Saturday, December 5, 2015

Thanksgiving + A (3-Day) Carrot Cake

My Momofuku Carrot Layer Cake

I love Thanksgiving. I love the food, the decorations, the weather. I love the changing leaves and the time spent with family. This year we had really exceptional weather and were blessed in the fact that we're able to spend time with both our families on Thanksgiving. It requires some traveling, but it's doable. It works out because we do lunch with Zach's family and then dinner with mine. I'd be sad if it didn't work out this way.

Our first married Thanksgiving! 

Always thankful for these faces. Even if this is the best picture we can get.

This year I decided I'd make a dessert to take for Zach's family lunch. You see, his grandparents live in a retirement community and when we visit them, we eat in the community dining room. So I decided it would be nice if we could eat there this year, and then go back to their apartment and have a homemade dessert. That didn't stop a few people from grabbing a slice of pumpkin pie, but I don't blame them, pumpkin pie is delicious. And it's Thanksgiving so who says you can't have more than one dessert?!

Last Christmas, Zach gave me the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook. If you live in New York City, you can (and should) just walk right into Milk Bar and purchase one of Christina Tosi's amazing creations. Shockingly (and sadly), I've never set foot inside her bakery. I do have an amazing friend who sent me their b'day truffles last year for my birthday! They were INCREDIBLE! But before owning the cookbook, I had made a few of her cookies and even in almost a year, I'd never worked up the courage (or the time, hello wedding planning the last 10 months!) to tackle one of her very involved cake recipes. Until Zach was flipping through the cookbook the week before Thanksgiving and requested the Carrot Layer Cake. And I guess now was as good a time as any to see if I could make it happen. 

Finally ready to assemble! (You should see my kitchen sink)

It ended up taking me three days to complete. You have to make the milk crumb, the liquid cheesecake, the carrot cake, and the graham frosting. But before you make the graham frosting, you of course have to make the graham cracker crust. So that's five recipes you have to make before you can even start putting the cake together. Not to mention, the cake, once assembled, has to sit in the freezer for a minimum of 12 hours. Then has to defrost in the fridge for at least three hours before serving. 

But ya know what? I did it! I started on Sunday, finished putting it together on Monday and put it in the freezer. I ended up leaving it there until Wednesday night since we didn't need it until Thursday afternoon. 

And just look at those layers!! 

It was time consuming, yes. It was frustrating at times. It was messy. It required me to run my dishwasher twice! And it was totally worth it. It turned out better than I thought my first attempt would and everyone loved it. You know you've done something right when there's no leftovers to take home. Would I do it again? Absolutely. In fact, I have my eyes on the Mint Cookies N' Cream Cake for my birthday next month.

If you decide you want to tackle one of Christina Tosi's recipes, make sure you have plenty of time to devote to it. It isn't something that can be thrown together at the last minute. Or, I guess you can, but you'll be standing on your feet in the kitchen for hours. I'd suggest spreading it out over a few days. Make sure you have all your ingredients and supplies (I had to place an Amazon order!) before you get started and do yourself a favor and read over the entire recipe (twice!) before you even step foot in the kitchen.

To recover from all the baking and traveling and eating, we skipped all the Black Friday sales this year and had a super lazy Friday morning at home.

Clearly had a reason to stay in place on the sofa all morning. 

I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving! Up next, Christmas!! 

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