Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fall's Last Bouquet

Yesterday, I cut the last flower bouquet of the year.  A hard frost was forecast, so I gathered up a few of the last blooms... yellow and red roses, a cluster of 12 Apostle lilies, black and blue salvia, and obediant plant.  I can't help myself from gathering the colorful leaves every evening on my walk with the pups.  The little pumpkins and gourds came from Bobbie Thomas.  Not only does she create beautiful pots; she's also a wonderful organic gardener and chicken wrangler to boot.  When our girls aren't laying to keep up with demand, and when we could use some vegi's to fill in the gaps of our garden, I pay her a visit.  Everything I've ever gotten is gorgeous and healthy.  It's grand having such talented neighbors.

It's not been long ago that I printed out a recipe for Apple Carrot cake.  I made it this week, and it's a keeper.  The recipe I printed doesn't have any identifying features on it, so I can't give them credit.  But I will share it here, so you can enjoy it too.  I left out the ginger (J is allergic), and used my handheld mixer, which worked fine.I almost never make frosting, but I had 4 oz of cream cheese that needed using, and maple syrup and salt are enjoyed by both J & I, so I figured why not?  I used much less sugar... probably a total of 1 cup, so what I made was quite a bit less than the recipe. Even so, I only used 1/2 of what I made and refrigerated  froze the rest.  This amount was perfect for our tastes.

Apple Carrot Cake

1/2 stick salted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon each cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour, white, whole wheat, or a mix
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large (or 4 small) carrots, peeled and grated (to yield 1 1/2 cups)
2 medium apples, cored and grated  (or 1 cup applesauce)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9" square pan, then line it with two sheets of parchment, lengthwise and widthwise, each strip extending a few inches above the pan's rim, to act as handles. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until creamy, 4-5 minutes.  Scrape sides, add yogurt and beat until just combined.  Add grated carrots and apples, and mix on low until just combined.  With a rubber spatula, scrape sides and bottom of bowl, and fold batter, bottom to top, several times to combine, and keep apples and carrots from congregating only at the top.  Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake about 60 minutes, until a knife emerges clean from the center of the cake.  Remove to a rack, and cool 10 minutes, then use parchment handles to remove cake from pan. Set on a rack to cool completely, several hours, before topping with maple cream cheese frosting, below.

Salted Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
4 ounces salted butter (1/2 cup). at room temp
1/2 cup maple syrup (Grade B is recommended)
2-3 pounds powdered sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until creamy, 1 minute. Gradually add powdered sugar 1/2 pound at a time, alternating with splashes of syrup.  After the first round of sugar, scrape the sides and add salt, and continue adding sugar and syrup, beating a minute between additions, and scraping sides occasionally.  Once all the maple syrup has been added, taste for flavor and texture.  Add more maple syrup or salt as needed.  Frosting will keep, refrigerated and covered, several days, or can be frozen up to 1 month.


JLK Jewelry said...

That was a doozy last night! Even tho Wed brought plants close to the house, we lost the basil (boo) but parley is okay. Several of the flowering plants took a hit. We got back in time to cover things and get some of the tunnels back up. He doesn't know how the peppers fared under their sheets, but we fear that they are gone.

I guess I should run down and look at the persimmons in the morning, they were Loaded!!

And kudos to Bobbie, she does a great job, at whatever she does!

Laurie said...

Yep, our basil's a goner too, Jennie. We also had uncovered peppers. I did grab the few small green tomatoes that were left. Persimmons... do you actually get any? The critters eat them here before they're ripe enough to pick!