Friday, February 02, 2007

Not so clever after all, am I?

So, you know how I was all "I'm the best baker in the entire world, I'm so fabulous, look at me, I'm so great!"?

Oh, I've learned my lesson. Come on, carrot cake. Why do you have to be so difficult?

I get organic vegetables delivered every week, and I do my best to use them up by making soups for my lunches and dinners of various kinds. I often fail, because there are too many vegetables. And sometimes they're weird and scary, and I get afraid.

For the last kazillion weeks, there's been a bag of carrots in the vegetable box. Now, of course, carrots keep forever, so they've just been piling up. The entire crisper drawer in my fridge? Filled with carrots.

Tons and tons of carrots.

I've been bringing carrots for lunch every day, but that only uses up like two of them a day! And each bag is a POUND of carrots! I'm putting carrots in EVERYTHING that can possibly have carrots. Soup? Carrots. Lasagna? Carrots. Pasta sauce? Carrots. Salad? Carrots.

But, last week, like a flash of inspiration, the answer came to me.

I will make carrot cake.

Because one recipe will use like a WHOLE BAG of carrots! Sweet!

I'd meant to bake on Sunday, but due to Sainsbury's online grocery delivery operators being deeply stupid, they screwed up my order so it had to wait till Monday.

But Monday evening was all about carrot cake. I grated four cups of carrots. I measured, mixed, chopped as directed in the recipe. I only made two teensy changes.

I used yogurt instead of oil, which I've done before in recipes and usually works fine. And instead of two round cake pans, I used two loaf pans. Harmless, right?

The recipe said it should take 32 minutes to bake, but I knew it would take longer because of my different pans, so I set the timer for 45 minutes.

I checked at 45 minutes, and no - not done.

At 55 minutes - still not done.

At 65 minutes - still not done.

Now, this is when I got a bit worried. Over an hour is a long time.

At 75 minutes, I thought the toothpick came out clean, and they were done. I took the loaves out of the oven, put them on the cooling racks, admired their lovely loafness and let them cool.

After they'd been cooling for about 20 minutes, I went to cut myself a slice. Mmmm, carrot cake, I thought. Delicious!

But wait - what's this uncooked goo in the middle?

That's right. One hour and fifteen minutes in the oven, and it still wasn't cooked.

I tried to salvage it by pitching it back in the oven for another 20 minutes, but the damage was done. Two loaves, and a solid two and a half hours of prep time, and neither was even close to edible.

Well, I may not have had any delicious carrot cake, but at least I used up the carrots, right? That's got to count for something.


Bette O'Callaghan said...

EVIL VEGGIES WANT TO RULE THE WORLD! I have nightmares of marching hordes of carrots, tomatoes and other foods of the vegtable persuasion meeting in crisper drawers all round the world, plotting our demise. The solution to the carrot cake problem? Stop the bloody weekly delivery get out of the house and get yourself to a lovely cafe or restaurant and treat yourself to a piece of carrot cake without the stress, heat(must cost a bloody fortune to run your oven for that long) and bother. YOU deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Alas, carrots take in and retain liquid like a whole sea of sponges. Next time grate, then press dry and leave out to further dry for at least another few hours. Happy caking, and we all demand a slice or six...