Friday, March 20, 2015

Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Tart

Today is the first official day of spring!  Cue the sunshine, mildly warm days, colorful flowers and birds chirping.

Another thing synonymous with spring is carrot cake.  This deliciously moist cake with heavy spices and shredded carrots throughout takes over the web and bakery showcases.  From traditional carrot cake, to carrot cake cookies, carrot cake scones, and so much more, carrot cake takes over with full force this time of year.

 I love a big ol' slice of moist carrot cake.  One that is loaded with mounds of freshly shredded carrots, amazing spices and slathered in tangy cream cheese frosting.  There's nothing better.

I love that classic and all the flavors, so I enjoy taking those flavors and trying to incorporate them into another amazing sweet treat.  That's what I've done today.  Taken everything we all love about the infamous cake and made a tart.
The crust is a shortbread crust.  Not just any shortbread, a carrot cake shortbread.  This crust is loaded with freshly shredded carrots and tons of the spices that we associate with the cake.  The baked tart is then filled with a cream cheese mixture.  Making it almost like an inside out "cake", if you will.

The crust is subtly sweet, perfectly flavor, studded all over with carrots and loaded with spices.  The filling is ohmygosh, amazing.  Tangy, creamy cream cheese filling with another layer of cinnamon.  This may not be a traditional carrot cake, but folks, it's pretty amazing!
Say hello to spring, or welcome that Easter Bunny with a slice of this carrot cake tart.

Carrot Cake Shortbread Tart with Cream Cheese Filling

For the tart-
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp white sugar
2 Egg yolks
1 3/4 Cups flour
1 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp cinnamon
1/8 Tsp nutmeg
1/8 Tsp allspice
1/8 Tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup shredded carrots

For the filling-
1 1/2 Sticks cream cheese, room temperature
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 Tsp vanilla
1 Cup powdered sugar
1/4 Tsp ground Saigon cinnamon, or any good quality cinnamon
1/4 Cup + 2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream


For the tart-
Sift the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves together in a medium bowl.  Set aside.

Place the shredded carrots on a kitchen towel or paper towel, cover with another towel, place a heavy skillet (or other heavy object) on the towel and allow to set.  This will remove excess moisture from the carrots.

Place butter and sugar in a large bowl and mix to combine.  Add egg yolks and mix until just incorporated.  Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture and stir until incorporated.  Finally, add the carrots and stir until combined.

Place the crust in a 10-inch tart pan, with a removable bottom, and press firmly on the bottom and up the sides of the pan.  Place in the freezer and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375.

Place the crust in the preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking process.  Once the crust is baked and golden-brown, remove and allow to cool completely.

Once the tart is cooled, add filling and chill until set, at least 1 1/2 hours.

For the cream cheese filling-
Place cream cheese in a large bowl and beat on high until creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add butter and beat for an additional 60 seconds.  Add the vanilla, powdered sugar and cinnamon and mix until incorporated and the mixture is smooth.  Add the heavy whipping cream and beat on high for about 60 seconds.

Pour in the cooled tart.

Recipe source: A Lynsey original

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