Friday, February 26, 2010

Woo Hoo and Happy Birthday, Eric!

I had a lovely dinner with three of my trusted girlfriends tonight at Pura Vida, which is a place you must try if you live in Atlanta. 

A big topic of conversation was the transition from raising kids and having a successful career (well, that part didn't include me) and the big question of WHAT"S NEXT?  None of us had any answers, but we did lament the fact that our kids don't need us much anymore.

Unless it's their birthday.

Which means we are loading up the car and driving to Durham tomorrow for Eric's 26th birthday.  To be fair, it's not a big catering gig this time (thank God) but of course I am taking his favorite birthday cake.  No chocolate for this kid.  Uh-uh, he's a carrot cake kind of guy.

We have multiple reasons to celebrate.  As I mentioned before, he is a PhD candidate.  He passed his written comps last week.  This is a big deal.  GO ERIC!  Of course, now that he is ABD (all but dissertation), he is headed to law school in Philadelphia in September.  Oy veh.  Super Mom will have to strike again and organize the move and the new apartment.  Stay tuned......

But here's the recipe for Eric's carrot cake.  Actually, I call it Carrot Spice Cake.  Most carrot cake recipes call for cinnamon.  That's just fine, but I like the extra addition of a little mace, clove, allspice and cocoa powder.  Gives it a lot more depth.

Preparing to frost the damn thing.
You know how much I love (hate) to do this.


1 1/2 cups canola oil
1 16-oz. can crushed pineapple, well-drained
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 extra-large eggs
4 cups grated carrots
3 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon good quality cocoa powder ( I used Valhrona)
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.  Butter three 9-inch cake pans and line with parchment.  Butter again and dust with flour.  Set aside.

In a bowl, combine oil, pineapple, vanilla, eggs and carrots.

In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  Add oil/pineapple mixture and stir well to blend.

Divide evenly among prepared pans.  Rap sharply on counter once, then place in preheated oven.  Bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove to racks to cool for 20 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely.

Frost with cream cheese icing (see Hummingbird Cake blog entry if you need a recipe).  This cake is good the first day, but even better on day 2 or 3.

Happy birthday Eric and congrats to you!  When we drove to Durham last year for your birthday (to cater a party for 25) we had to drive back in a blinding snowstorm.  Please, oh please, let that not be the case this year!

Much love from Mom and Dad.

1 comment:

  1. Give my best to Eric... quite a young man he is.