Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
MAKES 1 1/2 DOZEN
For a large gathering, I like to serve several desserts, choosing those I can prepare ahead. These light-textured small carrot cakes can be baked a day ahead.
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons Orange Liqueur
2 large carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 cup King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups finely chopped walnuts
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling
18 aluminum foil cupcake cups, 3 inches wide and 1 1/2 inches deep
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly butter the aluminum foil cupcake cups. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar until lemon-colored and doubled in volume. Gradually beat in the butter and orange liqueur. Fold in the carrots, flour, and salt. Fold in the nuts.
In another bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
Divide the batter among the cupcake cups, filling them about 2/3 full. Place the cups on two cookie sheets. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cakes are golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove the cups to racks and let cool completely.
Run a knife around the outside edge of each cup, and unmold the cakes onto a serving dish. Sprinkle the tops with confectioners' sugar.
Note: The cakes can be baked a day ahead. Let cool, wrap each foil cup in plastic wrap, and store at room temperature.
This recipe is from CELEBRATIONS ITALIAN STYLE by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company Inc., in 1995.