Today was one of those days when everything I had planned fell through the cracks. It all started at midnight when my youngest son woke up coughing uncontrollably. I brought him into my bed and there he stayed awake, coughing away until he decided that he needed to leave the bedroom and go hang out in the living room - he knew there was no way he was going to be able to sleep like that. We hang out until almost 4am, when I convinced him to give it another try. We went back to my bed and half an hour later he was asleep. Between then and 7:30am there was a lot of rolling around and interrupted sleep. My daughter showed up in the room and made sure that we were up by 7:45am. My son and I looked and acted like zombies all day. I was exhausted. He was exhausted and sick - fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes...the whole package. He even lost his appetite, and that is not common for him. There was nothing I could do right to get him to eat, so I focused on giving lots of liquid and tried not to worry about it. Until he went down for his nap, of course. Than I started thinking about what I could do to cheer him up.
If there is one thing I know about my boy is that he loves cake. No frosting needed, just cake. Plain, moist, delicious cake. And that is what I chose to make. For some reason I started thinking about carrot cake, but not the one you are thinking about. I wanted to make the carrot cake we eat in Brazil. There they use a blender to mix all the ingredients together, including the carrots. So you end up with a beautiful yellow/golden colored cake with the subtle sweetness from the carrots.
The only problem is that I am not a "blender cake kind of person". Every time I try to blend a cake batter I end up with a heavy and uninteresting cake. I seriously do not know what my problem is, but that just does not work for me. So, as tired I was, I decide to invent my own carrot cake recipe today! And although only half of my brain was functioning, it worked! I loved the result, and so did my son. He is still not doing very well, but he sure was happy to wake up to freshly baked carrot cake!!
A Different Carrot Cake - Brazilian Style Carrot Cake
3 cups of cake flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking power
2 pinches of salt
3 carrots- peeled, trimmed, and chopped
1 cup of milk
2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup of milk
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the baking pan (I used a bundt cake pan) with butter and dust it evenly with flour, or use a baking spray.
2- Peel, trim, and chop 3 carrots. Place them in a blender, add milk. Blend it well until you can barely see specs of carrots. Set it aside.
3- Sift cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Set it aside.
4- Place butter and sugar in a bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well combined (approximately 6 minutes). Add one egg at time and beat until incorporated. Add vanilla. At low speed, add flour mixture alternately with carrot/milk mixture. Beat just enough to combine the ingredients. (make sure to scrape down the bowl occasionally).
5- Put batter in the baking pan and place it in the oven. Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool to transfer it to a serving platter.
When the cake has cooled prepare the chocolate topping: fill half of a small sauce pan with water. Heat the water over low heat. Place a glass bowl on top of the sauce pan. To the glass bowl add 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips and 3/4 cup of milk. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Turn off the heat, and stir in 1 tablespoon of butter. Cover the cake with the topping and serve.
After all the cake I ate today, all I need is a chance to have sweet dreams. Sleep, my son, sleep.