I don’t know how I missed this, but carrot cake is an Easter thing. I mean, I don’t celebrate Easter so I guess it’s not *that* much of a surprise that I didn’t know. But when I started seeing carrot cake everywhere this weekend, I put two and two together.
I love carrot cake anytime of year but I crave it most when it’s cold. Maybe it’s the reassuring blend of ground spices. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s slightly healthy. In the winter, I tend to eat more unhealthy because some of my favorite produce isn’t available.
Whatever it is, when temperatures drop below freezing, I need carrot cake in my life. Yesterday, the weather in St. Louis went from a cold spring day to a winter apocalypse. There was ice coming down from the sky that I’ve never seen before. I’m not exaggerating.
To make myself feel better and distract myself from the impending gloom, I made this carrot cake bread. It came together quickly and it made my house smell like the best scented candle. I stood over the loaf for a couple minutes after it came out the oven. It made me feel the same way I would standing under a heat lamp, but better because it smelled good and I could eat it.
I thought about adding some ingredients to the bread such as golden raisins or pineapple. Carrot cake is a good canvas for additions. Shredded coconut would also be delicious mixed in the batter.
Still, I think this loaf speaks for itself. You could add things to it or you could just enjoy it as is. I brought some into work but I also saved a slice for myself to have with tea later this morning. I need some Monday motivation.
In other news, Kacey Musgraves’ new album is really good. I already talked about it a little yesterday in Dimanche, but I wanted to devote more space to it here.
I read an article Friday where the writer gave the album a mostly good review, but also complained about it being jarring. The songs are different than Musgraves’ earlier work, more whimsical and eccentric, the writer said, so it took some adjusting.
I don’t know what album they were listening to but the one I heard is nothing short of a masterpiece. Yeah, it’s different in tone and content than some of Musgraves’ earlier work. But at the end of the day, can you really call yourself an artist if you don’t evolve? The answer to that question is, no. I applaud Musgraves for her bold departure from earlier work and her commitment to creating music that isn’t meant to please everyone. We have enough artists like that already.
Here’s another one of my favorite songs from the album.
Carrot Cake Bread
6 oz unsalted butter, melted and browned to just over 1/2 cup of butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 whole milk
1 1/4 cup grated carrots
Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan.
Melted the butter in a small saucepan over medium high heat. The butter will crackle and then it will go silent, which means that it’s browning. Swirl it in the pan as it cooks. Once it turns a golden brown color and smells nutty, remove the butter from the heat and pour it into a small bowl to use later. Make sure you watch the butter as it cooks: It can burn easily.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Stir together the eggs, vanilla extract, milk, carrots, and cooled butter in a medium bowl.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients all at once and fold them together until they’re just mixed. Make sure you get the extra flour that tends to hide at the bottom of the bowl. Do not overmix.
Place a sheet of parchment paper in the middle of the loaf pan to make it easier to remove the bread later. Scoop the batter into the pan.
Bake for about an hour, or until a pick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then invert the loaf and allow it come to room temperature on a wire rack.
Tightly wrap the leftovers in saran wrap to make sure the bread doesn’t dry out. Enjoy!