Carrot-Beet Cake Recipe

A super-moist carrot spice cake with the goodness of beets!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups white flour, 2 teaspoon baking powder, 2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon soda, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 3 large eggs, 3/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups rough grated carrots

1 cup beet puree: (this is easy… simply cut off the tops and bottoms of 3-5 beets, scrub under warm water. Place in microwave bowl with 3 tablespoons of water and cover. Cook on high for about 8-9 minutes. Let cool, puree in blender or food processor with a few drops of water if needed). Can be made ahead of time and even frozen in sandwich bags. Puree beets are also great when added to risotto!!!

Icing: 1 cup icing/powdered sugar, 1 block of cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, 1/2 tablespoons of orange zest (optional). Bring all ingredients to room temperature and mix until smooth.

1/2 cup walnuts, dark pan-toasted and finely chopped.

ACTIONS NEEDED:

 

Grease and flour two 8″ cake pans.

In a large bowl whisk flour, baking powder, spices, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl beat sugars eggs, oil, vanilla and beet puree. Pour over flour mixture and stir until smooth. Add grated carrots and pour into baking pans, leveling the tops with a spoon.

Bake cake pans in center oven at 350 for about 45 minutes. Once cooked, remove from oven and let cool in pans for about 20 minutes. Carefully remove from pans and cool completely.

 

Assembly: Smooth 1/2 of icing on top of the first cake. Add second layer and cover the top with remaining icing. Sprinkle dark-toasted walnuts on top.

ENJOY!

 

 

 

My Secret Recipe: Montreal Bagels

One of my favourite cities to visit is Montreal in Quebec, Canada. They have some very unique culinary delights in Quebec; like poutine (French fries, cheese and gravy), many smoked meat deli shops (one noteably owned by Canadian singing sensation Celine Dion called Schwartz’s Deli on St. Laurent Street) and well, Montreal bagels are just the best; soft, chewy, smokey and sweet – quite simply, pure heaven!

The production line at St. Viateur Bagels, Montreal:

Bagel

My favourite place in Montreal to get handmade bagels is St. Viateur Bagel. I’ve been itching to make them at home, so on my last trip to Montreal I visited 2 different St. Viateur locations and watched as the bakers rolled, boiled and baked their bagels to perfection. After two attempts, I have perfected a recipe and process and am thrilled to share the recipe and technique with you. These bagels are chewy and have a wonderful smokey flavour due to partially baking them off on a bbq pizza stone. The entire prep and cook time is about 2.5 hours. These bagels freeze beautifully- as a matter of fact, freeze any bagels you will not be eating within 2 days – once thawed and toasted, they will taste like they just came out of the oven.

Bagels; fresh from my oven:

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Montreal-Style Bagels:

1.5 cups hot tap water
6 tablespoons white sugar
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 level tablespoon dry yeast
1 egg
1 tablespoon molasses
4-4 1/2 cups white flour
1 teaspoon salt
Poppy and sesame seeds, dried onion flakes or sea salt
Pot of boiling water
1/2 cup molasses

EGG WASH: 2 eggs, 1/4 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon molasses. Mixed well

Preparation:
In a large bowl whisk together the hot water, sugar, oil, yeast, salt, egg and molasses. Whisk until the yeast dissolves.

Stir in 1 cup of the flour to make a thick paste; then add enough flour to make a soft dough (it should look shaggy and feel a bit sticky, about 3.5 cups.

Shaggy bagel dough:

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Knead dough for 8-9 minutes, adding flour as needed as you go; up to an additional cup if needed. Once your dough is firm then cover with a tea towel and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Bagel dough; ready to rise.

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Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces:

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Roll each piece into a 8-10 inch rope, then connect each end and roll the ends together with your hand until they are blended and the rope forms a dough ring:

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Let the bagel dough rings sit for 20 minutes:

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Fill a wide soup pot with water about half full and add 1/2 cup of molasses, honey or maple syrup (I used molasses for a dark, sweet flavour). Bring that to a boil. Preheat oven to 425f and line two baking sheets with silicone or parchment paper.

Boil 3-4 bagels at a time; 45 seconds on each side. They will puff up and get slightly firm. Remove and let the water drain off onto paper towel.

EGG WASH: In a small bowl whisk 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon of molasses, salt and water. Set aside your toppings to sprinkle on. Dip your bagel in the egg wash and then coat both sides in the dry toppings.

Bagels; boiled, dipped and sprinkled; ready for the oven:

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Bake at 425f for 8-9 minutes, transfer them to a clean tray. Their second round of baking will be on the BBQ pizza stone.

Bagles in the oven for the first half of baking:

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Heat both sides of the BBQ on high, then turn off the piza stone side side of the grill (if you don’t have a pizza stone, use a few well-scrubbed bricks), leaving the other side on full heat. Add some wood smoke chips to create a smokey flavour and bake the bagels (bbq lid down) on the pizza stone until deep brown on the bottom- turn them over until the underside is dark brown- about 5-8 minutes total.

Bagels on the pizza stone:

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Allow to cool and remember: freeze any bagels that won’t be consumed within 2 days. Enjoy!

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