Sunday, July 17, 2011

Living Room Talk #1: Virgin American carrot walnut cake, my little everest

A mountain scaled.
I've wanted to try this for a long time and finally got to it yesterday. We had invited Esther who recently conquered Everest to our place to share her experience together with 20 other friends and their young adults. This was a good occasion to conquer my own little everest with a small e. I wanted to do a step-by-step photography but that proved too much to handle so I gave up on the photos and focused on getting the cake right.

"Sliced thinly", so the recipe says. These here are not thin enough. You should be able to almost 'see through' the slices, otherwise, they affect the cake cutting later.
Cook with cinnamon and brown sugar. Leave to cool, then mix in raisins, grated carrot and ground hazelnut 
This was when I gave up on the step-by-step photography and focused on getting the cake right instead.
Here's how it looked just before going into the oven.

I got busy and it overcooked by about 6-7 minutes or so and caused some cracklines, the crevices of my little everest
It should be given more time to cool but I didn't have that much time and it felt a little too soft to handle. I learned later you should always make a cake a day before you need it.
I've seen my sous chef do this and was excited to try on my own.

The topping is cream cheese, icing sugar, Kirschwasser and pistachio. I did not know what K was, so I googled and saw images of cherry brandy. I happened to have some cherries in the fridge so I poured some liquor I had bought in Frankfurt and soaked the cherries for a couple of hours, then scooped 2 TBS and mixed into my cheese topping. It worked rather well!  
So here's the final product. No pictures of the sliced cake as I got too busy chatting with friends by then. (Update: click here for a picture of the sliced cake taken the morning after.)
Not enough cheese topping, was one of the feedback. I think she's right! I like to get specific honest constructive feedback but not too harsh to scare me from trying again!
Overall, a rather nutritious cake I think - 2 carrots, 3 Granny Smith green apples, a good pile of raisin and 3 types of nuts (hazelnut, walnut, pistachio). Esther was awesomeness packed into a petite body. We all went away inspired by her amazing story of life and death, humility, imagination, courage, and her closeness with God Almighty. I also enjoyed catching up with friends I'd not seen for a while, and listening to their stories of overcoming the mountains in their own lives. It was a very lovely evening indeed.

Click here for the morning-after look of the cake. 

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