Happee Monkee

Photography, food & travel

Hurra! Carrot Cake

By • Mar 17th, 2011 • Category: Baking Projects

I was smiling the whole time while photographing this cake. The sunlight in the background, the cute and colourful bravado behind those words made me happy. And with every happy thought and emotions I felt, I dedicated it to Japan.

Lately, my heart wrenches every time I see the news. My friends are suffering and I wish I can do a lot more. Yesterday, I was looking for a way to send a foods & goods parcel to the families I met in Akita and Yamagata but I was told that the postal systems were down due to poor road access and petrol shortages.

So someone special advised me to do the next best thing — pray for those who are in need and send them happy thoughts. Our good thoughts, prayers, words have powerful ways of helping people. This concept is not a strange one to me, and in fact, I believe very much in it. It may sound random, but I know it works.

Some years back, during a group meditation, the leader of the group told us to direct happy thoughts to a person; a friend, family, someone we knew who could do with some loving. I chose to focus on C., a good friend of mine, who at that time was working in Japan. I noted the time to be somewhere between 9.30p.m. and 10p.m. I was curious, would C. be able to feel anything?

I couldn’t wait to get home and chat with C. via the Internet. I did find her and I asked, without telling her about the meditation, if she felt or thought anything different that day. C. replied out-of-the-blue, on her way home from work, she started thinking about me. I recounted my experience to her and when we compared time, it was within the same window.

There are many instances when I did focus on sending happy thoughts on someone, I later found that the person was also thinking about me.

Believe it or not, what we are thinking right now affects people, near or far.

In one of my recent posts about my travels Kyoto, I’d mentioned about blogger Chika from She Who Eats and her effort to raise funds for Japan. She has generously tied it in with a sakura (cherry blossoms) ingredient giftaway. Kudos to her and many other bloggers on blogosphere for doing whatever they can to help.

Here’s a list of blogs you can go to to contribute. Every bit counts and no efforts are too small:

I love what Chika said towards the end of her post:

“There is this old saying in Japanese, “winter always turns to spring”. Even when the life is hard, we will not give up hope and hold out until it gets warm and things ease up. That’s exactly where we stand now, except we must make every efforts to make winter turn to spring.”

Let’s keep our thoughts positive and give hope, love, faith and prayer to those who are in Japan.

Simple Layered Carrot Cake (adapted from Mrs. Multitasker)
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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup sunflower oil
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2-3 large carrots, grated (I used about 4 small carrots)
  • ½ tbsp lemon zest
  • ½ cup sultanas

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 3 packs cream cheese (600g), warmed to room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup icing sugar
  • 1 cup of walnuts, chopped finely

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Spray a 9 x 12 inch baking pan (that comes up at least 1-inch on the sides) with nonstick cooking spray, line the pan with baking parchment, and spray one more time over the parchment. Set aside.
  2. Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Whisk the oil, brown sugar, eggs together in a large bowl by hand or with an electric mixer.
  4. Add the flour mixture and continue whisking till the flour is combined into the mixture.
  5. Using a spatula, stir in the grated carrots, sultanas and lemon zest. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean and just slightly moist.
  7. Allow cake to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

For the Cream Cheese Filling, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Mix in the icing sugar on low speed and beat till the filling is smooth and free of lumps. Keep the cream cheese at room temperature so it is spreadable.

To Assemble, place a cutting board on top of your cake pan and, gripping the board and pan together securely, invert the carrot cake onto the cutting board and peel off the parchment. Use a serrated knife to cut the cake lengthwise in half. Slice each half into 3 thin layers to get 6 layers in total.

Using a flat spatula, spread about 1/2 cup of the cream cheese filling over the layer. Alternate the cake layers. Press down lightly on each cake layer as it is added so the cake will be compact. Spread the remaining cream cheese on top of cake and sides. Take chopped walnuts and slowly transfer to the four sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours.

Indulge!

xoxo,
Mable

P.S.: Don’t forget about our own Yummilicious Postcard or 5×5 photo sets Giveaway! Closing date is April 1 2011

Related posts:

  1. Moist Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
  2. Matcha Tiramisu
  3. Sponge Cake with Caramel Pears
  4. Spiced Apple Tea Cake
  5. Flourless Chocolate Orange Cake
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6 Responses »

  1. Yea, I know … Must look at the brighter side of things amid difficulties … I love that Japanese saying, makes lot of sense to me … Thank you for sharing your thoughts. =)

    Oh, your carrot cake looks stellar btw. I’m gonna make some to fix my cravings, too …

  2. Beautiful post and beautiful cake Mable! I too believe in the power of positive thinking – will send some love across the ocean today. :)

  3. Your cake is gorgeous! And this was a very sweet tribute! My thoughts and prayers have been with them since the moment I heard.

  4. Thanks all. Spread the love :D

  5. hey Mable :D i love the look of your carrot cake, it looks so moist and delicious!

    i like your post on Japan and i guess doing this can help the Japanese spirtually. words of encouragement are supported too :) i’m really glad my friends and family in Japan are alright!

    by the way, i’m not sure if you do these things but, i have given you a blog award, please come to my blog and claim it if you have time.

  6. Hi Viv,
    Thanks for dropping by. I’m super glad that your friends and family are okay. Mine are too. I spent many days clung to the sofa watching the news but it only feeds me more fear. Deep in my heart I know they will be okay. Somehow. Time will heal.

    Hahaha, funny you mentioned. I used to get awards from my previous blog (Twenty Something & Cooking) but for some reason ever since I moved to Happee Monkee it stopped! Thanks for awarding me. It’s a fun thing and it’s nice to be acknowledged :)

    Take care you.
    Mable

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