2 large carrots, finely shredded or grated
1 large parsnip, finely shredded or grated
1 medium zucchini finely shredded or grated
1 apple, tart, peeled, cored and finely shredded or grated
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/2 teaspoon ginger, ground
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar firmly packed
1/2 cup grapeseed oil or another neutral flavored oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup pecan pieces chopped
1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons apple cider
1 cup powdered sugar
1 pinch cinnamon, ground
1/4 cup pecan pieces
Make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper; set aside.
In a medium bowl, toss together the carrots, parsnips, zucchini, and apple; set aside
In another medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugars until light and frothy. Add the oil and vanilla, and whisk until blended. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir using a rubber spatula until just combined. Add the shredded vegetables, apple and the pecans, if using, and stir until they are completely coated with the batter. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake on the middle oven rack until the cake is uniformly brown and quite firm when lightly touched in the center and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes, and then invert the cake onto the cooling rack. Peel off the parchment paper and invert the cake back onto the rack to continue cooling for at least 1 hour.
Make the cider-cinnamon frosting:
In a small bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), add the butter and cream cheese. Using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment), whip the butter, cream cheese, and apple cider together on medium speed until very smooth, about 3 minutes. At low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar and cinnamon and beat until blended. Taste the frosting and add more powdered sugar or cinnamon as needed.
Spread the frosting evenly over the top of the cake, and on the side if desired. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and chopped pecans, if using. Cover the cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve chilled. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
YIELD: 16 servings
SOURCE: Edible by Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian, pg. 278
Gourmet To Go
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Toyota Farm to Table Tour Event at Aptos Farmers Market, April 2011