last weekend i got it in my head to start 4 no knead bread loaves at the same time
i figured as i took one loaf out of the oven i would just pop the next loaf into the cast iron pot
easy peasy, right?
all was going well
...until 20 minutes into the baking of the first loaf the power went out
it really took no more effort to have 4 loaves going at the same time than one loaf, so i would easily recommend trying this + pop a loaf or two into the freezer. just hope that the power doesn't go out on a calm, hot, sunny, afternoon for no discernable reason....
a question i often get asked is "does it bother you to have to share your birthday with someone in the same family?"
my answer is "i don't know what it is like to not share a birthday with someone in the same family".
i was born on my father's birthday.
i am now married to a person who shares the same birthday as well.
a strange coincidence, yes.
i had a mother who always baked 2 separate cakes, always + the day always felt like it was mine (and birthdays should feel that way shouldn't they?)
i had many fancy cakes growing up, but as i got older i always requested my mother's chocolate cake with boiled icing (commonly called 7 minute icing) + my father always requested a carrot cake.
the tradition in our house now is to combine these 2 loves and we always bake up a chocolate carrot cake with my mom's cream cheese icing and drizzle it with a chocolate glaze.
the best of both cake worlds--one i don't have a problem sharing.
CHOCOLATE CARROT CAKE
For cake: 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups granulated sugar 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon each baking powder and baking soda 4 large eggs 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil 4 medium carrots, shredded (about 2 cups)
For cream cheese frosting: 8 ounces cream cheese, softened (1 pkg) ¼ cup butter, softened 2 tsp vanilla 2 cups confectioners’ or powdered sugar (icing sugar)
For chocolate glaze: 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips 3 ounces fine-quality BITTERSWEET chocolate (not unsweetened) 6 tablespoons heavy cream 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup confectioners’ or powdered sugar
CAKE: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 9-10 inch bundt pan.
Into a bowl sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together eggs and oil on low speed until combined well. Add flour mixture and beat until just combined. Stir in carrots and pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake cake in middle of oven approximately 50-65 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes and invert onto rack to cool completely.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING: In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla and confectioners’ sugar and beat until light and creamy--I let it whip together for a minimum of 5 minutes. Frost cooled cake.
CHOCOLATE GLAZE: In a small saucepan combine glaze ingredients and whisk together over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until chocolate is melted and glaze is smooth. Remove from heat and cool glaze slightly. Drizzle glaze over cream cheese layer and sides of cake and chill to set, a minimum of an hour.
I use a bundt pan, as I like how you can see the different layers of cake, cream cheese + glaze when you slice the cake. You could also use round layer cake pans or even a 9 x 11 pan and adjust your baking times, checking your cake at the 45 minute mark.
If you don't have the different chocolates, use what you have. I used Callebaut bittersweet chocolate and milk chocolate chips for this years' cake.