I don’t usually get all superflous about frostings because it’s so hard to come by one that is good enough to warrant hyperbole like gorgeous, fantastic, mouthwatering etc. This cream cheese one, however deserves all that and more. Now, I’ve always had a problem with cream cheese frosting. I love how it perfectily compliments a plethora of ingredients like chocolate, berries, carrots, nuts and citrus fruits but don’t like it too tart. However, everytime I add icing sugar to sweeten it, for some reason, the frosting gets runny and impossible to pipe. I’d given up on getting fluffy cream cheese frosting for quite some time now but yesterday, as I opened the fridge to take out eggs for the carrot cake recipe I was going to attempt, a big tub of mascarpone sitting on the top shelf waved at me and said:
“Ciao! I’m the mascarpone you bought a fortnight ago. Look at me, I’m thick, creamy and a full fat soft cheese, very much like my good friend Philly here. And I’m not as sour as him so maybe, whaddaya say? Give me a chance to be useful here? I mean, what else goes better with carrot cake than a cheese frosting, no?”
And I thought, why not? The poor fellow was soon gonna be up for expiration anyway. So after the cake had baked and cooled, I took out the tub (I swear I heard him shout a grateful “mille grazie”) and measured out equal amonts of Philly and mascarpone. ANd boy was I glad I did that. The thick mascarpone was like this miracle ingredient that brought everything together. The frosting turned out fluffy, luxuriously smooth and had the perfect subtle tang….. on top of that, I only had to add one cup of icing sugar! Magnifico! And the clincher….. it didn’t go hard even in the fridge!!
Whaat??? Not go hard when it’s cold? What kind of frosting does that???
Well, ladies and gentlemen, this baby remained fluffy even after an entire day of chilling. It’s the miracle mascarpone I tell ya’ll… allowed me to eat the cake straight out of the fridge with no down time for thawing.
Okay, enough grandoise praising…I guess I should say a bit about the cake as well… *grin* I modified the recipe from one off allrecipes.com and it was incredibly moist so no complaints there. In fact, I really have to say, with the incredible moistness of the cake and fluffiness of the frosting, it was a perfect cake to eat chilled. Nothing was too hard or too cold when it came out of the fridge. Only thing I’ll do different next time for the cake is to add a teaspoon of grated orange zest, more spices and maybe a handful of golden raisins, just to give the flavor a little more oomph.
(with recommended modifications)
1 1/2 cups grated carrot
1 cup flour
scant 1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
slightly heaped 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
100ml vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp grated orange zest
4oz crushed pineapple with juice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup golden raisins
Preheat oven to 175 degree C. Grease and line botttom of an 8″ tin.
Stir together flour, sugar, b.soda, b.powder, salt, spices. Stir in grated carrot.
Whisk together eggs, oil, vanilla and orange zest. Stir into dry ingredients, just until it comes together. Stir in pineapple, walnuts and raisins.
Pour into tin and bake for about 40 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. The skewer will be moist but as long as no batter clings to it, it should be fine.
Cool in tin for 15 minutes, then run a thin knife along the edge and turn over onto a wire rack and cool completely.
Miracle Cream Cheese Frosting
4oz/ 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
2oz/ 1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
4oz/ 1/2 cup mascarpone
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
- Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla and cream. Add in mascarpone cheese straight from the fridge and beat gently until thick, about 10-15 sec. Gradually stir in the icing sugar and beat on low speed to combine for about 30 secs. (Do not overbeat or it’ll become flat)
- Frost immediately or store in fridge. Makes enough to fill and frost an 8″ cake.