Congratulations to Chef Ryan Conklin and his teammates Steve Pexton and Collin Jennings for winning the Got To Be NC Competition Dining Triangle Series.
Try out this award-winning recipe from the Battle of Champions cooking contest.
Tres Leches Carrot Cake
by Steve Pexton
Dry Ingredients: sift together and set aside
- 13 oz Flour
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 2 teaspoons of table salt
- 1.5 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 TB Cinnamon
- 1.5 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
Wet Ingredients: Mix together in an electric mixer or mixing bowl
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 ¾ cups vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoons of vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons of spiced dark rum
- 5 oz Diced dried Apricots, re-hydrate in 2C boiling water for 30 minutes, drain and discard the water.
- 1.5 lbs Shredded Carrots, peel and shred the carrots on a box grater
3 Milks: mix together and set aside. You will have extra.
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can evaporated milk
- ½ cup half and half
Cream cheese frosting
- 12 oz cream cheese
- 6 TB of unsalted butter
- 3 cups 10 X sugar
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium-low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add butter, and cream until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar on low speed, and mix until completely combined.
- Beat frosting on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Proceed in a mixing bowl or an electric mixer, mix the wet ingredients together until well blended, add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Stir in the garnish.
- Butter and flour 2 9′ cake pans
- Divide the batter between the two pans and bake in a preheated 350 degrees for 27-35 minutes (depending on your oven) or until an internal temp of 202 degrees is reached, or insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean it’s done, if not, bake 5 more minutes and test again.
- When the cakes are done, transfer them to a cooling rack and cool to room temp. Remove the cake from the pans and place them individually onto display plates.
- If you have a squeeze bottle, place the milk mix in the bottle and soak the cake with the milks. Allow the first pass to soak in and repeat one more time to make the cake nice and moist but not to the point where the milk is pooling at the base of the plate. If you don’t have a bottle, use a ladle or a large spoon and moisten the cakes.
- Place the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe 12 strawberry sized rosettes on the cake, one each per slice.