Storified by Arya McLean· Sat, Apr 06 2013 18:39:32
Turn classic carrot cake into an extraordinary dessert with the addition of aromatic spices and a sweet lemon glaze. This moist and delicious cake adapted from The Williamsburg Cookbook is flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves that perfectly complement the carrots. Chopped pecans are also added to the batter for crunch and flavor. Other ingredients used in making this gourmet cooking recipe include olive oil, granulated sugar, eggs, hot water, flour, baking powder, baking soda, carrots, and cream of tartar. The simple glaze is made with fresh lemon juice and confectioner's sugar.
For a light and fluffy yet rich and creamy cake, the egg yolks and egg whites are separated and mixed in separately. Similar to the method of making souffle, the egg yolks need to be whipped with the sugar until smooth and creamy while the egg whites are beaten until foamy and stiff. Gently add the flour to the egg yolk mixture and do not beat the batter vigorously. Blend it only until the flour is incorporated and use a rubber spatula to stir in the carrots and the pecans. When the egg whites are added to the batter it need only to be folded in, not mixed in completely so that the foam does not deflate and the batter becomes airy.
The grated carrots make the batter moist. Along with beets, carrots contain more sugar than most vegetables and their natural sweetness makes them perfect for use in cakes and desserts. Peel the carrots and take off the tops and use a vegetable grater to grate the carrots. Grate the carrots with a bowl underneath so that the juices won't leak out and you get a very flavorful and colorful cake. Remember to grease and flour the pan since this is a moist cake and it will stick to the bottom and the sides if the pan if this step is skipped.