The Absolute Best Carrot Cake or More on Corona

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sous vide carrot cake

The short and sweet answer is I prefer to talk cake today, but not just any cake. This cake. The cake that my daughter said is the best she ever tasted and the one my picky grand-daughter with her mouth-full said, “Kiki can you make this for my birthday party?” It’s a carrot cake done “the Keys method” sous vide.

naked cake right out of the pan

Evenly baked from edge to center this lightly spiced and perfectly moist cake needs no embellishment. Truth is I prefer my cakes naked, but for a special occasion layer and swirl your favorite cream cheese frosting and add some toasted nuts for a little contrast in texture. I am not a huge frosting fan, so I used only about 2 cups worth for this cake. In a bowl, I whipped 3 ounces of cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of butter, 1/4 cup of super fine sugar (not powdered sugar) and about 1/4 cup heavy cream until it was thick and creamy. The garnish of candied pecans are from Whole Foods. You can find them in the cheese section of the store or just use any toasted nuts you like whole or chopped around the edge of the frosted cake.

Sous Vide Carrot Cake

105 grams all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

52 grams unsalted butter, melted

100 grams light brown sugar

1 egg

¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce (sorry I forgot to measure it out in grams)

1 teaspoon vanilla

100 grams coarsely grated carrots

Set up your water bath and immersion circulator according to your equipment. Heat water bath to 198F and set cook time for 90 minutes. Lightly coat a 6-inch round cake pan with non-stick spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper and spray with no-stick spray. In mixing bowl, whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt; set aside. In another bowl, whisk melted butter and brown sugar until all lumps are worked out of the sugar. Whisk in egg, applesauce and vanilla. Stir in carrots and then dry ingredients until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Insert pan into a 1-gallon Ziploc bag centering pan over bottom of bag. Add a magnet, facing out, from side of pan. Cover pan with a heat proof plate. Seal bag pushing out as much air as possible. Drop sealed cake into water bath attaching magnet to side of container making sure cake pan is submerged to its rim or slightly below water. Make slight adjustments, if needed, to be sure cake pan is level. Cook cake for 90 minutes. Remove from water bath and open bag to let heat escape. Carefully remove cake from bag and remove plate. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edge and invert on to cooling rack. Remove parchment paper. Cool completely. Slice in half horizontally (or into 3 layers) to fill and frost with cream cheese frosting. Garnish edge with crunchy candied pecans. Serves 8.

sous vide carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and candied pecans

BTW if you need a visual for preparing the sous vide cake pan set up then you can find that here

Don’t forget to wash your hands before you eat 🙂 Be well.

Sous Vide Sweet Asian Butternut Squash

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Sous vide cooking is a girl’s best friend. Yes, a boy’s best friend, too. You see I cooked this incredibly delicious side-dish while I was out in the garden. It’s the beauty of sous vide…I don’t have to babysit the cooking process. Set it, forget it and get outside to soak up the vitamin D. Life is good and so is this butternut squash recipe.

I know. What the heck is black garlic molasses? It’s a complex flavor explosion in your mouth is what it is. Kind of like an orchestra of nutty, roasted garlic in harmony with savory and sweet dried fruit. A product of Japan it’s made from fermenting garlic and then slow-roasting the black garlic into this black gold molasses syrup. It’s expensive, but a little goes a long way.

Whenever vacuum sealing I recommend putting all liquid ingredients in the bottom of the bag. Fold the top of the bag back so not to get it wet or sticky with ingredients which could prevent the bag from sealing properly. Add the squash. The squash becomes like an obstacle so the vacuum sealer doesn’t draw the liquid up to high and into the machine. Just watch.

Now just drop the bag in your heated water bath and go do something fun for an hour……

When ready to serve just snip open the bag, pour into a serving dish and toss with a little green onion and cilantro. Perfectly fork tender and fragrant this side dish can pair well any protein, but equally as good served over rice as a main dish for my vegetarian friends.

