Hello reader! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I myself doubled my Thanksgiving intake by spending the day with my sister and her boyfriend in Oakland, and then catching a red-eye Thanksgiving night to do day 2 at my parents’ house on Long Island. That’s right. A bi-coastal, double-dinner, 5xpie Thanksgiving. But that is just how I roll.
I am a very predictable human being in many ways. For instance, if any toiletry is packaged in a combination of green and purple, apparently I will buy it (something i noticed the other day when i was surveying my various shampoos/lotions/facewash). For another, if you compliment me, I’ll sign your petition. Unless you’re petitioning for something terrible. But usually people don’t do that in San Francisco. The third truth about my predictability is this: any recipe with “brown sugar” woven into the title automatically becomes irresistible to me.
Apple pie? Sure I’ll make it. Brown Sugar Apple Pie? OH GOD THERE’S NO TIME WHERE IS MY PIE PLATE. Carrot bread? Sounds great. Spiced Brown Sugar Carrot Bread? HOW HAVE I LIVED WITHOUT YOU?
In fact, I’m the type who often substitutes out regular sugar with brown sugar without being told to. I just think there’s something so homey about brown sugar. Sure I know it’s just like…regular sugar with some molasses in it. But imagine sprinkling regular sugar on your oatmeal. Doesn’t it make you feel…dirty?
I don’t know if this brown sugar theory pans out in ALL recipes. Brown sugar pesto, for example, does not sound appetizing to me. But like…brown sugar hamburgers? I don’t know. I could probably dig that. Brown sugar spinach? WHY NOT. It’s something about the word brown. It works with butter too. Coffee cake, yay, whatever. Brown butter coffee cake? Fuck, does that exist? Let’s make it.
But first, make this. It’s worth it, even if you are of the belief that grating carrots is just about the worst task you could ever ask someone to do in the kitchen. I am of that belief. But here we are, with warm spiced carrot bread in our mouths, and doesn’t that sound nice?
Spiced Brown Sugar Carrot Bread
Adapted from Food & Wine via The Kitchen Sink
Yield: 1 loaf
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon crushed cardamom seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
grated zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 1/4 cup shredded carrots (about 7 ounces)
Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat a 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or grease and lightly flour the pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom and salt.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the light brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. Add the oil in a thin stream, beating at high speed until the batter has doubled in volume, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest. Fold in the shredded carrots. Beat in the dry ingredients at low speed in 3 batches, mixing well between additions.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let the loaf cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a rack to cool completely.