This morning, we awoke to the sound of Annapolis city snow plows clearing our streets. Thinking this would force me to go to work I silently cursed them. Luckily for me, the snow plows cleared snow and simultaneously turned our street into the perfect venue for Olympic Figure Skating!
I’m pretty terrible on ice, so instead of practicing my triple lutz toe loop double axel, I decided to make spent grain carrot cake.
We saved some spent grains from the Belgian Dubbel brew session, but never found the time to use them. Spent grains are exactly that, they are the grains leftover after you’re done making beer. Lots of breweries give their spent grains to farmers, ranchers, composters, etc. But you can turn them into flour for baking. Most people turn them into dog treats because the grain is too hard to turn into flour. Your traditional food processors just don’t have enough power to turn the grains into smooth flour.
We decided to turn the grain into human food because a.) we have a tubby pit bull that doesn’t need anymore treats and b.) I own a vitamix! Just throw in the spent grains, crank that bitch up to high and you’ll have silky, luxurious spent grain flour in no time.
After perusing a few recipes on the internet, I decided on spent grain carrot cake. I figured the nutty, Christmas cookie smelling flour would work well with the recipe. You can find the recipe here.
As you can tell, this recipe is for carrot cupcakes. I have self respect and, consequently, don’t own a muffin tin. Instead, I used a loaf pan. I just doubled the recipe and baked it at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. Full disclosure–a toothpick came out clean at 45 minutes but I later discovered the middle of the cake wasn’t completely done. It could have stayed in for another 5 minutes or so. Woops.
Normally, you would frost carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, but after doubling the recipe we were in dire need of butter. But have no fear, vitamix to the rescue! I remembered that we had some heavy cream leftover from a previous Chasing the Chicken attempt. It turns out the vitamix can turn ordinary heavy cream into butter in a simple process that goes a little something like this: pour in cream, turn on vitamix, scrape cream from the side of the vitamix, turn on vitamix, scrape, turn on….repeat this process until you’ve lost the will to live. It’s a lot easier to pick up the Land O’Lakes lady from the store (and you can’t do this with homemade–thanks Amy Sedaris), but homemade butter is pretty amazing!
I digress…you can use whatever frosting recipe you want for this. I mixed 4 oz cream cheese, 4 oz butter, 1 tsp vanilla, and 2 cups confectioners sugar, mix until smooth, then smothered the crap out of the cake. Enjoy!
But seriously, when do I get my vitamix sponsorship deal?
What a delicious treat!
Any mixer will turn heavy cream into butter. When I was little during World War II, I lived on a dairy farm. While butter was rationed, our dog had butter on his molasses cookies. Every few days, Mom put a few quarts of cream in a ceramic churn. After ten to thirty minutes (depending on the temperature of the cream) curdles of butter formed. Mom gathered them up, washed them in cold water and worked the butter until the moisture was out of it.
I love carrot cake. Could I have a piece, please?
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Good point, and I think it’s easier to do in a mixer! I’ll never have heavy cream go to waste again!