GARDEN CAKE: From Clean Enough and An Evening at the Huerta, Harmony Hotel Nosara
This carrot-beet cake is the divine base for which my infamous carrots were made on Top Chef: Just Desserts. We were tasked to create a world of pure imagination, and as a person who lives in my head, I built a garden of chocolate cookies and buried my carrots, with bowls of cream cheese icing tucked into pots in the garden. Children descended onto the set and were able to pick and play with their carrot patch. I have no idea how I thought of this: It must have been exhaustion, or maybe all pure imagination.
Since then, I’ve improved the recipe. With a smattering of cream cheese frosting (that grows in gardens, too, right?), toasted hazelnuts and fresh orange zest bring this cake to life. Keep it on hand for a taste of spring with your afternoon cup of tea.
Makes 10 servings
· Nonstick spray or softened butter for pan
· 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks/180 g) unsalted organic butter, softened
· ¾ cup (160 g) organic granulated cane sugar
· ¼ cup (50 g) packed light brown sugar
· 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
· 1 teaspoon ground Ceylon cinnamon
· ¼ teaspoon grated orange zest
· 2 large pasture-raised eggs (100 g)
· ½ cup (60 g) hazelnuts, toasted and chopped, plus ½ cup (60 g) toasted and crushed
· ¾ cup (110 g) packed grated red beet (about 1 medium beet)
· ¾ cup (110 g) packed grated carrot (about 1 medium carrot)
· ¼ cup (30 g) diced pineapple
· 1½ cups (200 g) organic unbleached all-purpose flour
· 1 teaspoon baking soda
· ½ teaspoon baking powder
· ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
· 2 cups (450 g) Cream Cheese Frosting (page 240)
· 1 cup (150 g) separated mandarin orange or clementine segments
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C) convection. Line an 11-inch (30.5 cm) round springform pan with a parchment round, coated with nonstick spray or brushed with softened butter.
2. Combine the butter, granulated and brown sugars, ginger, cinnamon, and orange zest in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Paddle on high speed for 8 minutes, then scrape down.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and whip to combine well. Add the ½ cup (60 g) of chopped hazelnuts, the grated vegetables, and the pineapple and paddle to combine.
4. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and paddle until just combined.
5. Place the cake batter in the pan and bake for 50 minutes until medium golden brown, turning halfway through that time. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool completely before unmolding.
6. Spread the Cream Cheese Frosting evenly over the single layer of cake, coating the sides. Top the cake simply with the crushed hazelnuts and the orange segments.
Recipe from Clean Enough: Get Back to Basics and Leave Room for Dessert © Katzie Guy-Hamilton, 2019. Photography © Brian Kennedy, 2019. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. experimentpublishing.com