Thursday 13 January 2011

Carrot Cake & rejigging recipes...

Firstly, I'm sorry for the lack of post yesterday...January can be a tough month sometimes! Bills come in from Christmas, people decide to cut down, go on diets, be frugal. It's part of the warp & weft of life...and means that the coffee shop didn't need anything yesterday. C'est la vie.

Back to normal today...and here is the Carrot, Sunflower & Orange Cake that I just delivered. It was made with wholewheat flour, sunflower seeds, fresh orange zest, organic carrots...
the frosting is cream cheese, sprinkled with cinnamon. I love this cake. It's in my book...I've been making variations on it for years, and it never ever fails.
So far so good! The other part of the delivery was a little more complicated..

Cafe Latte Whoopie Pies. The whoopie pie is a fairly new phenomenon in the UK. Some people say that they will overtake the cupcake in popularity - I think not! The British are a cautious it a biscuit, is it a cake? Something that mixes the two is not quite it a cookie that went wrong? Should it be soft like that? These are some of the questions I'm asked whenever I make them - so you see the problem. But, following on from my last post, they make a nice individual cake. They look and taste good and are relatively easy & quick to bake. So I keep trying!
I usually take recipes for Whoopies from an American book I have, figuring that as they were invented in the US, this is the best place to find instruction on baking them. However, this morning I decided to try a recipe from a newcomer on the British baking scene. After 7 years of just making cakes & desserts, I can look at a recipe and tell immediately whether it's right or not. This one was not. There wasn't nearly enough flour for the amount of liquid ingredients listed, some of the equipment called for was superfluous and unnecessarily complicated. It made me cross!
I firmly believe that baking- and cooking in general - is not rocket science. Anyone can do it, with a little patience, instruction and a good recipe. I have the luxury of knowing a lot about the subject, so I could rescue these cakes and they turned out fine...but I couldn't help thinking of those without much confidence, who pick what they think will be an easy recipe and it doesn't turn out well. They will blame themselves and be loathe to try again, wasting time and ingredients. A good recipe should explain clearly, and the quantities & method should be tested, tested and tested again. It must work, perfectly, every time!

Ok, rant over! These turned out well in the end...smelt & tasted good...I think they look lovely too.

Friday tomorrow....and those Giveaway results. If you didn't post a comment on Saturday but would still like to be entered in the draw, then I'll take any new names today and add those to the entrants too. There is a little extra food related surprise to add to the package I'll be sending out - all will be revealed with the name of the lucky winner tomorrow!

Have a wonderful day, thanks for reading...I'll see you in the morning! xo


  1. Mhm, the carrot cake looks yummy - I like the idea to put the "cream filling" on top :-)
    Never heard of whoopie pies - I prefer cupcakes and muffins (or yesterdays sweet victoria sponge), the whoopie looks too much like a bun.

  2. Love waking up and reading your baking diaries! The carrot cake looks delicious Rachel! Am excited to it in your cookbook! I personally have never tasted a whoopie pie, but have seen them in many magazines lately. They are not a common dessert found here in Canada, lets say at a bakery or on a dessert menu. Only know them from recipes I've seen in books. So glad you were able to rescue the badly written/tested recipe. It is a pet peeve of mine too when some people go ahead and write cookbooks, without testing and making sure everything is perfect. Hope you have a great day sweetie. xoxo

  3. Oh Rachel do these look yummy! That carrot cake looks like something to die for & those whoopie pies boy would they be nice with a cup of tea!

    I know what you mean about recipes & you are so right!

    Have s blessed day..
    xoxo Gert

  4. I love reading your blog. Would love to join you for a cup of tea and a whoopie pie this morning. It is snowing here in Minnesota. Shall I bring Fanny and Betti, our 2 miniature schnauzers, and they and Alice can play... :-)

  5. My middle daughter made pumpkin cream cheese whoopie pies over the holiday and they were incredible. They don't keep well as the outer layers become 'sticky' and hard to handle w/o getting all over fingers, but they tasted incredible- it's one of those situations where people just need to have a taste and then they'll know how delicious they are! I love the mounded frosting on top of the cake- so perfect!!

  6. Ohh beautiful as ever. The carrot cake frosting looks like one of those frothy hats the Queen wears. Whoopie pies! I made them once as part of a collection of Xmas cookies to gift in tins to a bunch of people. Well! They never managed to achieve any degree of stasis. It began to feel like they were not out of my kitchen but out of science fiction. Even packed in the tin with other cookies, they moved, oozed, and wiggled. So peculiar. Tasted good tho but not a fave.

    I agree with you about the recipes. I can spot the good ones by reading and can sometimes tweak others. Never do I blame myself tho. That'll teach 'em!

  7. Now my wife wants to make Whoopie pies. I love the look of the carrot cake. I want to come over to your house and bakery and have some tea and cakes (do you serve afternoon tea in your bakery?).

  8. They all look amazing. The Carrot Cake is mouthwatering! I have two recipes for Whoopie Pies, one for red velvet and one for pumpkin, I have not been game to try them, but as always, you have inspired me! Thanks for the lovely pictures and words. Love love love xxx

  9. Am so looking forward to cook book - love the sound of the carrot, sunflower and orange cake. Am going to have to make a visit to the Coffee Tree...


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