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Carrot cake

Makes 1 large cake

In Philadelphia, the Commissary was a group of eateries that grew out of the enormously popular Frog restaurant. This cake was a specialty, made in a large tube pan, then split into four layers and sandwiched with a pecan filling. Traditional cream cheese and butter frosting covers the outside. This version skips the filling.

CAKE

Butter (for the pan)

Flour (for the pan)

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups canola oil

2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 pound carrots, grated

1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted

1 cup raisins

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan, shaking out the excess flour.

2. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In an electric mixer, beat the oil and sugar until the mixture is smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer set on its lowest speed, beat the flour mixture into the batter.

4. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. With a spoon, stir in the grated carrots, pecans, and raisins. Pour the batter into the pan.

5. Bake the cake for 70 minutes or until the top is firm and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Set the cake on a rack to cool slightly for 20 minutes. Run a thin knife around the sides of the cake and around the center funnel. Turn the cake out of the pan onto the rack; cool completely.

FROSTING

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 box (1 pound) confectioners' sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In an electric mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese until the mixture is smooth. Beat in the confectioners' sugar a spoonful at a time, followed by the vanilla.

2. If the frosting is very soft, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes; if it is a spreadable consistency, use it at once.

3. Set the cake on a platter. Spread the top and sides generously with the frosting. Adapted from "The Frog Commissary Cookbook"

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