The world changed when The Silver Palate opened in New York City. And the world changed further when The Silver Palate Cookbook was published in 1982. As a young wife and mother, that cookbook opened a different food world for me. I loved the way the cookbook was written and illustrated and I loved the food inside those pages. It was fun to experiment with those recipes. And their Chicken Marbella is now a classic.
The women behind The Silver Palate and The Silver Palate Cookbook are Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. They sold The Silver Palate in 1988 but continued to write cookbooks together, but eventually went their separate ways. In 2007, they reunited for the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Silver Palate Cookbook.
Sheila Lukins passed away at the young age of 66 in 2009. Julee Russo is back in her home state of Michigan running a bed and breakfast with her husband. I imagine that the breakfast part has to be stupendous!
I have wanted to join in the 50 Women Game Changers in Food for some time and I was pleased that I could join in week No. 15. For I truly admire these women and the contributions that they made.
I decided to make their carrot cake which I had not done before for I thought I had a pretty good carrot cake recipe. But I had company coming and needed a dessert and carrot cake is always a winner!
The story as told by Julee and Sheila is that one of their Mom's (I can't remember who) would drive the carrot cakes down to Manhattan daily from her Connecticut kitchen. But then that's a mother for you!
|The Silver Palate Carrot Cake|
3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
1 t. salt
1 T. baking soda
1 T. cinnamon
1 1/2 c. oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 T. vanilla
1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 1/2 c. pureed cooked carrots
3/4 c. drained crushed pineapple
1 1/2 c. coconut
Cream Cheese Frosting
Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 9 inch springform pans (or use regular cake pans with buttered wax paper lining in the pan bottoms)
Sift flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon into a bowl. Add eggs, oil and vanilla. Beat well. Fold in walnuts, coconut, carrots and pineapple.
Divide batter between prepared pans and smooth tops with a rubber spatula. Set on the middle rack of the oven and bake until edges have pulled away from sides and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
Cool 15 minutes, then remove sides of pans and place layers still on pan bottoms on cake racks to cool completely, 3 hours. (or remove from cake pans and cool on cake racks).
Gently remove layers from pan bottoms and use cream cheese frosting to fill cake and frost the sides. Dust top of cake with powdered sugar.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 T. butter, room temperature
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 T. lemon juice
Cream butter and cream cheese. Slowly sift in the powdered sugar and continue beating until fully incorporated and lump free. Stir in vanilla and lemon juice.
I did omit the coconut because I didn't know the tastes of my guests and I find that people either love coconut or loathe it -- there is no middle ground!
I also frosted the whole cake rather than putting powdered sugar on top -- it's shown that way in the new The Silver Palate Cookbook.
I also decorated the top of the cake with walnut halves.
Half the cake left!!!!
Four pieces of cake for my guests!
And a piece for me!!!! After my guests leave!
Will I make this cake again, definitely. I really really liked it especially the pineapple. Will it replace my tried and true carrot cake -- perhaps. It was really good.
I must admit that as other cookbooks came along, both of the Silver Palate cookbooks got relegated to the sunroom. I didn't cook from them as much as I used to. Ina Garten and Anna Pump replaced them actually. It was fun getting them both out and going through them again -- so many pages brought back so many great memories. And it's been a while since I've made Chicken Marbella -- I think that soon I shall have to remedy that!
It's also Foodie Friday and I'm sharing the carrot cake with Michael at Designs by Gollum.