Καλό πάσχα (Greek: Kaló pásha) ¡Feliz dia del Pascua! (Spanish) Happy Easter of all varieties, as of yesterday.
I dreamed about our typical American Easter dinner with honey baked ham, sweet potatoes and deliciousness. Personally, I dined on Easter candy (imported from the US of A) and couscous. I left Greece before the massive celebration of Orthodox Easter on Saturday and for the most part Domingo de Resurrección (Easter Sunday) went by with little to no fanfare here in Spain. There was one last Semana Santa procession after several days of rain and the cathedral bells chimed long and loud at midday when we were walking around the Alcazar gardens. No life size rabbits posing for photos and no hunting for jellybeans in the house or hunting for eggs in the yard (there are no yards!). This morning I hid a few dozen plastic eggs filled with candy in our teacher’s lounge – thus fulfilling my duty as a “cultural assistant” 🙂
I was craving carrot cake something fierce before my departure for Greece, and once again Martha Stewart read my mind and sent some Easter recipes. When I’m at home I usually make a carrot layer cake with the infamous cream cheese frosting, but I couldn’t locate confectioners sugar. So I found a recipe for Carrot Tea Cake and made a loaf (sans icing) before I flew out. This has turned into one of the best in-flight treats because these breads are portable and not crumbly, and a whole lot more nutritious than whatever can be found at the airport… not to mention a whole lot cheaper.
So if you’re tired of your Easter chocolates, take quick minute for this one!
Carrot Tea Cake
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt (not if you use salted butter)
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup packed grated carrots (from about 2 carrots)
• 1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
• 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 5-by-9-inch (6-cup) loaf pan. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in carrots. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan; bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Turn cake out onto a wire rack, and let cool completely.
3. Make frosting: Using mixer, beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until fluffy. Frost top of cooled cake.