I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

RAS - Long Distance

This RAS (Random Act of Sweetness) was committed long distance. Sadly the recipient won't get to actually eat the product, but I was definetly thinking of him when I baked it (and subsequently ate it.) I am of course referring to Cameron. I have known Cameron for about 13 years now (yes, really Cam! Can you believe?!) but interestingly enough have spent only about a week or so being in the same geographical area as he is in. How we "met" is an interesting story in itself - his girlfriend at the time went to college with me, while he was several states away at a different college. She, being the IT/computer person and me being the clueless one, became friends and she taught me how to use email, the 'net, and everything in between. For purposes of practice, she would use his email address for me...so I'd send a "Hi, you don't know me, I'm just figuring this out!" email to him, and so on. Needless to say their relationship didn't last past that semester, but Cameron and I shared a love of food, wine, books, (eventually) technology, talking, laughing...and so on and so forth. As the years went by, it became harder and harder to maintain a relationship in person - every time it was Spring break, I'd invariably leave Colorado to go home to California a day before he came home to Colorado from Pennsylvania. As a result we learned about one another through faxes (yes, really), emails, and the odd time when we overlapped in the same city for more than 20 minutes. These days both of us are married (to other people), and we don't email as frequently as we should, but I will always consider him a great friend, a great listener, and the only person on whom blue hair actually seemed appealing.

Cameron, this one is for you. Note, when I normally make this, I stuff it full of walnuts and raisins, and throw a confetti on the top of: chopped dried apricots, pepitas, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, more raisins, dust of cinnamon, more walnut pieces, and whatever detritus yummy bits I can find in the cupboard. In this case as I knew it was going to be fed to a non-nut eater plus a bunch of "what's that yucky stuff on top?" kids, it was done plain and thus not as good as I'd have liked. The recipe, though, works well so I'm sharing it here. Feel free to increase and decrease spices as you like.

Cameron, when next our paths cross, I promise a freshly baked, thickly-iced, swoon-worthy carrot cake, complete with the glace carrot on top. Just for you. And me. And if they're very, very good, we might share some with Wife & Child. :)

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

1 cup (4 oz) self-raising flour
1 cup (4 oz) plain flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1/s tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp bicarb of soda (baking soda)
1 cup (8 oz) oil
1 cup (6 oz) soft brown sugar
1/2 cup (4 oz) golden syrup (in the US, I'd experiment with maple syrup)
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups grated carrot
1/2 cup (2 oz) chopped walnuts or pecans

350g (12oz) cream cheese, softened
120g (4 oz) butter, softened
3 cups (12 oz) icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1-2 tsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 160C/315F. Grease a 23cm (9 inch) deep tin and line the base and sides with baking paper. Sift the flours, spices and soda into a large bowl and set aside.

Whisk together the oil, syrup, sugar and eggs. Slowly stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth. Stir in the carrots and nuts. Pour into the greased tin and bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin and then on a rack.

Icing: Bung it all in a mixer and turn it on, mix until it's smooth and scrummy looking. Try to avoid sticking your finger in it while the mixer is going.

Slice the cake diagonally across into two even pieces (bonus points: slice into three!). Splodge the icing in the middle, put the top back on, ice all over the top and sides and then go for broke decorating with yummy stuff (bonus points: marzipan carrots for each slice!) Enjoy.


Patricia Scarpin said...

Lovely post and delicious cake!

Cameron said...

Yum, looks delicious and easy to make too. Usually I'm all chocolate all the time but I have a weakness for carrot cake. I just need to find a nine inch deep cake pan.

Thanks, also, for the dedication. You're right, it has been 13 years (almost 14!). One thing I always loved about hanging out with you that you are decisive - you knew exactly what you wanted to do. It was a breath of fresh air when you would call and say 'We're going to the Art Museum and then to St. Mark's. Pick me up in 30 minutes'. Then it would be you and four of your friends in my VW bug.

Here's to our paths crossing sooner rather than later.

emzeegee & the hungry three said...

Patricia, I can't believe you're reading this! I read your blog all the time...one of these days I'll make the dulce de leche rolls! :) Thanks for coming by and commenting. - M

Cam, Lucky for me one man's "bossy" is another man's "decisive" ! ..and as for a nine-inch deep pan, here's how the professionals do it: By 3, 3 inch deep pans. Cook 3 separate cakes, layer with icing in between and voila! Tower of carrot cake, PLUS being smaller (in height) they'll cook faster and won't burn on the sides.

((hugs)), M.