Carrot Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Filling

20160317-203719-74239195.jpgFirst let me tell you what this is, it’s a carrot cake that’s packed with spices and nuts with a cream cheese filling inside, topped with mascarpone cheese frosting, caramelized pecans and chocolate crumbs.

Oh yeah, drooling yet?
This is the first time I’ve made carrot cake, I’ve always love carrot cake with their cream cheese frosting but never made them… Now since easter is coming, why not make a carrot cake, in a bundt cake form.

Now let’s get started!

20160317-215848-79128221.jpgFirst thing first is the cream cheese filling, the ingredients are sugar, lemon zest (I used lemon sugar that I made some times ago), lemon juice, egg and.. Of course, cream cheese.
Oh and I forgot some vanilla…

20160317-222154-80514800.jpgCream the cream cheese with the sugar until fluffy. This will be so much easier if your cream cheese is in room temperature so remember to take them out before begin baking!

20160317-220608-79568250.jpgNext the egg, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix them until all combined.

20160317-220927-79767633.jpg The cheese filling is done! What I did next is that I put the cheese mixture into a pipping bag to make it easier to fill into the pan, more on that later.

20160317-221026-79826630.jpgNext up the carrot cake, the ingredients for the carrot cake are brown sugar, flour, oil, spices (cinnamon, allspice, ginger and freshly grated nutmeg), salt, baking powder, baking soda and I used vanilla powder but feel free to use vanilla extract, nuts, grated carrots, apple sauce and eggs.

20160317-222101-80461266.jpgNow let’s talk about the star of the show, of course it’s not a carrot cake without the carrot. One thing I suggest you to do is to grate your carrot first then weigh them. I actually used just 1 big carrot for this recipe since it’s more than enough for this carrot cake. And also I did not bother to peel them, I just grate them right away.

20160317-223453-81293031.jpgAnd also I used pecan and walnut for an extra crunch inside the carrot cake. Chopped them into smaller pieces. You can use your favourite nuts really, just thought pecan and walnut are a bit more traditional and earthy for this carrot cake.

20160317-224612-81972225.jpgThe assembly of the carrot cake is super simple just first, combine sugar with wet ingredients which are eggs, oil, applesauce and vanilla.

20160318-010323-3803234.jpgThen the dry ingredients in 2 additions to make sure no lumps of flour in the batter. Whisk them till smooth and fine.

20160319-125955-46795371.jpgInto the rabbit hole it goes! What, wait no. Sorry.
Mix the grated carrots with the batter.
Love the vibrant colour of a carrot…

20160319-154657-56817253.jpgThen the chopped nuts, mix them until everything has mixed in.

20160319-154834-56914603.jpgOn a buttered and floured bundt tin, fill it with carrot cake mixture about ¼ of the way full, then pipe the cheese mixture in the middle.

I tried my best to put the cheese just in the middle and not touching the side of the pan, this is why I put my cheese mixture into a pipping bag. Makes it way easier and neater.

20160319-160807-58087126.jpgAaand fill it with the rest of the carrot cake batter. Remember not all the way up since it will rise.

Off to the oven!

20160320-211936-76776880.jpgnext up the mascarpone frosting on top.
The ingredients are vanilla, sugar, milk, ricotta cheese, and a bit of cornstarch to adjust the thickness of the frosting.

I was going to make it into cream cheese frosting but I thought the cheese flavour will be over whelming since the inside of the carrot cake already got cheese filling so I choose mascarpone cheese which got a lot subtle and creamier flavour.

20160320-213147-77507553.jpgCook everything except for the cornstarch until the sugar has melted then adjust the thickness with some cornstarch. You may need little or not at all, depending the thickness of your mascarpone cheese.
Just cook until the consistency coats the back of a spoon, and remember to not make it too thick since it will thickens up even more in the fridge.

20160320-213722-77842124.jpgOh yeah it’s all set and let the drizzle action going on…

20160320-214049-78049090.jpgMore? Oh, I hear ya! Drizzle drizzle some more.

20160322-003707-2227311.jpgTopped with some caramelized pecan and chocolate crumbles. I’ll put the recipe down below!

20160322-004431-2671435.jpgEaster is right this week! Will be spending the day at the church. It is the day to remember that Jesus died for us…

Anyway, I don’t know wether it is too in your place but here, every easter time, the sky turns gloomy and usually it rained! At least it has been for the last 6 years (just when I realise this fact).

20160322-010236-3756650.jpgI love easter colour! All pastel and subtle.. That’s the second thing I love about easter. Their colour theme.. After Jesus’s sacrifice, of course.

20160323-221007-79807173.jpgLet’s see the inside of the carrot cake shall we?

20160323-222932-80972232.jpgOh yeah the carrot cake is moist and sweet but the cream cheese just balance it off! If you like cheese as much as I do, I think the filling is the prefect ratio of carrot cake to cheese, but if you think that it’s better to have a bit more carrot cake to cream cheese, just half the recipe of the cheese filling down below!

20160323-224058-81658371.jpgHave a good one everybody!

And happy easter!

