It's funny how I would almost always pick carrot cake over chocolate yet have only made the former about a grand total of two times thus far.
Carrot cake is very much unlike the macarons that adorn this triple layered dessert - it's not hard to get right and it's hard to go wrong. It would take extreme inattentiveness to overbake an oil-based carrot-chocked batter with a cinnamon scent so alluring in the final minutes of baking. However, a decent carrot cake can be elevated to second serving status depending on its frosting, specifically this white chocolate cream cheese variation, which I hope all enthusiasts of the original would give a try. It has a more bearable sweetness than icing sugar despite its quantity and pipes like a dream. It's dense and creamy yet better enjoyed slathered on than spread thinly. All that's left is a sprinkling of a handful of toasted walnuts, macarons optional.
But here's the link if you live like there's no tomorrow.
Classic Carrot Cake with Dreamy Creamy White Chocolate Frosting
makes a two layered 9 inch cake
from Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum
For the cake batter:
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I prefer without)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup minus 2 tsp light brown sugar (personal preference - I would reduce the total amount of sugar by about 30%)
1 1/4 cups canola or safflower oil
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups coarsely shredded, firmly packed
Prepare two 9 by 2-inch round pans; preheat the oven to 350F.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa and cinnamon into a medium bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla on medium speed for 1 minute, or until well blended. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed for about 20 seconds, just until incorporated. Add the carrots and beat for another 12 seconds. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surfaces evenly with a small offset spatula. Each will be just under half full.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a wire tester inserted in the centers comes out clean and the cakes spring back when pressed lightly in the centers. The cakes should just start to shrink from the sides of the pans. Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a small metal spatula between the sides of the pans and the cakes, pressing firmly against the pans, and invert the cakes onto wire racks that have been coated lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
9 ounces or 255g white chocolate, melted and cooled
12 ounces or 339g cream cheese, softened but still cool
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 1/2 tbsp creme fraiche or sour cream
In a food processor, process the cream cheese, butter and creme fraiche for a few seconds until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides. Add the cooled melted white chocolate and pulse it in a few times until it is smoothly incorporated.