Thursday, April 24, 2008
TWD - Two Days Late
Better late than never!!! The TWD challenge this week was Bill's Big Carrot Cake. Book club is at my house tonight and a carrot cake seemed like the perfect thing to make, so I delayed my TWD challenge until last night so that the cake would be ok for book club. The cake called for three layers, using three 9 inch (about 24cm) cake tins. I only have one sandwich tin and one springform in that size, so last weekend I went to Briscoes and got two more sandwich tins on sale for only $3.50 each!
However, after all that, there are not that many of us at book club tonight (school holidays and all that) so instead of one big layer cake, I decided to halve the recipe and make cupcakes. Having the benefit of reading other posts it seemed that the mixture sunk a bit for a lot of the other TWDers who made cupcakes. I got 12 cupcakes from half of the mixture and only a couple sunk – they were the ones where I had over-filled the cases.
When I was young my Mum used to make carrot cake all the time – yes it was the 1980s when carrot cake was considered “flash”. Mum had a microwave recipe and the cake turned out perfectly every time. I used to make it my university days when my flatmates thought I was great because I could bake. The last carrot cake I made was actually an Annabel Langbein one for a friend’s birthday almost two years ago, so it had been a while.
I don’t like dried fruit, but I can handle dried cranberries, so I added these, as recommended by Dorie, as a substitution for raisins. I love walnuts in carrot cake so they were another welcome addition. The cake also had strand coconut in it – I didn’t actually like this and would leave it out if I was making the cake again. Also, the cake wasn’t spicy enough for me. I had a look back at the Annabel Langbein recipe which and it had cinnamon, ground ginger and mixed spice – Dorie’s recipe just had cinnamon. I think I like quite strong spicy flavours in carrot cake.
I also halved the cream cheese icing recipe. Unfortunately this meant I didn’t have enough icing to do big swirly icing on the top, but I think they looked quite good with the toasted shaved coconut. I also took a leaf out of other TWDers books and added a teaspoon of Heilala vanilla paste to the icing, which gave it a really delicate flavour and lovely little vanilla flecks.(photo of the icing pre-coconut shown below).
The verdict – a good carrot cake, but not the best I have tasted. I think I will stick to the Annabel Langbein recipe next time I make carrot cake.