Sous Vide Sweet Asian Butternut Squash

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 tablespoon sweet Asian chili sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

¼ teaspoon black garlic molasses

¼ teaspoon grated ginger

1 small butternut squash, peeled, cubed (2 cups)

Garnish

1 green onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Optional: add ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil to bag and then finish with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.

Heat water bath to 170F. Place chili sauce, soy sauce, molasses and ginger in bottom of cooking bag. Add squash and vacuum seal bag. Cook for 45 minutes. Pour squash and sauce into a serving bowl. Add green onion and cilantro; toss. Serves 4.

last year’s harvest

Sous Vide Cooking Give Away

Recently, I was asked, “What is the intent of my blog?” My response, “To share something that I love.”

For as long as I have been cooking and baking, I still get excited about food. It’s a continuous learning process that never gets boring. I still love creating new recipes. I still love to read cookbooks like novels. I still search the grocery store aisles for new products and it’s not unheard of for me to drive miles out of my way seeking the best, the freshest and the most exotic ingredients. People who know me understand that vacation time includes a stroll through a local market for foodie souvenirs and perhaps a cooking class to better understand the regional cuisine.

So, it was with great joy that I accepted an invitation to the International Sous Vide Association (ISVA) Summit last summer to learn a new cooking technique. This was exciting stuff with new food possibilities. To be honest, before the conference, I wasn’t at all familiar with cooking food under vacuum in a temperature-controlled water bath. In fact, I don’t think I ever even ate anything cooked that way. In my ignorance, I was pretty sure that only very high-end restaurants were serving sous vide. The French Laundry, Alinea and Per Se were not in my budget nor were the cost of the immersion circulator (sous vide machine) and accessories. I had a lot to learn.

And the conference delivered. In an ongoing flow over 2 ½ days I was immersed in a wonderful world of knowledgeable speakers and vendors. I was captivated by the enthusiasm of not only the professional chefs, but also that of the home cooks and even BBQ guys. The conference had something for everyone including sessions on sous vide science, history, cooking demos and food photography plus lots to eat and drink.

The overwhelming take-away from the conference is that this type of cooking has indeed trickled down to the home kitchen for a number of good reasons. First and foremost, it is affordable. I purchased a highly rated immersion circulator for under $115.00 at the conference. A large stockpot, some heavy-duty Ziploc bags and a clip (things I already had in my kitchen) complete the tools needed. Second, precision cooking insures whatever it is you are making comes out consistently great. I can guarantee that my sous vide steak will be cooked to my perfectly juicy 134 degrees or your perfect 130 degrees every time.

In addition, I can set it and forget it. There is no hovering over an immersion circulator like you would a stove. Big bonus is that the machine itself is compact and takes up little room in my already crowded cabinets. Further, it is great for batch cooking on the weekends for those who are working and want to come home and fix dinner in just a few minutes. Grab your sous vide steak from the fridge and give it a quick sear in a pan or on the grill and dinner is done. Finally, just about anything from entrees to desserts (maybe not popcorn) can be cooked sous vide. There are plenty of cookbooks and recipes on the subject available including a new book I happen to have a recipe in. Champions of Sous Vide (available on Amazon) is a collection of 75 delicious recipes including a mouth-watering photo of each plus the best tips and steps from 2 dozen sous vide enthusiasts. Would you like a copy? Lucky you! I am giving the book away on my Instagram page.

So, is sous vide cooking for everyone? I don’t know. Like my favorite knife or skillet, I look at it as one more option in my kitchen toolbox as well as a new way to think about and experiment with food. If you would like to learn more about sous vide cooking be sure to check out the ISVA web site and consider attending the 2020 conference in San Francisco. And if you are ready to give sous vide cooking a try shop around for an immersion circulator and read reviews. You can find a really nice one for the home cook or professional here.

This is NOT a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. I purchased the book to give away.

Now for the GIVE AWAY: Go to my Instagram page @goodgriefcook and look for the photo of the cookbook and follow the very simple instructions. Good luck. ❤