tonight's dinner calls for cleaning out the fridge and eating up your leftovers! we've been working hard on yummy meals this week and that hard work will pay off AGAIN when we can just reheat and eat tonight. AND, while we enjoy a no cook dinner, we have time (and energy) to make dessert!!! that's certainly something i don't do much of. this cake is awesome and really showcases the freshness of florida oranges which are still in season and as sweet as ever. enjoy! orange-carrot cake:
adapted from farmers' market desserts cookbook by jennie schacht (thank you again, laura, for this great christmas present!)
preheat the oven to 350 degrees. coat a bundt pan with cooking spray.
grate 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of zest from an orange and set aside. peel two oranges and cut them in half, poking out any seeds. put the oranges in a food processor and pulse until they are in small chunks. transfer the oranges to a medium bowl and stir in the 1 tablespoon of orange zest and 3 cups of gently packed, peeled, and grated carrots (i cheated here and brought the carrots already grated from trader joe's...HUGE time saver!).
stir together 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl. whisk together 4 large eggs, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup canola oil, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl until well combined. stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients mixture just until blended. using a spatula, stir in the carrot-orange mixture (including any juice).
pour the batter in the bundt pan. bake about 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted near the center of the cake tests clean. let it cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
as the cake cools, time to make the frosting...
orange creme fraiche frosting:
beat together 12 ounces of softened cream cheese and 1 stick of unsalted, softened butter in a mixer on medium speed until smooth. on low speed, gradually add 2 cups confectioners' sugar and beat until combined, stopping to scarpe down the bowl as needed. add 3/4 cup creme fraiche, 1/2 teasppon vanilla extract, pinch of kosher salt, and the 1 teaspoon of orange zest you had set aside and beat until smooth. once smooth, increase the speed to medium and beat until thick and creamy, about 15 seconds. cover and refrigerate until firm enough to spread, about 45 minutes.
invert the cake pan over a serving plate and use a knife to loosen the edges. once the cake is on the serving plate and the frosting is ready to use, spread the frosting over the entire cake. refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to set the frosting (you can refrigerate it for up to 3 days, just cover it once the frosting sets). its good served cold or at room temperature. we froze a big chunk of it hoping to be able to enjoy some later, i will let you know if freezing it works...