There are three different cakes I hold near and dear to my heart and Carrot Cake is one of them. And not to brag but I do think this is one of the best recipes for carrot cake out there. What makes it a little bit more decadent you ask? Well it's the banana I use in the recipe. I also like the texture this cake has, it being riddled with big chunks of pecan nuts. Then comes the sweet tangy cream cheese frosting, not too much and not too little but just the right amount. I finish it off with some fresh fruits and a sprinkle of pecan nuts. I feel it's truly everything you could want in a cake, but then again that's just me!
So as the title of this blog mentions, we have our very first featured baker on Chef Dewet Visser. He is no ordinary baker, neither is he a professional baker, but instead he is my best friend, Craig Woolfson. He baked a cake intending to make his gran's 80th birthday a memorable one. He asked me for some assistance with what cake to bake and we finally decided that he should do the Carrot Cake that I had in my Booklet. He went out and got all the ingredients he needed, followed my step by step instructions, and recorded the process. So today I decided to share this with my fellow bakers and followers of my website. This was his first time baking a Carrot cake of this size so keep that in mind when you see the final product. With that being said, anyone who would like to feature on my website simply email me at email@example.com and you could have the spotlight on Chef Dewet Visser for the day.
1. Preheat the oven to 160oC/320oF.
2. Place the oil, eggs, and vanilla essence into a mixing bowl and mix well until you have a light, thick consistency.
3. Add in all your dry ingredients (Including the nuts) which you need to sift at least once.
4. Mix until everything is well incorporated.
5. Next add in your carrots and bananas, giving it another good mix.
5. Grease your cake pan, adding silicon paper to the bottom, and finally add your mixture. Place into your preheated oven of 160oC/320oF for 30-35 minutes. It should have a nice golden top once complete.
6. Once out of the oven, allow to cool and finally place into the fridge while you prepare your frosting.
White Chocolate & Cream Cheese Frosting
1. Place the larger amount of sugar, water and lemon juice into a pot and bring to the boil. Continue to boil until the syrup is at 114 - 116oC/237.5 - 240.8oF (This is known as soft ball stage).
2. Place your white chocolate over a bain-marie to melt. The water should not be boiling too rapidly but instead just simmering to create steam (If its too hot the chocolate can burn and you wont be able to use it! Also don't move it around too much just stir every now and then).
3. While waiting for your stock syrup to reach soft ball stage whip up your egg whites. When you reach medium peak stage start to add in the smaller amount of sugar (It must be castor sugar), adding it 1 teaspoon at a time while whisking until you reach stiff peak stage.
4. Once syrup is at soft ball stage start to pour at a slow steady rate into your mixing bowl with the meringues, whisking the entire time. The end result should be a glossy meringue with stiff peaks (This is known as a boiled meringue or Italian Meringue).
5. Remove the meringue from the mixing bowl and place soft butter and the zest into a bowl and mix until pale in colour.
6. Next add your cream cheese and follow by pouring your melted chocolate into the bowl with the butter. Whisk well (Your chocolate should not be straight off the bain-marie, it should rest for at least 1 minute before being added).
7. Now adding 1/3 at a time, fold the mixture into your Italian Meringue to create the final product.
8. Allow to rest in the fridge for 5 minutes and then you're ready to frost your cake!
What is Transfer Paste. . .
Transfer paste is a paste consisting of four simple ingredients and the coloring or flavouring of your choice. You are able to either pipe different design onto silicon paper with a piping bag. Or you can simply spread the paste onto the whole piece of silicon paper and create patterns but removing the paste with a scraper. The only limitation this great paste has, is the limitations of your imagination and artistic ability. As you might have seen with my previous post of the Japoniase I created a green pattern on the outside of the meringue. The way I managed to do this was by simply spreading the paste on the silicon paper and then using the back of a spoon and scraped off the extra paste. I also used macha to not only flavour the paste but also give it that stunning green color.
