Orange hands and other baking dangers
This was my first attempt at baking a carrot cake, and the first recipe I’ve tried from Lorraine Pascale’s ‘Baking Made Easy‘. Yes, I cracked. She tempted me with her baked delights on tv and when I found her book half price I couldn’t resist. The title itself was so tempting. Baking made easy. Now I’m not afraid of a baking challenge, I enjoy the proud smug feel of creating something delicious that seemed like it was going to go wrong at so many turns, however sometimes its nice just to know its going to go right.
With the carrot cake in particular however it was the name that drew me to it. Entitled the ‘Big Fat Carrot Cake’ and described as ‘A no-holds barred cake with three moist spiced layers of pure excess’. Who am I to resist such a description? My mouth was watering by the title and by the time I’d got to the image of the moist layers of excess I was already rooting through the cupboards hunting for carrots and spices. Lorraine’s Carrot Cake recipe is designed to be a mammoth three-tier spectacular, however she does suggest that for a slightly less indulgent treat it works equally well as a two layer cake. With uncharacteristic restraint this what I did. The cake itself is a delicious combination of grated carrots, soft brown sugar and spices. Its topped with a delicious cream cheese butter icing and decorated with walnuts.
The cake itself is, as promised, very easy to make. The only lengthy process was grating the carrots themselves. It wasn’t until I’d grated my fifth carrot by (my now very orange) hand that I realised that my food processor has a grater attachment…. The carrots are mixed with orange zest, eggs, vegetable oil and sugar. Then flour, salt, bicarb and all spice are sifted together and mixed in with the carrot mixture. The cream cheese topping is made by beating together icing sugar and butter, then whisking in cream cheese and vanilla. As my first Carrot cake I was impressed that the cake came out beautifully first time.
The finished cake was eaten up almost before I’d managed to get the orange stains off my hands!