White Chocolate and Honey Roasted Golden Carrot Cake with Honey Lemon Frosting

August 26, 2014

 

whole carrot cake

 

About 15 years ago, I stood in front of a group of about fifty diverse university students, both male and female, from all over the world, and asked, “How many of you are feminists?” One woman in the back sheepishly raised her hand.

I walked to the blackboard. Chalk in hand, I wrote the word ‘feminist’ on the board. I underlined it and said: “Describe a feminist.” Immediately, they began to holler out words, shouting over one another, as I quickly jotted down their words.

“Masculine” “Militant” “Man-hater” “Ugly” “Hairy” “Doesn’t shave underarms” “Bitch” “Mean” “Violent” “Angry”

“Okay” I said, writing the word ‘feminine’ on the board,  “Describe someone who is feminine.”

“Soft” “Gentle” “Dumb” “Girly” “Quiet” “Sweet” “Pretty” “Submissive” “Weak”

I wrote it all down.

“Now, Describe someone who is masculine.” They responded, I continued to document.

“Strong” “Powerful” “Competitive” “Rich” “Brave” “Tough” “Athletic” “Smart” “Winner”

I stood back and let them look at the headings and the words they used to describe each. I gave them a few minutes to look at the board and let their beliefs sink in.

 

 

overhead carrot cake

carrot cake on table

golden carrot cake

 

“I repeated the words,  ‘feminist,’ ‘feminine,’ and ‘masculine’ and asked, “which description does our culture value the most?” At once and together, they answered, “masculine.” Some of them began to look upset.

I let the discomfort pervade the room for a few minutes. Slowly and quietly, I took out the dictionary and read them definition of feminist.

Feminist: noun A person who believes that women should have social, political, legal, and economic rights equal to those of men.

I paused and repeated the question, “How many of you are feminists?”

Every hand in the room went up.

 

carrot cake slicecarrot cake slicesliced carrot cake

 


I’m often amazed by both how much (and occasionally how little) has changed since that day. I recently stumbled upon this wonderful video made by the bloggers at Mom Life. Check it out by clicking here.

You’ve been visiting this blog for a while. Do tell… are you a feminist?

 

carrot cake with fork

bite of carrot cake

 

 

While you ponder that thought, let me tell you about this cake. It starts with a confession – I don’t like carrot cake- at all. I especially don’t like carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. So, I set out to make one I did like and I have to tell you, it’s fantastic.

I’m also looking forward to making the dark chocolate version of this cake. If you prefer the dark chocolate version, try substituting purple carrots for golden carrots, dark chocolate for white chocolate and take out 3 tbs. of flour and substitute cocoa powder. If you go with the dark chocolate version, you may also want to try vanilla instead of lemon juice in the frosting. Let me know how it turns out.

P.S. Lisa over at Anali’s First Amendment just informed me that 94 years ago today, US women earned the right to vote. It wasn’t handed to them. They truly struggled for it. Watch this and you’ll get a glimpse of what women went through. Makes Lady Sybil’s outing look a bit tame.

 

White Chocolate Honey Roasted Golden Carrot Cake

 

8 oz. (240 g) golden carrots (about 5 or 6 medium carrots)

2 tbs local honey

1 c (175 g) good quality white chocolate, chopped (I used Callebaut)

14 tbs (275 g) unsalted butter

1 c (135 g) flour

1 pinch sea salt

1 1/4 tsp (6 g) baking powder

5 large eggs, separated

pinch of cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 425º

Wash, peel and slice carrots. Toss with 2 tbs. local honey and roast for about 10-15 minutes or until tender.

Remove from oven. Turn off oven. Cool carrots for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, melt the butter and white chocolate together. Cool.

(Be careful not to burn the chocolate or it will separate. Typically, I put the butter and chocolate into a glass or ceramic bowl. cover with plastic wrap and microwave for about 45 seconds on high. I then take it out of the oven and stir, letting the residual heat of the bowl melt the chocolate. If necessary, I’ll return the bowl to the oven, microwaving and stirring in 15 second intervals until the chocolate is melted.)

