ITCM turns 1
One year and 3 days ago, ITCM was born.
I wasn’t expecting much to come out of it. I mean, I had no baking skills and photography skills whatsoever. But armed with my Sony cybershot digital camera, a sweet tooth, and some passion, I started this little blog.
One year later, I still have no photography skills, but my sweet tooth has led me through a journey of ups and downs in the sea of kitchen adventures. I think I learned a lot this year. At least I hope so.
I never thought this blog would become such a huge part of my life. Now whenever I see anything interesting/highlarious, anything photo-worthy, I immmediately take out a camera and snap a shot of it.
My family used to laugh at me whenever I took pictures of my food. Whenever I baked something, I would set it on the corner of my coffee table in the middle of my living room and sit there for ages with my camera. Making adjustments here and there to catch the light or have a different angle. My family entertained themselves watching that “interesting” or “silly” process.
They don’t question my sanity anymore though. They’ve gotten so used to it that they actually wait for me to be done with the photos before they dig in! Let’s just say they learned it the hard way whenever they ate before I got to take pictures of my food. I’m aggressive when it comes to food. I love me food.
In summary, the action of whipping out my camera followed by the phrase “for blogging purposes” is something I do like every millisecond.
Secondly, this is where I come to when I want to talk, for a very very long time. I think my real life friends are getting tired of hearing me complain non-stop. I’ve never been good at keeping in my emotions. So time to turn me loose on YOU GUYS! Thanks for being there 🙂 You won’t get tired of me right? I promise I won’t complain allll the time, Ill throw in some good news sometimes.
I’ve been following other foodie blogs for a long time now and I’ve always admired at how successful they are. The people behind those blogs post everyday and they have real jobs! I can never find the time to do that. What I really admired though, was how connected everyone was. Making friends on the internet sounds creepy, but in the food blogging world, it’s one of the bestest things in the world. I don’t know about you, but in my life, there aren’t a lot of people who share the same passion as me for sweets, running and food porn (it’s not that you think it is…). So when I started my blog, it just felt so right. I felt so in place because all of you are just like me!
Here I am one year later, I can’t believe it!
I went from pretty much 0 views everyday, to now averaging about 50-60 views everyday.
I’m looking forward to what’s in store for ITCM next year, and next year and so on.
This is Year One and counting 🙂
There’s so much more I have to learn. So many things I have yet to try, like a baked Alaska!
I started this blog expecting nothing to come out it, but now I can’t wait for this little blog to grow into a grown-up blog like the ones in my blog roll. Those are the blogs I look up to. And hopefully someday, I’ll end up on someone else’s blog roll too.
Yenno what makes me happy? Knowing that someone out there is reading this blog 🙂 You make my day.
On to this carrot cake now, shall we?
THIS. CAKE. IS. PHENOMENAL.
Next to chocolate, one of my favourite desserts is carrot cake and cream cheese.
It’s a must to pair it with cream cheese icing. Watch out chocolate and peanut butter, there’s a new hot couple on the block: carrot cake + cream cheese icing.
This is the second carrot cake recipe I’ve tried and I’m not gonna try any more! This cake baked up with a flat top ( love it!), and a slightly crunchy/chewy exterior. If you like your cakes really soft, this is not for you m’dear. I like mine chunky with lots of textures, so this totally fit the bill! Also, the cream cheese icing is TO DIE FOR. I’ve never made my own before, but I think I’ll be making it everyday from now on and spreading it on anything and everything I eat. It’s the fluffiest yet richest cream cheese frosting. So good.
I can’t believe I haven’t made this cake before. It’s the one from Dorie Greenspans book: Baking from my home to yours. It’s my absolute favourite baking book. Once I feel like I deserve a little treat, I’m getting me that book!
Bill’s Big Carrot Cake
For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots (about 9 carrots, you can grate them in food processor fitted w/ a shredding a blade or use a box grater)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans (I used walnuts)
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened) (I left this out)
½ cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries (I also left this out)
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (that’s one standard stick)
1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 and ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (I didn’t sift and I only used 3 1/4 c)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract (I left this out)
½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional)
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
2. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins.
3. Beat the sugar and oil together until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother.
4. Slowly add the flour mixture, and do not overbeat. (I did this step sans beater. Whisk and bowl all the way!)
5. Gently mix in the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.
6. Bake for 40-50 minutes (I used mini springform pans and baked them for about 20 mins), rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point (I didn’t do that), until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. The cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans.
7.Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
For the frosting
1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy.
2. Gradually add the icing sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth.
3. Beat in the lemon juice or extract if using.
If you’d like coconut in the filling, scoop about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into that portion. (For frosting in between the layers of cake)