February 03, 2007

Three Is Better Than One

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I’ll give you three guesses as to what cookbook I got this recipe out of, although if it takes you more than one, for shame! Ever since I got Dorie’s book, I’ve wanted to make this recipe. The picture in the book is absolutely mouth watering. And who doesn’t love a carrot cake, let alone three of them stacked on top of one another? It was something I couldn’t resist. The problem though, is that all of Dorie’s recipes are irresistible. This is problematic for two reasons: I eat while I bake, (is it wrong to eat icing with a spoon?) and then I eat the finished product too. There aren’t enough hours in a day for me to ski off all of those calories. Knowing that, however, doesn’t stop me from baking, it just slows me down a little. That’s why I like it when someone asks me to bake for them and they don’t care what it is, because then I still get to make what I want, (and sample along the way) but I’m not stuck with an enormous carrot cake sitting on the kitchen counter, calling out to be eaten. This particular carrot cake, thankfully, was taken to a potluck lunch.


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Sampling while I bake isn’t the same as getting a big slice of the finished cake though. Since I wasn’t going to be at the potluck lunch that my cake was attending, I decided to steal a little of the batter and bake it in mini muffin cups to make a tiny carrot cake for me. I think I had more icing than cake but I still managed to make it six layers high. After the picture it promptly fell over.


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Of course, as usual, I had to make some substitutions to the batter, not necessarily by choice. I ran out of cinnamon. That never happens. I always have cinnamon. Not this time. I added some cocoa powder, cardamom and nutmeg, somehow that equaled cinnamon to me. I added orange zest to the cream cheese icing just cause I felt like it and I had to substitute dried cherries for half of the raisins. Since when do I have dried cherries but no raisins? I’m telling you, this is insanity. Next thing you know I’ll be running out of sugar. The horror! I’m constantly running out of eggs though, it seems like I never have enough of them. I seriously need to consider acquiring some chickens. And possibly a cow for milk, I go through a lot of that too. If I had a cow I could also make butter. Why is unsalted butter so expensive? It would be cheaper if I made my own. Maybe I need a pig too. Then I could really make my own bacon, it’s not enough just to cure it myself. It would really be impressive if I raised my own piggy, letting him roam free with the chickens and the cow until he was juicy and plump and ready to be made into bacon… Oooh, the possibilities!


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37 comments:

Claire said...

I LOVE the mini-cake! Looks like something I should do instead of picking at things! My mom calls me her "mouse" because they'll find "bumps" on muffins removed mysteriosly.

rachel said...

I think I'm getting a sugar high just looking at your pictures!

Elle said...

The mini-cake is so cute, but the big one really is impressive...lucky pot luck folks!
I always wondered how you make so many yummy sweet treats and still stay slender (in your photo a few posts back). Clever girl!

Katgirl said...

I'm literally drooling looking at this photo...

K & S said...

I love the improvisations! This cake looks and sounds delish~!

Mary said...

I like how you "borrowed" some of the batter for yourself. It was totally within your rights as the chef and creator of this delicious cake!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I love the 6 layer stack! Wonderful! Actually carrot cake is our all time favorite, well but then there's a few others.
It is the best of all worlds when I can bake it and give all but my sample away. The chef's cupcake is an inspired idea!

Gattina said...

Your mini tower the frosting is more than the cakes, should I be surprised ;p But both the cakes are truely beautiful!!!

Lis said...

I think carrot cake is the only dessert that I'd pick over something chocolate. It's my mom's favorite cake as well. I make her one every year - and yeah, once a year is plenty as it's an arse pain. I didn't even see this in Dorie's book! Am I blind?? Your's looks wayyyy tooo gooooodd an I heart the mini tower, especially with all the frosting. :D~~~ <-- drooling.

Melting Wok said...

woww, at first look, I thought it was a thick stack of thick chocolate pancakes of some sorts *lol* they looked gorgeous :)

Angie said...

This 'tower' is breathtaking!

Anne said...

Your cake looks yummi-licious :)

Kathryn said...

Hi,

That cake is simply amazing. I like good-looking food and the big cake is beautiful. I bet it tasted delicious too.

Thank you for stopping by at my blog. I just discovered yours as a result and have been reading it and salivating madly. Some gorgeous food!!

Rachel said...

I love the baby cake idea. I hate making things for people and not getting a taste!

Freya said...

Brilynn, I have to admire the icing to cake ratio on the mini version. Seems like a decent 50/50 split...you can never have too much icing!

Asha said...

Three layered mini cakes are gorgeous!Quite a treat for the eyes and the stomach!:))

Chellie said...

If eating icing with a spoon is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

Man, I wish I was at that potluck. I've been craving carrot cake lately and your pictures certainly aren't helping that!

Margaret said...

Amazing cakes and photography - I'm envious!

Susan said...

I love your spontaneity with substitutions. I do it with cooking, but it doesn't work so well with baking. I wish I had your magic touch! Fabulous photos!

peabody said...

So how big is the Dorie shrine in your house :) Can I come by and light a candle :)

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

Wooh - pretty!

I need to either buy some nice lights, or a house with good natural light. I'm in a constant photo-lighting struggle :(

Kristen said...

I've been eyeing that recipe too. I am a sucker for the power of suggestion and I think your pictures have just pushed me over the edge of eyeing that recie to trying that recipe. Very nicely done!

Paz said...

Awesome-looking! I love this!

Paz

in-JeN-iosiTy said...

Your carrot cake looks absolutely divine!!! I'm sure it tastes as great as it looks!

I've been reading you a lot and I enjoy your posts very much...you're an excellent cook!

Brilynn said...

Claire- My brother used to call me a vulture because I'd swoop in and steal whatever he was making.

Scott- I definitely have lighting problems, especially because I tend to do a fair bit of baking at night. I bought a daylight-lightbulb and it seems to help somewhat.

Everyone else- Thanks and glad you stopped by! (I think that sums it up?)

Ellie said...

Looks absolutely divine - hope those at the potluck appreciated it's deliciousness! As for the 6-layer minicake, two bites of goodness - yumyum!

gilly said...

Hi Bri! I love the adorable and ambitious 6 layer mini-cake!
I struggle the same as you - delicious baked goods, sampling ingredients of delicious baked goods, and need to consume said baked goods. Potlucks are a blessing!

And if eating icing from a spoon is a crime, then I've been a felon for as long as I can remember!

The Cookbook Junkie said...

I really want this book but I know it will be trouble (for my hips).

wheresmymind said...

Orange/Cream Cheese frosting...wowsers this was one heck of a cake!

Vanessa said...

Yikey...I'm in love. I'm not even a cake person but your cakes make me happy just looking at them i can only imagine how I'd feel if I ate some.

sandi @ the whistlestop cafe said...

I love, love carrot cake. This looks fantastic~ I'll be right over!

Lydia said...

It's a thing of beauty! Now I'm really going to have to reclaim my Dorie book from my husband....

Shawnda said...

Fabulous! Carrot cake is my favorite non-chocolate dessert. I bought my first Dorie cookbook last week and am busting out the shortbread recipe this weekend :)

Julie said...

I love carrot cake!! This looks amazing. I seriously plan to raise chickens some day so i can have the freshest eggs in the world at my disposal...I don't see myself churning butter (strange because I seriously love expensive unsalted butter), but the piggy...

Julian said...

OMG!!!!!!! that looks so yummieee.... wheres the recipe for this sugarbomb?

sher said...

Oh--I'm whimpering here! Those pictures are incredible. I need a mini-cake!

Diana said...

Crank up the pancreas.... produce more insulin.... i'm going in for a big bite!