Puree carrots in food processor with 2 tsp. local honey. Add egg yolks and process. Add the cooled, melted chocolate and process until smooth. Set aside. (Note: everything needs to be cooled at this stage because if you add hot ingredients, you may cook the egg).

Measure the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350º 180º C. Thoroughly butter and flour a round angel food cake pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add egg whites and cream of tartar. Begin whisking on low speed. Gradually increase speed to medium. When the eggs begin to get foamy, increase the speed again and slowly add the sugar. Whip until soft peaks form. (Soft peaks are formed when you pull the whisk away from the mixture and the egg whites stand up but remain shiny and flop over a bit at the top. The egg whites will begin to look like marshmallow fluff / marshmallow creme.)

Fold the carrot, honey, yolk mixture into the whipped egg white mixture.

Sprinkle the flour mixture on top and fold just until the flour is mixed in.

Pour cake batter into the pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool completely. Remove from pan. Frost with Honey Lemon Frosting (below).

 

Honey Lemon Frosting

 

26 tbs (375 g) butter, slightly softened

2 c (220 g) organic powdered sugar

2 tbs (35 ml) fresh lemon juice

2 tbs (15 g) white chocolate, melted

1 tsp local honey

Additional powdered sugar, set aside, if needed

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed.

Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. If frosting is not thick enough, add powdered sugar until a smooth, creamy consistency develops.

 


Bon appétit! 


 

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32 Comments

  • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre - Food and Style September 16, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Hooray for you, and for educating those kids. The cake looks delicious — and the dark chocolate version sounds wonderful!

    • Reply freshblog September 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm

      It definitely made for an interesting day. Thanks, Viviane!

  • Reply Sarah September 10, 2014 at 11:06 am

    This is heavy stuff but I’m Totally with you. I’ll take a slice of that fabulous looking cake too.

    • Reply freshblog September 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm

      Thanks, Sarah!

  • Reply Sally August 31, 2014 at 8:38 am

    I can’t wait to try this! I like carrot cake well enough, BUT I would never go out of my way to make it unless specifically requested to. This, on the other hand, looks like a keeper. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Reply freshblog September 2, 2014 at 9:57 am

      Thanks Sally- I couldn’t agree more!

  • Reply Lisa August 28, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Raising my hand! I am a feminist! Love the story of how you handled the classroom. I’m sure some if not all of those students found that day to be a pivotal moment in their lives and their belief systems.

    Now for the recipe. You have taken carrot cake to a whole other level. Amazing! Thank you for the shout out too! : )

    • Reply freshblog August 28, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      Thanks Lisa!

  • Reply Lizzy (Good Things) August 27, 2014 at 2:21 am

    Love this cake, El… and I love the story with it!

    • Reply freshblog August 27, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      Thanks Liz!

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar August 26, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    That frosting is a true dream! Love this cake.

    • Reply freshblog August 26, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      It’s so tasty- thanks!

  • Reply Janice @Kitchen Heals Soul August 26, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    It really is quite shocking to list how people perceive women vs men on a blackboard and then stare at it. Really hits you in the face!
    I am a feminist. I think the word comes with a lot of prejudice & presumptions, which is too bad because it’s still an important movement.

    I love the texture & crumb of this cake. It’s just the way I like my cake. And it has such a beautiful golden tint, I guess from the carrots as well as the eggs. Lovely 🙂

    • Reply freshblog August 26, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      It does make you look at your own beliefs. I agree, it is important. And, the cake- is delicious.

  • Reply Asha August 26, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Welcome back El! And what a way to return 🙂 Both the subject of post and photo ;))

    As it happens, “Feminist” and “Feminism” has been something I have been pondering over. My two cents.

    I disagree that feminism is connected with weakness and submission. Power lies not within aggression but simply is, in all forms, warm and soft or cold and hard 🙂

    Having said that, I stand for equal rights. I also stand for the right to choose. Often these days, you hear from women, claiming to be feminists, that women who prefer to be domestic or not to be financially and emotionally independent have forsaken the cause of feminism. Oddly, for preaching equal rights with men, they forget about equal rights within women. Those who choose to stay at home, be wives and mothers and not pursue a career are as equal as those who choose a career, prefer not to have kids or become activist.