Note: If you wish to make your transfer paste a different flavour, simply substitute that for the macha. If its a liquid only use half of the amount so the paste does not get too loose.
You can also use this for Swiss Rolls.
I would love to see what kind of pattern you guys come up with. So simply go post it on my Facebook page or tweet it and mention @chefdewetv in the tweet. You can also find me on Instagram @chefdewetv.
Japonaise, the first thing that might come to mind is whether its origins is based from Japan. It would be a good guess as "Japonaise" in French does mean "Japan" or "From Japan". But in this case there is no direct connection between this Meringue and Japan. So I decided to play around with this confusing yet interesting meringue and made it more Japanese. The way this idea come about was when I was asked to come up with new desserts for the menu at work. As I am working in a Japanese Restaurant I remembered this meringue from back in college. I think it stood out too me because I also first though it would have come from Japan or at least have some sort of Japanese history behind it. At first there was only one popular Japanese ingredient I wanted to incorporate, matcha. Matcha is the Japanese name for finely milled green tea leafs which have recently exploded into a huge hype, similar to that of Red Velvet.
The taste of good quality macha for me would be similar to that of seaweed or rather you would pick up some sort of "ocean taste" or "fishy taste" as some people say. This is what we who believe in the term umami could call umami. The meaning of umami when all your taste sensations are stimulated at the same time. This includes sweet, sour, bitter and salt
The other truly Japanese ingredient I wanted to incorporate is know as Anko, which is Azuki beans (red beans) which have been cooked till soft and then pureed. It is then sweetened and used in many traditional Japanese pastries. The way I would incorporate this unique flavour into my dessert is simple. I would start by making my own anko, this way you can control the sweetness and don't have to worry about it being over or under the desired sweetness. I would then incorporate it into a Diplomat Cream. Diplomat cream is the combination of whipped cream and creme Pastissiere. This would give you a good smooth and light texture which would go well with the slightly crunchy meringue. I have yet to experiment with this as I have not yet had the opportunity.
So now that you know a bit more about Japonaise and the two major ingredients in Japanese pastry world, Im now going to give you the Recipe for Japonaise. Once I have the chance to try the filling I will then also post that recipe, but for now I will just provide you with my first filling attempt.
160C/320F for 8-10 minute
This is just for you to first perfect the plain Japonaise and then later this week I will place the Filling Recipe as well as the Transfer Paste which allows you to make different patterns on the meringue. Its also in the Transfer paste which I used the matcha, so don't get confused if you don't see it in the recipe.
When you work with some recipes you might notice that they sometimes tell you to bring your sugar to a soft ball stage for an Italian Meringue, or a Hard Crack stage for dipping fruit in to give it a glistening coat of sugar. Yet sometimes they don't include the temperatures to which you need to boil the sugar to in order to getit to that stage. Well now all you need to do is refer back to my website. This information will be available under Culinary Glossary & Ingredients and then Sugar. This will also give you a few uses for some of the different stages of boiling, so if you would like to play around making sugar Angel Hair, now you know to which temperature you need to take your sugar. Also just remember when you work with sugar it retains heat very well and will continue to cook even once its been removed from the heat, so you have to anticipate a minute ahead of time, or place it on a cold surface straight away other wise it will over cook.
Please be very careful when working with sugar, its not nice having a lump of blistering hot sugar fall on you!
Edited by: Monique Boaventura
There are three different cakes I hold near and dear to my hear and carrot cake is one of those. And not to brag, but I do think this is one of the best recipes for carrot cake out there. What makes it that little bit more decadent you may ask, well its the banana I use in the recipe. I also just like the texture this cake has with big chunks of pecan nuts riddling the cake. Then comes the sweet tangy cream cheese frosting, not to much and not to little but just the right amount. Finished of with some fresh fruits and a sprinkle of pecan nuts. It's truly in my opinion everything you could want in a cake, but then again that's just me!
Method : preheat oven to 160C/320F
Ingredients for Frosting
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I'm a chef at heart and by trade, enjoy what I do and have a passion for the culinary world.