20160325-003148-1908168.jpg

Carrot Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Filling
Makes 1 cake 20cm in diameter

Ingredients:

Cream cheese filling
• 350g cream cheese (at room temperature)
• 60g white sugar
• Zest of 1 lemon
• 1 egg
• 3 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

Carrot cake batter
• 170g brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 120ml vegetable oil (or any other flavourless oil)
• 65 g applesauce (I used sweetened and smooth one)
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 155g all purpose flour
• ½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• ¼ tsp allspice
• ¼ tsp ground ginger
• ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
• 130g grated carrot
• Chopped pecans and/or walnuts (optional)

Mascarpone frosting
• 200ml milk
• 50g mascarpone cheese
• 70g white sugar
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 1 tsp corn starch (might need more if too runny)

Chocolate crumbles and caramelized pecan toppings
• 50g unsalted butter (cold and cut into cubes)
• 30g all purpose flour
• 5g cocoa powder
• 15g brown sugar
• ¼ tsp salt
• ¼ baking powder

• 10 pcs pecans
• 30g white sugar
• ¼ tsp salt

How To Make It:

1) Make the cheese filling: cream the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, add lemon zest, egg, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix until all incorporated and smooth. Put in a pipping bag.

2) Make the carrot cake batter: whisk the brown sugar with the eggs, oil, applesauce and vanilla extract. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg in 2 addition making sure no lumps of flour still in the batter. Add the grated carrot, mix then the chopped nuts. Mix just until combined.

3) Fill a buttered and floured (or sprayed with non-stick spray) pan with ½ of the carrot cake batter then pipe the cheese mixture around the tin just in the center or the tin. Once all pipped, add the rest of the carrot cake batter.

4) Bake at a preheated oven at 180°C or 360°F for around 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool

5) Make the chocolate crumbles: in a bowl combine butter, flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and baking powder and rub the butter with the dry ingredients until resembles crumbs. Spread them on a lined baking tray then bake at 180°C or 360°F for around 20 minutes then lower the temperature to 150°C or 300°F for another 20 minutes. Let cool.

6) Make the candied pecans: in a pan, melt the sugar until the edges goes golden brown or caramel colour (this method is called dry caramel, be careful because this burn quickly!). Mix in the salt then the pecans then stir until all the pecans are coated and cook for 2 more minutes or until your desired colour of caramel. Put each pecan on a silicon mat or grease proof paper.

7) Make the mascarpone frosting: First dilute 1 tablespoon of the milk with the corn starch and mix until dissolved. In a pan, heat the remaining milk,mascarpone and sugar until the sugar has all melted, add the corn starch mixture then continue to cook it until it has boiled. Remove from heat then let cool in the fridge.

8) Assemble the cake by drizzling the cooled mascarpone frosting on top of the carrot bundt cake, put pieces of caramelized pecans and topped with the chocolate crumbles.

Pumpkin Soup

20140326-155640.jpgokay i know that this is not a dessert post. This is not going to be something sweet. It’s just that i haven’t got the time to buy stuff for my baking ingredients. I don’t even have flour and i only got a little stock of sugar left in my house. I really need to do a grocery shopping. But anyway i’ve been making more savory food lately. Pumpkin soup is a great seasonal food. I used the spices i got in my house and they just add a whole lot of aroma and flavor.

First thing first is that i roast the whole pumpkin (i used a small pumpkin since i only had that. About 1kg) until it gets squishy. By roasting it whole it will gives it a nicer color and more sweetness to the soup.

20140326-160345.jpgi just take the nice fleshy bits. You could roast the seeds if you want.

Pumpkin soup ingredients:

20140326-160716.jpg chopped onion and garlic, roasted pumpkin flesh, spices and seasoning (i used oregano, cumin, coriander, nutmeg, salt and pepper), cream (i use it for presentation only) and vegetable stock (i forgot to put it in the picture)

20140326-161519.jpgsauté the onion and garlic in a little bit of oil

20140326-161815.jpgadd in the pumpkin and sauté it for a moment

20140326-162026.jpgadd in vegetable stock, let it boil then add the cumin, oregano, and coriander into the soup.

20140326-162936.jpgblitz everything up (i think that it’s best to use a hand blender but i don’t have one) and pour it back to the pan and let it boil again.

20140326-172315.jpg grate in the nutmeg and add pepper and salt to taste.
The soup is ready to serve. Serve them with a drizzle of cream and some croutons. I made a simple croutons by just tossing some stale bread with olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder and bake until crispy

20140326-173506.jpg

Now i think that cooking doesn’t really need any precise measurements such as baking. Feel free to add, eliminate, subtitute, or use any little or any more ingredients i’ve written. Experiment on your likings.

Pumpkin soup ingredients:
• Pumpkin (i use the little one about 1-2kg)
• 250ml vegetable stock
• 1 small onion
• 2 cloves garlic
• some spices (i use oregano, coriander, cumin, nutmeg)
• salt and pepper to taste
• cream for presentation
• croutons (just toss stale bread with olive oil/butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, or any other spices you’d like to add and then bake until crispy)

How to make pumpkin soup:
1) Stab the pumpkin a couple of time and then put it in the oven for 1 hour depending on your pumpkin size. If you’re not sure just take out when they’re squishy.
2) Let cool and then scoop out the nice fleshy bits of the pumpkin.
3) Sauté onion and garlic in a little bit of oil for about a minutes, then add in the pumpkin.
4) Add in the vegetable stock and the oregano, coriander and cumin.
5) Blend the soup in a blender or with a hand blender until nice and smooth
6) Put them back on the pan and heat it until it boils again. Add in the freshly grated nutmeg, salt and pepper.
7) Serve the pumpkin soup with a nice drizzle of cream and croutons, garnish with a little bit of fresh parsley.