Recipe Friday: CRUjiente Tacos’ Carrot Cake Tacos

Marilyn HawkesMarch 1, 2019
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If you find it hard to resist anything wrapped in a tortilla, I have a delicious surprise for you. This week, CRUjiente’s sous chef, Nathan Arnold, shares the restaurant’s popular carrot cake taco recipe. It’s a little time intensive, but well worth the effort.

A couple of tips: When making the caramel, be sure the cream is cold or it will boil over; and when searing the cake, watch it carefully or it will stick to the pan.

Arnold’s goal when making a taco, dessert or otherwise, is to make sure the customer can actually eat it like a taco “without having all the contents squirt out of the tortilla,” he says. To be on the safe side, I’d probably serve it with a fork. I dare you to eat just one.

Carrot Cake Tacos
2 cups AP flour
1 med. sized carrot, peeled and grated finely
1 ¾ cup sugar
1 ½ cup canola oil
¼ cup water
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. salt

Combine carrot, eggs, sugar, oil, water and salt into a bowl and whisk until well mixed. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon together and then add to carrot mixture in three parts. Mix until incorporated being careful not to over mix. Spread mixture into a parchment lined sheet pan (1/4 sheet tray) and bake in a 350-degree oven until a toothpick comes out clean (about 25 minutes).

Mezcal Caramel
2 cups sugar
½ cup water
2 cups heavy cream
1 ½ oz. mezcal
1 oz. butter

Combine sugar and water into a pot and cook on the stove until the sugar reaches a deep amber color. Then, carefully add in heavy cream. Once heavy cream is added, bring mixture back to a simmer and cook until the cream and sugar are a smooth mixture. Remove from heat and stir in mezcal and then the cold butter.

Candied Pecans

1 cup pecan halves
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. pumpkin spice

Place pecans into a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Then strain off all the water and return pecans to pot and cook some off some of the remaining moisture. Toss the pecans in a bowl with the sugar, salt, cayenne and pumpkin spice. Then, place pecans on a pan lined with a silicone baking mat (or parchment paper) and bake in a 375-degree oven until nuts are nicely browned.

Goat Cheese Frosting

8 oz. Crow’s Dairy butter pecan chevre
6 oz. cream cheese
2 oz. powdered sugar

Combine all ingredients into a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and mix until light and thoroughly combined. (The goat cheese CRUjiente uses is slightly sweetened, so if a different goat cheese is used, chef recommends doubling the amount of sugar).

Fall Spice Tortilla
8 oz. masa harina
8 oz. water
3 g. salt
3 g. pumpkin spice

Combine ingredients into a bowl and mix until smooth. Form into 1 oz. balls, then use a tortilla press with two sheets of plastic to press tortillas to desired thickness. Cook on a griddle set to medium high heat, flipping each tortilla twice. Cook tortillas on each side for 45 seconds. After the second flip, the tortilla should puff up showing that it is ready.

To finish, sear the cake in butter in a nonstick pan almost like a grilled cheese sandwich. Make sure the cake doesn’t stick to the pan. Cut the cake into small squares. To assemble, place a tortilla on a plate, add cake squares and dots of chevre. Sprinkle with a few candied pecans.

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