Monday, August 8, 2011

Cake like Canada

Since I was going down to Timaru on Saturday to celebrate my brother's birthday, I decided it might be a good idea to make him a birthday cake. What kind of cake? Well, everyone loves carrot cake (p45), right?

I hadn't had carrot cake since I was in Canada last year, where there seemed to be another delicious carrot cake every time we turned around. I'm not sure if this is a particularly Canadian thing or just a coincidence, but I'll probably always associate carrot cake with Canada now.

I approached this recipe with caution, as some of my carrot cakes in the past have come out a bit heavy.  You do of course want it to be moist, but there's a fine line between moist and gluggy. The Edmonds recipe, like many carrot cakes, has crushed pineapple in it, which adds a lot of liquid and can make the mixture too wet. To prevent this, I had the pineapple sitting in a sieve to drain thoroughly while I prepared the rest of the ingredients.

I began by beating up the eggs, stirring in some oil, and sifting in the dry ingredients. This produced quite a stiff dough and I wondered if I would have trouble mixing in the carrots, walnuts and pineapple - especially as they were supposed to be folded in.

It took a bit of effort - and folding went entirely out the window - but I got it all combined in the end. I did actually end up with a mixture that was moist, but not too wet and runny: just what I was aiming for.

One further advantage of this recipe, in terms of it not coming out with a soggy centre, is that it's made in a ring tin: so there's no centre to get soggy. Of course, my version of a ring tin is a normal tin with a drinking glass  in the centre, but it has the same result!

I baked the cake for 40 minutes as per the recipe, but ended up putting it in for a little longer when it didn't pass the skewer test. finally it was out and cooling, while I ran around getting ready to head to Timaru.

But I wasn't about to forget the final component: cream cheese icing (p77). It didn't take long to beat together the butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon zest, but the cake still wasn't cool enough to ice. Not about to wait around just for a cake to cool down, I packed up the cake and icing and took it to Timaru with me.

My carrot cake was plenty cool enough by the time I got to Timmers, so I wasted no time in finishing it off with the icing and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts. It looked pretty good, but we had to put it away overnight, since Anthony's birthday wasn't actually till Sunday.

I'd crossed my fingers that there was enough moisture in the cake to prevent it drying out overnight. Apparently there was, because it was still fine when we cut into it on Sunday. I'd succeeded in making a carrot cake that was moist but not gluggy, so I was quite pleased with myself. It might not rate as absolutely the best carrot cake I've ever eaten (looking back on those Canadian ones) but it was better than many I've tried: sweet and moist with a lovely creamy icing. I'll have to remember this recipe next time I get a hankering for carrot cake!

1 comment:

  1. Well worth making folks, it was delicious.c


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