    In essence, I stand for equanimity, man or woman and especially intra-gender

    • Reply freshblog August 26, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      Thanks Asha! I think Gloria Steinem would agree with you that feminism is about choice. She explains it well in the video I link too also. Thanks for your 2 cents. It’s great to hear from you!

    • Reply freshblog August 27, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      And just so you know, the words came from the students, not from me. I I had saved my notes from that day and wanted to share them with you. I agree. It’s all about choice. Both men and women should be able to being able be fully human, expressing both masculine and feminine sides of themselves, and choose a life that suits them without judgement. Thanks, again!

      • Reply Asha August 28, 2014 at 3:46 pm

        Sorry, I do know that they were your students’ words 🙂 I didn’t mean to say that you were saying that…
        I am just surprised that feminism seems to bring up images of docility rather than just being something to do with the feminine side of things 🙂

        • Reply freshblog August 28, 2014 at 5:35 pm

          Lol. No worries at all. I just wanted to clarify. I appreciate your thoughts!

  • Reply Becca Lee August 26, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Thank you for writing about something meaningful. I love recipe posts but occasionally it’s nice to read a thoughtful piece. I love the way you handled the topic in your classroom. Wish I could have been there! Do you still teach?

    I’m definitely a feminist. I didn’t always feel that way because I don’t think I understood what it meant. Now that I do, I’m proud to be one. Thank god for Gloria Steinem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My HUSBAND too. He’s a more of a feminist than I am. Can’t wait to read this to him.

    Oh, the cake looks homie and delicious!

    • Reply freshblog August 26, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      Thanks Becca. I do more training now. The cake is wonderful!

  • Reply Susan August 26, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Interesting topic! I did watch the video and remember Gloria Steinem years ago and what she did to help support women’s social and political rights. I am absolutely a feminist and can’t imagine any woman who would want her rights taken away. I do agree, that the word itself is a stumbling block and has had a negative connotation which is a shame.

    I do love traditional carrot cake but have to say this one with the roasted carrots and white chocolate looks amazing! I can see the moistness.

    • Reply freshblog August 26, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      Awesome! I don’t know why I don’t like the traditional. Maybe I haven’t had a really good one. This one I love though. It actually gets better on the second and third day! Thanks for your input.

  • Reply cheri August 26, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Yes, I am a feminist!!! Very interesting………. Beautiful cake, love the frosting! Great post!

    • Reply freshblog August 26, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      Thanks Cheri- Much appreciated!

  • Reply thelittleloaf August 26, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Have you read Roxane Gay’s new book, Bad Feminist? It’s a fascinating look at what it means to be a feminist. Gorgeous looking cake by the way!

    • Reply freshblog August 26, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      I haven’t but I’ll check it out- thanks!

  • Reply Lydia N. August 26, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    I like basic carrot cake but this goes above and beyond. Beautiful looking cake. I’m looking forward to trying it this weekend. I’m glad you brought this topic up. I was raised in an incredibly sexist house and have spent years trying to undo the damage. I’m not at all surprised by your students reactions and hope things have changed since I was a kid. I’m trying hard not to pass on what I learned to my kids who are both boys. I teach them to be respectful to women and to all people. I hope someday they can say they’re feminists too because all people should have equality in society.

  • Reply Rosa August 26, 2014 at 9:34 am

    A great post and delightful cake!

    Of course, I ama feminist. I am a human being and like any other human being, I have rights.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    • Reply freshblog August 26, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      That’s very logical Rosa- Thanks for the input!

  • Reply Janet August 26, 2014 at 8:44 am

    El, welcome back! I’ve never seen a carrot cake look this yummy. I’m going to reread this again later but the short answer is yes, absolutely, I am a feminist!

    • Reply freshblog August 26, 2014 at 9:06 am

      Thanks Janet! It’s been a hectic summer but it’s nice to reconnect with everyone. And, have some cake!

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