I don't usually talk about religion on my blog and actually I really am not going to now either but I had to share my daughter's First Holy Communion with you. I had to share it because whether or not I totally believe in all of this, it was a momentous occasion in my daughter's life. For me it was the mark of a move past her early childhood and into the age of reason. Honestly, I wept a little at church. Her outfit smacked of wedding and it got me thinking of how fast she is growing. My Mother cried a few tears with me.
We had a few friends and my parents over for dinner after the ceremony. We had a nice sit down meal with my China. It was very special. I will share what we had for dinner later in the week. It is one of my favorite meals. In the mean time I will tell you about the cake I made, which was absolutely delicious. I used a recipe from Fine Cooking for the cake and the frosting... Well, you see, I was going to make this frosting that is on Pioneer Woman's site. Very similar to a recipe my Mother said she had while growing up. Milk thickened with flour and then whipped with sugar and vegetable shortening. Pioneer Woman's is whipped with butter, which is way better. I went to my parents house to make the cake as I wanted to surprise our daughter, totally forgetting the recipe. I kind had a recollection of it but did not remember exactly. It came out perfect. People liked it. In the end everything worked out.
Recipe largely adapted from this recipe at Fine Coooking
3/4 Canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups (I did about 9 ounces) shredded carrots
2 1/2 cups brown sugar (packed)
1/4 cup pears, cooked and pureed (I used my canned pears)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup Sultana raisins2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1-3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. table salt
2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 350F. For my cake I use a 9 x 13 so that I could cut it into the shape of a cross. Spray with cooking spray.
In a bowl combine the dry ingredients, salt, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and flour.
In a larger bowl combine oil, pureed pears, brown sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time. Add in carrots, stir. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Fold in nuts and raisins. Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes. Test with toothpick to see if it comes out clean. Let rest for ten minutes on a cooling rack and then flip onto sheet. When cooled cut into desired shape.
The Best Whip Creamiest Frosting
And you can decorate with it. Very nice consistency.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla (if you want a pristine white frosting, use white vanilla)
1/2 cup flour
1 cup milk
In a bowl combine 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup flour, stir vigorously. Add the remaining 1/2 cup milk. This helps to avoid lumps. Place mixture in a double boiler and stir frequently. When thickened remove from heat and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.
In a large bowl whip butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This will take close to ten minutes. You do not want graininess*. After four/milk mixture is cooled, whip into the butter mixture.
*Next time I will run my sugar through a blender to make it less course. Just don't use Confectioners sugar.