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52 New Recipes in 2010 – 11, Carrot Cake

August 23, 2010

“As a youngster, I was inherently suspicious of carrot cake. The motives for adding a root vegetable to a tea-time treat seemed suspect to say the least. Why carrots? Had we run out of chocolate? Was there a war on?” (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)


There were too many carrots in my house this weekend. And no-one but me around to eat them. I invited some friends over for dinner and roasted lots of root veg, but this scarcely dented the enormous quantity of carrots in my possession. See, not only did I have a new bunch of carrots from the veg box, and an old bunch from the previous week, but one of my housemates had also gone on holiday, leaving a bunch of carrots. Now, I like carrots, but not as much as the veg box seems to think I do, and I definitely can’t eat 3 bunches all on my own in a week.

As luck and lateral thinking would have it, I’d been invited to a party and had no money to buy booze. Aha, I thought. I’ll take a carrot cake.

Now, I have made carrot cake before, but not this recipe. However, it’s worthy of inclusion in the 2010 Recipe Challenge solely because it’s from a website called How do you get the .org address for carrot cake?! Are they some kind of officially recognised carrot-cake body? Who decides that kind of thing? Does this happen for other kinds of cake? Can I get the one for lemon cheesecake? It’s awesome. And slightly odd.

As usual in my kitchen, there was some enforced substitution of ingredients, as I didn’t have enough walnuts. Turns out the ‘chopped mixed nuts’ at the back of the cupboard will do fine. And I learnt that passion cake is another name for carrot cake. I wonder why. Bearing in mind Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s comments on carrot cake, maybe it was to pretend it was a perfectly ordinary cake. Nope, no root vegetables here. Move along, move along.

Overall I was pretty happy with it, though I must dig out my usual recipe to compare them. (The usual recipe comes from a health-food site and doesn’t include cream cheese frosting! Killjoys.) Also, some guy at the party declared that he wanted to marry me, just for my carrot cake. Clearly, there area a lot of details to be worked out here (How much carrot cake would I be required to make? The same one again and again? Or would constant carrot cake innovation be required? What, exactly, do I get out of the deal?) but it reflects quite well on the cake.

And I don’t have any photos, so here’s one from the recipe website. Because while it’s one thing to photograph your dinner when no-one’s watching, and more or less acceptable to do it front of friends/housemates, I’m afraid I draw the line at going to a party and taking pictures of the cake you brought…

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