Carrot Cake with Lemon Mascarpone
Source: Food and Wine
Inspired by his time apprenticing in Italy, Howell uses mascarpone in this light
and lemony frosting instead of cream cheese—carrot cake's more classic partner.
Be sure not to overbeat the mascarpone so that it doesn't become grainy.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons, plus more for garnish
Pinch of salt
1 pound mascarpone (2 cups), at room temperature
1/2 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 9-by-2-inch
round cake pans. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder,
cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
2. In a food processor, finely chop the carrots; scrape the carrots into a large
bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat in the sugar and salt. Add the eggs, 1 at a
time, and beat at low speed until blended. Gradually beat in the oil. Beat in
the dry ingredients just until the batter is blended, scraping the sides and
bottom of the bowl while mixing.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or
until a tester inserted in the center of the layer cakes comes out clean.
Transfer the pans to a rack and let the layers cool completely.
4. Make the frosting: In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, lemon juice, lemon
zest and salt and mix at low speed until the sugar is dissolved. Add the
mascarpone and beat at low speed until creamy; do not overbeat.
5. Unmold the layer cakes and center 1 of the layers on a platter. Spread half
of the mascarpone frosting on top, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge.
Top with the remaining cake layer and spread the remaining mascarpone frosting
on the top. Garnish with the toasted almonds and lemon zest and serve at room
MAKE AHEAD The unfrosted layers can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room
temperature for up to 2 days. The frosted cake can be refrigerated overnight
stored in an airtight container.
WINE Point up the citrusy, spicy and earthy flavors in this dessert with a
late-harvest Sémillonbased wine that has layers of honey and ripe fruit. The
1995 Beringer Nightingale Napa Valley and the 1996 Far Niente Dolce Napa Valley
are two of California's best.
This recipe originally appeared in April 2001.
MAKES ONE 9-INCH LAYER CAKE