Caramelized Carrot Cake Bread : Feb SRC

I’m hoping you’re reading the title of this post and having the same reaction I did… WHATTTTT?!??!!  When I read about this recipe on my SRC partner’s blog… I was just amazed.  I don’t think I can personally ever be so creative.  What an awesome recipe.  Whoa.  I just had to try it.

After a month off, I’m back on with the Secret Recipe Club.  For those of you who haven’t checked it out before, please do!  The Secret Recipe Club (or the SRC) has been a really fun way to encourage me to try new recipes and connect with new bloggers.  Each month, everyone in the club gets an assignment to check out another blogger’s page.  We then pick ANY of their existing recipes and make them ourselves!  Then, on reveal day (today), we all post about our findings and experiences.  I have made some of my favorite recipes EVER from some of my paired blogs (check out THIS one… omg).

Secret Recipe Club

This month, I was paired with the blog:  Easily Good Eats.  It was so hard to pick just one recipe to make from this blog.  Like I said- she is so creative!  There are so many interesting recipes from different cuisines and countries around the world.  Very impressive.  I was automatically drawn to this recipe once I saw the word “Caramelized”…. I was practically drooling (as I am sure you are now too!)…  I won’t waste any more time, here is what I made:

it's as good as it looks.

it’s as good as it looks.

Caramelized Carrot Cake Bread

Makes:  1 Loaf

Ingredients:

1 cup Flour
½ cup Sugar, divided into 1/4’s 
1½ cups Carrots, peeled and grated
½ cup Unsalted Butter (1 stick)
2 Eggs, large
just under 1/4 cup Milk (I used 2%)
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
1½ teaspoons Baking Powder
 
Directions
  1. Prepare a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Add ¼ cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon of water to a saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook on high heat until the sugar turns dark red. It will happen- I promise.  (I used a rubber spatula) Stir and don’t let it burn!
  3. Add carrots and butter.  Cook over low heat until the carrots becomes soft. This will take about 15-20 minutes. Puree the mixture (optional). Let the mixture cool completely.  *Optional to puree the mixture in a food processor- I did not*
  4. In a bowl beat ¼ cup sugar and eggs until the sugar dissolves. Add to the carrot mixture together with milk and mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture.  Don’t overmix.
  6. Pour the batter into loaf pan and bake at 350°F until done, about 30-40 minutes. A skewer inserted in the middle of the cake should come out clean.

Recipe slightly adapted from: Butterscotch (Caramelized) Carrot Cake

At first, this recipe was a little more labor-intensive than what I’m used to.  First of all, I don’t really bake that much.  I also rolled my eyes when I saw how much carrot I’d have to grate.  But then I remembered, OMG, I have a food processor!  I finally was able to use our engagement gift from Dave’s parents in a new way- the grating tool!  Once I got it set up and peeled my carrots, it took literally 45 seconds.  It was the easiest thing ever, I totally recommend doing this- it will save you so much time!  Once the carrots were grated, the rest was simple.  Cook up the sugar, add the butter, carrots, and make the bread.

Lots of shredded carrots!  Thank goodness for our new food processor :)

Lots of shredded carrots! Thank goodness for our new food processor 🙂

If you were curious about what caramelizing carrots looked like...

If you were curious about what caramelizing carrots looked like…

Here is the batter with the wet ingredients and carrots

Here is the batter with the wet ingredients and carrots

I should also tell you that you should make DOUBLE this recipe.  You’re going to want to eat the whole loaf yourself, but also share one- it is one hell of an impressive recipe… show off your skills!  Next time, I’m going to double AND make a little bit of cream cheese glaze to drizzle overtop.

Finished product!  YUM!

Finished product! YUM!

Now that I’ve probably made you hungry for something sweet…

check out some of the other blogger’s recipes from this month’s SRC!

Creamy Carrot Soup w/ Scallion-Poppy Topping

I know it’s getting warmer out here in Philly.  The geese have returned to the parking lot where I work (next to the river), it’s sunny on my ride home, and it’s starting to feel like that time of year where I can go get Fro-Yo or Ice Cream every day.

I love seeing my "Friends" when I'm leaving work!

I love seeing my “Friends” when I’m leaving work!

With all of that being said… I still am trying to squeeze in a few more soup recipes for you.  I can’t get enough of soup and that’s just going to have to be okay going into the Springtime here.

Today’s recipe is a really healthy vegetarian soup which I served as a main course for dinner (maybe a little more than 6 servings).  It would also be a great starter making the suggested 12 servings.

My Fitness Pal tells me that splitting this recipe into 6 makes a 179 calorie dish.  Considering how full I was after I ate this, I’m VERY pleased here.

Creamy Carrot Soup w/ Scallion-Poppy Topping

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

2 Tablespoons Grapeseed Oil, DIVIDED

1 Onion, coarsely chopped

1 quart (box) of Low Sodium, Organic Veggie Broth

1 quart of Water

2 lbs Carrots, sliced into 1/3 inch thick discs (approx)

6 Scallions, sliced very thin

2 teaspoons Poppy Seeds

2 Tablespoons Fat Free Half and Half

1/2 cup 2% Milk

Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  In a dutch oven or VERY large pot, melt the butter and 1 Tablespoon of oil.  Add the chopped onion, stir, cover, and cook over low heat stirring occasionally for about 5-7 minutes.

2.  Add the carrots first (i didn’t and splashed EVERYWHERE), then the broth and water.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Cover and lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the carrots are soft (about 30 min).    

3.  While the soup is cooking, in a small saucepan, heat a Tablespoon of Oil with the Scallions and Poppy Seeds.  Cook over med-high heat while stirring for about a minute.  Set aside.

4.  Check a carrot to make sure they are cooked, then either blend the soup with an immersion blender or work in batches to puree the soup in a blender until smooth.  Stir in the FF Half and Half (or use heavy cream if you like that sort of thing) and milk.  Simmer over medium heat and stir.  Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.  Serve with the Scallion-Poppy Seed mixture as garnish.

Recipe adapted from:  Food & Wine

Three Carrots = 2lbs?!  I got these babies at the Italian Market for $1 :)

Three Carrots = 2lbs?! I got these babies at the Italian Market for $1 🙂

PicMonkey Collagephoto 1 (6)

I served this soup with "quick biscuits" I tried for the first time... recipe coming soon (Bisquick, Sour Cream, and Sprite... whatttttt?!)

I served this soup with “quick biscuits” I tried for the first time… recipe coming soon (Bisquick, Sour Cream, and Sprite… whatttttt?!)

Look, my scallion-poppy mix turned into a heart when I stirred it :)

Look, my scallion-poppy mix turned into a heart when I stirred it 🙂

Are you still in SOUP-MODE?!  Try one of my other favorites…

Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Buffalo Chicken Soup

Buffalo Chicken Soup

Creamy Tomato Balsamic Soup

Creamy Tomato Balsamic Soup