and test it with a toothpick). Cool 10 minutes in pan before frosting. Frost with currant-nut icing.

Currant-Nut Icing
4 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
1 package (8 oz) soft cream cheese
1/4 c. butter
1 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1/4 c. currants

Plump currants by soaking in 1/4 cup of hot water for 5 minutes. Drain well.

Beat sugar, cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla together until smooth. Fold in walnuts and currants. Spread over cooled cake.


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