Triple Layer Carrot Cake Cheesecake


Would you like to know one of the words I hate most in the entire English language?

Moist.


I don't know what it is about it that bothers me so much. It could be the little trip down memory lane it gives me, reminiscent of soggy school day sandwiches sitting in my backpack all day until lunch time, and the clammy hands I undoubtedly had when my first crush decided to hold one. Come to think of it, it could also be the "oi" sound combination in the word. The word "ointment" gives me similar shudders. Whatever the reason though, I had essentially banished the word from my vocabulary.


... and then I became a baker. As much as I hate it, moist is actually a pretty essential word in my kitchen vocab. I mean, let's look at its synonyms for a second: damp, dank, soggy, sweaty, wet ... ew. When talking about cake moist is entirely preferential to any of those other words by a long shot. Suddenly the word moist, which could evoke a shudder from me in any other context, became the desired outcome to most everything I made. So I've kind of come to terms with it ... kind of.


So why am I telling you this dear readers? To show how far I've come in my plight against the word? Not quite. I'm telling you this because this particular cake was a Mission: Operation Moist (OM ... nomnomnom)


This challenge of sorts was commissioned by my dad one Monday morning. He and my mom were having people over that following Saturday for something or another, and he was wondering if I would make them something for dessert. Easy enough. The problem, dear readers, is the fact that my parents live about an hour north of me, and as I don't have a car, or a delivery service (unfortunately) this would require both of us to be in the same city at the same time. Which we were going to be ... Thursday morning.


So what's the problem, I hear you ask. Well let's do some simple math (my favourite kind). A dessert picked up Thursday, to be consumed on Saturday is about two days old (if I had made the dessert on the Thursday). But as I was seeing my dad bright and early Thursday morning (about 7:30 am) that means I had to make the dessert on the Wednesday, which means it'd be three days old at the time of consumption. Well, dear readers, there's a reason why bakeries don't serve three day old baked goods (and if they do, they're probably not doing great business): it becomes dry! Dry cake, hard icing, crumbly cookies ... the worst. So this was the challenge: what could I make that would last three days+ without turning into sweet sawdust? And not only that, what could I make that, in three days time, would taste just as delicious as the day it was made? A challenge indeed.



This recipe is the answer. Moist, creamy, cheesecake sandwiched between two moist layers of carrot cake, smothered in a thick layer of dreamy cream cheese frosting (which was moist) and decorated with toasted pecans (which weren't moist but continuing the theme ... moist). Each step in the completion of this cake was so fun and so pretty I had to take more pictures than I usually do. 


Look at those layers! Those symmetrical, moist, layers

After the crumb coat (the first thin layer of frosting)

and of course the finished product ...
Pretty right?


I really wanted to slice into the cake so that I could take a picture of the finished inside, but as a general rule I try not to demolish my client's orders, so somehow I managed to restrain myself, pack it up, and off it went to Barrie with my dad. All that was left to do was wait.

... and wait. I called my parents that night trying to bribe them to eat it and tell me how it was/take that picture for me but sadly it was a no go (should've tried harder with my brother ... I've told you before how much he loves cheesecake). Tried again the next night with the same disheartening result. And then it was Saturday! The day of the get together. I waited all day long to hear about the cake. And waited ... and waited. Finally at around 9pm I called my mom (we've discussed how impatient I am right?). Surprise, they hadn't had it yet. I said something to the tune of "can you hurry it up?!" and hung up the phone to wait some more. 

About an hour later I received an email and a phone call from my dad: it was a hit! Nothing but good things to say, and, get this, it was moist! When I could get a word in edgewise, I asked my dad to take that picture I wanted, but knowing how particular I am with my photos I tried to instruct him as best as I could over the phone. Unfortunately my perfectionist tendencies and the long distance made it very difficult to get the shot I wanted, so I kept asking him to take another one, fixing little things each time. On about the third or fourth attempt, I began to get a little frustrated and asked my dad to try to clean the plate (in a not very PC kind of way. I believe my exact words [with censoring] were "can you make the plate s***less please?" ). This is the response I got, along with the final picture attempt:


(it says: Rev. Steve made it s***less!)
This has quickly become the story of the time that I swore when my family priest was over for dinner. But he cleaned the plate so ... there's that.

No matter how the picture was taken, though, the results were unanimous: a definite hit. I'm told it tasted just as good the next day, and the day after that, so you know what? I'd say mission accomplished.

Happy Baking!

For Cheesecake Layer (make one day ahead):

16 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs (large)
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Preheat oven to 325F. Line bottom of spring form pan with a 9" circle of parchment paper. Spray sides of the pan. Wrap the bottom half of prepared pan in foil, nice and tight. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix cream cheese until fluffy and smooth. Add in the sugar and salt and continue to mix on medium speed for about two minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs one at a time and mix well after each. Add sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla and mix until batter is completely smooth. Gently stir in lemon zest. Pour into prepared pan, and set inside of a roasting pan or deep dish. Place into the oven and carefully pour hot water into the roasting pan, until the bottom inch of the cake pan is covered. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until cake is set. Remove from oven, and roasting pan, and sit on wire rack to cool. Once completely cool, wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap and set into the freezer for several hours, or overnight, until completely frozen.

For Carrot Cake Layers:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch of salt
3 cups shredded carrots
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups canola oil

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two 9" cake pans with non stick baking spray. Set aside. Combine all dry ingredients (except sugars) in a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside. In bowl of stand mixer mix sugars and eggs until well combined, about a minute. Add in the carrots and dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated (do not overmix). Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans, and place on middle rack for approximately forty minutes, rotating at the 20 minute mark. When tester comes out clean, remove cakes from the oven and let cool on a wire rack until completely cooled, approximately two hours. 

For Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and cream cheese together in bowl of mixer until light and fluffy, with no lumps remaining. Add sifted icing sugar one cup at a time, until you've reached your desired consistency. Add vanilla and mix until just combined.

For Pecans:

2 cups pecans, chopped

Place pecans on foil lined baking sheet at 300F. Ready when fragrant, about 8-10 minutes

Assembly:

Remove cake from pans. On a cake turntable, or flat surface, place first cake right side up. Place unwrapped cheesecake layer on top, and then the final carrot cake layer, upside down. Press together gently. If cheesecake hangs out a little, wait about 10 minutes, and then carefully trim with a knife. Taking the cream cheese frosting, smooth a thin, even coat over the cake. This is called the crumb coat, so that when you do the final frosting of your cake, you won't be dragging any crumbs through the frosting. Set in the fridge for about an hour to cool. Take cake out of the fridge and cover with the leftover frosting. Finish the outside with toasted pecans.

(more than) good for apparently up to a week!








3 comments:

  1. A beautiful looking carrot cake, which is my families favorite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your comment! It's definitely a favourite in my family as well, and this recipe is definitely a new family staple :)

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