Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Carrot Cake Part VII: This time with strawberries!

Today I am saying something I never thought I would: I have made more carrot cakes than there are Rocky sequels. Wait a minute, what? Seriously? Oh, Sylvester Stallone, bless your heart.
Anyway, carrots completely mystify me. Where do they come from? I don't mean botanically; I mean how do they end up in my kitchen?

Well, like all things that get on one's nerves, it's time to start experimenting on them! We're taking a regular yellow cake recipe we've used before (and therefore know is a good one) and seeing if it'll turn into...

Strawberry Carrot Cake

½ c butter
16 oz strawberries
¾ c sugar
3 eggs
¼ c milk
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 c flour
1½ c shredded carrots

Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 9x13 pan.
Beat strawberries a bit with a mixer to break them up. Add butter and beat well. Then mix in the sugar, and then the milk. Mix in the baking powder and salt, then add the flour, stirring just until mixed. Stir in the carrots.
Pour into pan and bake 1 hour, apparently.

And like all experiments, a procedure! It'll look better than writing "make it up as you go and hope for the best."

Step one: Get the strawberries pulverized! Forget to really soften the butter and figure you may as well give it an extended beating while you've got the mixer running.
Iffy looking strawberries and a stick of butter. This'll be good.

When the butter doesn't quite mix in, think of Fanny Cradock in industrial-grade-drag-queen war paint making an omelet and going on about little butter cushions which melt as it cooks so you can wonder if it'll work here too. Or think of how the butter looks like little larvae of something or other.
Oh dear, a butter infestation.

Step 2: Sugar! Reduce it because the fruit and carrots already have a lot.
Aside from the great gobs of butter, it might sorta work.

Step 3: Leave the eggs in the original amount, they probably do... something or other. But use a lot less milk since you've got the strawberries and carrots in there which have made things go runny already.

Step 4: The rest of the stuff. Reassuringly, it now resembles cake batter and tastes insanely good. Go ahead and daintily dip your finger in a time or five.
Devoid of artificial food coloring, it wasn't as pretty a shade of pink as this.

Step 5: Temper the tastiness with carrot shards.
The color... I suddenly crave macaroni.

And now.... to the pan! Mutter a bit how you wish it was still pink.
Maybe I should have busted out the food coloring.

Step 6: Bake it 30 minutes, and then put this icing on top. Slice it and find that despite the knife you tested it with coming out clean, it's insanely wet. Back into the oven with it!

Step 7: Be annoyed that your icing melted into the cake and made this weird crackly stuff on top.
Behold, the before and after!

Step 8: Slice it and be dumbfounded that baking it for another half hour (that's 1 hour total) made barely any difference, and figure it's either a cake that went past moist and straight into wet or one that baked until it was a rock.
Eh.... tada?

Post-Experiment Analysis: Really tasty- the baked carrots tasted good with the strawberries. But it was like a damp sponge. It needs something besides the baking powder to lighten it. Also, the baking powder left a slight baking soda taste in there.

Further experiments:
Possibly try separating the eggs and beating the whites into a foam?

Not a bad way to dispose of carrots and also the strawberries that are going wrinkly.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! In a wierd way, those have been the most fun to make.