The carrot cake with mascarpone frosting would look nice with just the candied pecans on top, but carrot curls make it even more festive. Our food stylist, Ronne Day, came up with this method for making cute curls with a bit of crunch.
Candied Carrot Curls
These slightly sweet, crisp carrot curls can be made a day ahead and stored airtight. Makes enough to top 1 cake.
Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment and lightly coat one with cooking spray. Heat the oven to 225°F. combine 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar with 1-1/2 cups water in a 3-quart saucepan, and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
Meanwhile, shave 2 to 3 medium carrots into 6- to 7-inch strips with a vegetable peeler. Simmer in the sugar syrup until translucent, about 15 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the oiled baking sheet. Bake until dried but still pliable, 30 minutes.
As soon as you can handle them, curl the strips around the handle of a wooden spoon so that the side that was on the oiled sheet is in contact with the spoon. Hold for a few seconds; then slide the curl onto the unoiled baking sheet. Bake until set, another 5 to 8 minutes.