Michael is always on the quest for the perfect slice of Carrot Cake. The best yet is at Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store in North Beach served with a glass of their house-made Campari. However, not everyone can make the trek to San Francisco for a heaping slice, so he came up with this recipe. Make sure you serve the Cake to friends and family at room temperature.
Yields: 12-16 slices Time: About 3 hrs
- 1 ½ cup granulated cane sugar
- ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, preferably Madagascar Bourbon
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, preferably Madagascar
- 1 ½ cups shredded coconut, toasted
- 1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
- 2 cups granulated cane sugar
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 extra-large eggs
- 4 cups grated carrot (about 8 large)
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
- ½ cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
MAKE THE CAKE
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Butter and flour one 9-inch cake pan.
Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the vegetable oil and sugar. Add half of the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add the remaining dry ingredients in four parts, adding an egg between each addition.
Fold in the pecans, crystallized ginger and carrots.
Pour into the prepared pan, filling the pan ⅔ of the way high. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 70 to 75 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
MAKE THE FILLING
In a heavy saucepan combine the sugar, flour and salt. Gradually add the cream, stirring until blended.
Place the saucepan over low heat and add the butter. Stir until the butter has melted and then let simmer for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm before stirring in nuts and vanilla. Let cool completely until needed.
MAKE THE FROSTING
Cream the butter with cream cheese and beat until blended. Sift in the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla.
The frosting must be firm enough to spread without running. Refrigerate to firm as needed.
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE
Loosen the cake from pan and invert on to a plate. Split the cake into two horizontal layers using a serrated knife. Spread the pecan cream filling between the layers of the cake and then cover the top and sides with the cream cheese frosting. Finish by pressing the toasted coconut around the side of the cake. Serve at room temperature.