Feel Like a Kid Again

Recipe: Atlantis Carrot Cake
Makes 4

1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Egg
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
5 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
2 Pinches Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Cup Grated Carrots
1/4 Cup Flaked Coconut
1 Tablespoon Crushed pineapple

Mix sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla together with a whisk. Add sieved flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, carrots, coconut, and pineapple. Grease baking molds well and fill three-quarters full. Bake at 340 degrees in oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. When baked and cooled, drizzle with frosting below and serve.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 Cup butter
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1/4 Cup cream cheese
1 each orange zest and juice

Cream butter and sugar together. Add cream cheese, orange juice and zest, and mix until all are combined.

Cupcakes, ice cream, cotton candy; why is it that kids have all the fun? Many adults still crave these sweet pleasures from their youth, and the Atlantis, Paradise Island Resort, in The Bahamas, has responded to this desire with some decadent small plate desserts.

"The big trend we're seeing in this part of the world is definitely more individual portions like mini dessert tastings and shooters not only for plated desserts but also for buffets as guests want to experience as much variety as possible without feeling guilty," says Paul Hayward, senior resort executive pastry chef at Atlantis. "Food trends come and go, but classics and comfort foods always seem to be close to people's hearts. For example, I must have created over a hundred flavors and varieties of Crème Brulee, but the outspoken best seller, chosen 99.9 percent of the time, is always vanilla."

Classic desserts like cupcakes, strawberry shortcake, Bananas Foster, Tres Leches (three milk) cake, and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, are now offered in smaller portions. Atlantis also makes sure to include desserts with a local flair, like the signature chocolate mango rum cake of Bimini Road Marina Village, to provide guests with a taste that awakens their senses to their Bahamian surroundings.

"My philosophy is simple when it comes to desserts. Never say no. Anything is possible with the right time frame and budget," says Chef Hayward.

Earlier this year, Atlantis Paradise Island opened a new 8,000-square-foot state-of-the-art kids' club, Atlantis Kids Adventures (AKA), and culinary masters in turn have perfected ways to satisfy the sweet tooth for the younger set's tastes. One of the most popular desserts is the resort's carrot bundt cake, a recipe that was actually designed for the kids to make in AKA cooking classes, and is now frequently requested for group functions.

Atlantis has 500,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor function space and is home to what is said to be the Caribbean's largest conference center. Guest rooms and suites total around 3,377. There are more than 35 restaurants, bars, and lounges; the largest casino in The Bahamas; the Mandara Spa, a challenging 18-hole championship PGA golf course; a 141-acre waterscape, featuring thrilling slides and river rides; and an extensive marina.

Originally published June 1, 2010