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.

14 comments:

Gretchen Noelle said...

The ginger in the other one certainly intrigues me! I hope you share that one sometime!

CB said...

Definitely better late than never! Your cupcakes turned out so cute. Love the toasted shaved coconut topping. Yum! Great job
Clara @ I♥food4thought

Morven said...

Haha - our mums must be the same vintage because mine always refers to styley or fashionable things as being "flash".

I'm more of a cake maker than a cookie or cupcake maker but all your recipes for cute little cupcakes are giving me ideas.

Engineer Baker said...

Mmm... vanilla bean paste = heavenly. I agree with you on the use of more spices - I expect carrot cake to be a bit spicier than this one was. Your cupcakes are adorable!

Cecilia said...

The toasted coconut beautifully topped your cupcakes.

Do you still have the microwave recipe? That sounds pretty cool... Also, I'm curious about the Annabel Langbein recipe because I'm all about spice.

Jennynz said...

This was really yummy! The cake was lovely and moist, and I'm glad you used craisins not raisins. I quite liked the addition of coconut for a slightly different texture, but I prefer a spicier carrot cake too. Oh and the cream cheese icing! mmmmmmmm, I'm not counting the ww points on that...

LyB said...

Lovely cupcakes, they look delicious! I'm intrigued by your other carrot cake recipe, maybe you'll post it some time! ;)

Cakelaw said...

I think the cranberries are a terrrific substitution for raisins. Your swirly icing is very cute!

PheMom said...

Such pretty cupcakes. I love the toasted coconut flakes on top. Lucky bookclub!

Jayne said...

Vanilla paste - sounds good. Great job!

Sharon said...

They look great! The toasted coconut looks fab!

Donna said...

Great job! Glad you still posted because the cupcakes are lovely!

Lina said...

yes... better late than never! Those carrot cupcakes look soooo wonderful!

Anne said...

They sure look delicious! My cupcakes turned to flat mush... nice to see some that worked out!