Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mothers' Day Back To Basics: Carrot Cake

I have always loved Carrot Cakes in general. This was also whence I had my very first tasting of Cream Cheese Frosting... mmm the memories of it all still brings forth a delicious froth of sweetness in my mouth. Being an avid reader of Baking Bites' Blog, I decided I had to give Baking Bites One Bowl Carrot Cake a whirl. The receipe and her anecdote can be found in the hyperlink above.

However, being Asian in an Asian country, I have to first make it known that the carrot cake I'm talking about here, is not the savory carrot cake that some asians are known to have for breakfast or lunch. This is not the savory steamed cakes that I can only assume is made of mashed white carrots and flour, steamed into large blocks and then cut and fried, or massacred into bite sized pieces, fried with eggs, dashes of soy sauce, sweet sauce, oil and chilli. Rather, what I am talking about is the sweet dessert that's tantalisingly substantial on its own and divine with cream cheese frosting. When I was much younger, I always wondered where the carrot was in the brown speckled cake. It was through this bake that I discovered carrots really were added in it! (Ok... I am known to be 'duh' at the most inopportune of times)

I started topping up my pantry throughout the week, and finally got down to baking during one humid Saturday. After shredding 2 carrots and draining them, the weight of the carrots went from 180gms to 90 gms! I never knew carrots had this much liquid in them! So back to the shredding board, I added another carrot for good measure.

Then another horror discovery that I had all of 200gms of AP Flour. I decided to substitute the rest of the required amount with Self Raising Flour. Another surprise of the day was that after shifting the flour in with the baking flour, the flour level rose substantially when measured. I wonder why I've never bothered to measure sifted flour... hmmm.

Orange Juice? Some of the bought oranges got eaten. So I used only 1 Blood orange juice and zest for both the cake and the frosting.

Then calamity hit when I realised I was out of brown suger (at this point, I hear you asking what groceries did I actually buy throughout the week eh?). Alternative? Scrounged out a pack of dark molasses sugar. This was the point where I thought the cake would explode in my face when baked. Strangely, the cake turned out beautifully at 32 minutes on the dot.

I could never resist having a slice of warm cake after smell of spices have been wafting around the house... and it was as good as expected. Substantial, every spice working together in perfection to make its presence felt and yet did not overwhelm. I am unsure if my substituition caused this but the cake is quite crumbly when piping hot. After a day, the crumbliness wasn't as pronounced anymore... the wonders of science and action and reaction of compounds I suppose.

In my haste, I forgot to take a pic of the cake unfrosted but here is one taken just before the entire cake is devoured. Mom loved it and said I should consider selling these... she did make mention that she disliked the frosting but she has never liked frostings so I can understand her biasness.

However, all said and done, this will go into my Book of Sucesses! I loved it although I might tone down the confectioner's sugar in the frosting as well as to reduce the level of spices for the more delicate tastebuds out there. In fact, I'm thinking of not adding orange zest nor juice completely.

So here is my most awful picture to date:

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