If the fire-breathing dragon wasn't hint enough, one bite will prove this cake is packing heat. In her recently released cookbook, Sweet and Vicious: Baking with Attitude, Libbie Summers stirs hot pepper extract into a lightly spicy batter, and spikes the cream cheese frosting with spiced pecans. The fruitiness of the pepper works well with the carrot-heavy batter, further enhanced by traditional cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves.
'Carrot' on Serious Eats
Root vegetables may be most often eaten in the coldest depths of winter, but I actually like them best in early spring. New carrots and radishes are a sweet counterpoint to wintered beets, breathing new life into the tired roots. Add a burst of anise-y fennel and a smattering of chopped nuts, as Jamie Geller does in her new cookbook Joy of Kosher, and you'll have a brilliantly elegant and healthy side dish.
Coleslaw and potato salad may be more famous outside of Southern takeout counters, but carrot raisin salad is just as common at picnics and potlucks. In it, grated carrots and plump raisins are mixed with a rich mayonnaise dressing spiked with curry powder.
A hearty salad with rye berries, tender carrots, onions, cilantro, celery, and toasted Marcona almonds in a simple olive oil vinaigrette.
A hearty salad of roasted carrots flavored with cumin and chilies, served with a simple mole sauce, radishes, greens, and crunchy pumpkin seeds.
A hearty winter salad of lightly sautéed vegetables, kale, and fresh ricotta cheese.
A simple carrot juice sweetened with fresh oranges and spiced with ginger.
A creamy carrot soup flavored with cumin, ginger, and spicy North African harissa paste, with a toasted almond and parsley garnish.
Caramelized oven-charred carrots are finished with tangy feta for a refreshing change of pace.
This combination of red bell pepper, carrot, and tomato juices gets a punch of heat from fresh horseradish and garlic.
Although sweet potato is often juiced for its nutrients, it's also a lesser known source of subtle creaminess in terms of both flavor and texture. I won't pretend this juice tastes like dessert, but it really does have an undertone of creamsicle.
Savory and spicy may not be the first characteristics you'd expect in a juice, but once you try this combination you may not be able to kick the habit.
Carrot cake isn't for everyone, but for those who like the rich spiced cake, these quick pancakes hit all the right notes. They're just the thing to combat a dreary morning, with a bright flavor and comforting warmth that wakes up the palate.
Quick sautéed root vegetables flavored with honey, soy sauce, and sesame oil, tossed with some fresh shiso leaves for a hearty but light-tasting side dish.
Spiced roasted carrots with crème fraîche and harissa.
Although this drink is served over ice, it still packs a toasty punch thanks to the layers of warm flavors.
The perfect answer to early fall: Pork loin rubbed with fennel makes an ideal companion for sticky, glazed balsamic vegetables.
Carrots are tossed in a potent mixture of olive oil, balsamic, and honey before throwing them in a hot oven until they've turned spotty brown and just barely tender. The floral honey complements the natural sweetness of the carrots, and then the balsamic adds zip to keep the sugar in check. If you use a honey and a balsamic with character, you won't regret it—the carrots are more like a provocative dessert you get to eat for dinner.