Valentine Edition of The Second-Hand Table
I love using what I have, especially when it comes to dishes and serving pieces. I. Have. So. Much. Stuff! These fun posts have made me look and dig a little deeper while setting the table. I live in the northeast where we have basements. And you know what that means…you fill them up with stuff. I got rid of so much when we moved to California a few years ago and here we are eight years later and what used to fit in maybe four bins, now fills several shelves in the basement. It’s like a prop room of sorts. I go to flea markets, thrift stores and I can’t help myself. My friend Karen is thinking about opening a shop and I keep saying…good, I can help you stock it!
Setting the table in the living room for a cozy gathering
So the rules are that you must only use what you already own or something that you found at a thrift store. Since my basement is practically a thrift store…I started there! I used red and white napkins that I bought when I was first married. I think they were my first cloth napkins. They are made by Ralph Lauren and I could never part with them. The dishes are all Aplico and purchased years ago when I worked one Christmas at Williams Sonoma. Boy, did I stock up like I was never going to see another Williams Sonoma again! The plants are resting on a mix of small saucers that I collect at flea markets and thrift stores and each of my friends left with a small saucer, potted pant with a terra-cotta clay diffuser heart stake. You can read more about a similar project here.
Potted plants with heart diffuser stakes for a parting gift and Carrot Cake just like at Buvette in NYC
I’m having a few friends over for coffee and carrot cake after a long winter beach walk and was inspired by the way Buvette served their carrot cake on a recent visit. They served it in individual oval ramekins with a dollop of cream cheese frosting and a spoon. Guess what…I have those! I searched in the Buvette cookbook and on-line for the exact recipe, but could not find it. So instead I made this one by Dorie Greenspan. Dorie’s cake is beautiful, but I have never been very good at the whole frosting thing, so the Buvette option was more than just a little appealing to me. Note: The exact oval ramekins are no longer available, but make sure you have the kind that can be used in the oven. If they are Apilco you are safe! These are similar.
Save old pretty bottles and serve sparkling & still water in them
Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting served the way Buvette NYC serves it…baked in individual ramekins with a dollop of cream cheese.
Buvette’s Carrot Cake for Valentine’s Day
I used Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for carrot cake to try and duplicate the delicious cake I had at Buvette in NYC a few weeks ago. I made 4 individual ramekins and then two layers of a round cake.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 70 minutes
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon or 4–6 drops of Cinnamon Bark Vitality Essential Oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups grated carrots (I used a food processor fitted with the shredding blade)
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, plus extra for topping (optional)
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 4 large eggs
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter at room temperature
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 – 2 tablespoons water, plus 2-3 drops Lemon Vitality Essential Oil
- Preheat oven to 325º
- Butter and flour the ramekins and use parchment paper to line the bottom of each round cake pan. Butter and flour the pans.
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- In a separate bowl combine carrots, nuts, coconut and raisins.
- Using a stand mixer, beat sugar and oil together until smooth.
- Add in the eggs one by one and continue to beat in each egg.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in the flour mixture a little at a time. Mix in only until it is combined.
- Gently mix in the carrots, walnuts, coconut and raisins until combined and then divide the batter among the ramekins, leaving a little space to allow the cake to rise. Divide the remaining batter evenly in the cake pans.
- Place cake pans and ramekins on a sheet pan and bake ramekins for 35 minutes and cakes for 40 minutes. Use a cake tester to check if done.
- Once the cakes in the ramekins have cooled, add a generous dollop of the cream cheese frosting on one side of the cake.
- Let cool and then run a knife around each cake and place on cake stand inverted. Top with icing and spread just to the edge. Place the second cake on top, inverted and use the remainder of the cream cheese frosting on just the top. Sprinkle the rest of the nuts on top.
I cut a round the size of the cake pan and traced a heart from a cookie cutter to make a design on the top of the cake.
Keywords: carrot cake, cake