Orange-Carrot Cake with Classic Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: 8 to 10
2 cups pecans, chopped
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
Zest of 1 orange (1 tablespoon)
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups finely grated carrot (about 6 carrots)
Cream Cheese Frosting
Preheat oven to 375°. Spread chopped pecans on a sheet pan, and toast at 375° for 5 minutes; set aside to cool. Line 2 greased 9-inch round cake pans with wax paper, and set aside.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Sift together flour and next 4 ingredients. Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed. Reduce speed to medium-low, and add eggs 1 at a time, blending well after each addition. Add milk and half of flour mixture; blend well. Add remaining flour mixture gradually for a smoother batter.
Stir in orange zest and juice, vanilla, grated carrot, and toasted nuts. Divide batter evenly into prepared cake pans, and bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into center of cake comes out clean. (Layers may sink a bit in the middle.)
Let layers cool in pans 10 minutes; transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool completely. Top 1 layer with Cream Cheese Frosting; add second layer; frost top and sides of cake.
Note: Store the finished cake in the refrigerator to keep the frosting from getting too soft.
Heat a small Dutch oven over low heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic; cook 5 minutes or until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon; set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add beef to pan; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add reserved garlic, beef, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, carrot, and next 8 ingredients (through bay leaf), and bring to a boil.
Cover and bake at 300° for 2 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve over noodles.
Note: To make in a slow cooker, prepare through Step 2. Place beef mixture in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours or until beef is tender.