Aunt Ruth’s Corrupted Carrot Cake, with Commentary

Why “corrupted”?

This may come as a shock to some of you:

Because (now you may need to sit down for this!) I have tampered with the recipe.

Original Carrot Cake Ingredients:
4 eggs
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots

Icing:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup softened butter
16 oz powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

The first thing to do is to grate 3 cups of carrots. I do this by hand, thereby earning the right to eat this lovely dessert.

Well, that’s not quite the truth. First of all, you need to set aside 8 ounces of cream cheese and a stick of butter to soften together. I do this the night before in a bowl covered by a saucer in the cabinet. You could put these on top of the refrigerator. But, they could be knocked off there, or the dog might still find a way to eat it. Anyway, let’s get started!

The original recipe is somewhere in a very safe place in my files. At the top is a fairly accurate approximation of the original ingredients.  Please keep in mind that your elevation from sea level may affect baking, and adjust your leavening agents accordingly.  (Or start with a similar recipe that originated where you now are, and just make a few small adjustments according to your taste.)

I like to begin by greasing my baking dish, then pouring off any extra oil into the mixing bowl. I then dust the baking dish with a generous layer of white sugar (perhaps one quarter cup — which I “borrowed” from the original two cups of sugar originally called for), again pouring the excess into the mixing bowl.

To the mixing bowl, I add about 1 ¾ cups of white sugar, ½ cup wheat germ,  and the prescribed amounts of salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. I also like to add about a tablespoon or so of ground red beet root powder, plus indiscriminate splashes of some of the sweeter spices (nutmeg, allspice, cloves, etc.) I also sneak in a little bit of cayenne, transforming my cake into (ahem!) a “healthy” dessert. Mix these dry ingredients well.

Next, add the oil and vanilla, mixing well. (I forgot the vanilla the last time.) Then the eggs, again mixing thoroughly.

On a side note, my mom used to always make my brother and me crack the eggs, one at a time, into a separate bowl.  That way, if there was a problem with one of the eggs, we could discard it without losing the rest of them.  If you have a hungry dog handy (hungry dogs are soooo useful in the kitchen!), you can just give any bad parts to him (or her) and (“generic he” here) he’ll just think you are the greatest person in the whole wide world.  But, seriously, if your dog doesn’t already think that about you, there’s something wrong!

Getting back to the recipe, after everything else is well-mixed (and, possibly, tasted) go ahead and mix in the carrots, then start adding the flour a cup at a time, then half a cup at a time until you have added approximately 3 cups of flour.

Let me tell you ahead of time that the material and shape of your pan will greatly affect the cooking time.  When I’m in a hurry, I bake this cake in a flat metal rectangle, and it’s done in about 45 minutes.  But when we’re really celebrating, I like to use a stone bundt pan, which requires about 90 minutes before the cake is all the way done.

So, now that you know this, you will bake your cake at 350 degrees Farenheit for anywhere between 45 minutes and 90 minutes, depending on the size, shape, and material of your baking pan, testing for done-ness with a piece of uncooked spaghetti. Years ago, I found out at a party that there is nothing worse than a partly done carrot cake. So, I usually end up testing the cake for doneness several times before allowing it to cool first in the oven, and later in the cabinet, where dogs and visiting teenagers cannot access it.  The cake will be a bit dry at first, if it has been cooked to thorough doneness in a bundt shape, but the icing will more than compensate for that.

When the cake is cool (well, it’s really already cool, because you started with a cool recipe!)  you can spread on the icing, doing quality-control testing on the icing as you go, then share with friends.

I hope this cake blesses your heart and your dear ones! James 1:17

Praying for God to bless you today,

Gwennon

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