All week, I've been baking. Not polite baking. No, there's been none of that. Not applesauce cakes and morning glory muffins and granola and bread. No, I've been measuring oil, sifting confectioners' sugar, creaming butter. I have really, really been committing some serious sins.
It's been so bad around here, that the other morning the fishmonger claimed he could no longer button his pants. I think he was joking, but in sort of a serious way that was kind of scary and told me I really, really have to stop. Luckily, I have an office to go to, and plenty of people to share with. I mean really, how hard can it be to get rid of a cake?
Not very, as it turns out. I brought half of the one above in for lunch the other day, and every slice was gone in a snap. There's not really a set of office etiquette around here for this sort of thing (we're quite an informal bunch) but I think the gesture went over fairly happily. I won't test anyone's patience (or their pant buttons), and I think it might be time to hold off of baking for at least a week, but it's good to know you have somewhere to turn when things get bad.
Really, though, if you can manage to limit yourself to just one deliriously sinful baked good, the week doesn't have to be like this. Even if you just make this cake, and even as rich as it is, you probably won't even get a bellyache, because I cut the recipe in half.
I wanted you to be safe. If you have six people at the table, you might even be able to finish it over a single round of after dinner coffee, or maybe even a bottle of wine. Really, it's pretty foolproof, as long as you don't do anything outrageous like double the recipe, or frost the sides, or something rash like that. That sort of behavior will definitely do you in.
SUPER MOIST CARROT CAKE
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup walnut oil or mild olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup stewed rhubarb or 1/2 cup canned pineapple, un-drained
1 cup grated carrots
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium-size mixing bowl. Add in oil, mixing until well blended, then add vanilla, rhubarb (or pineapple), and carrots and mix until everything is just combined. Spoon batter into a greased 6- to 8-inch tube pan and bake for roughly 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
adapted from the Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Cream butter until soft. Add in confectioners’ sugar 1/4 cup at a time, beating until combined before each addition. When butter and sugar are well blended and creamy, add in egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Spread evenly over cake top.
P.S. The carrots were fresh (or as fresh winter carrots can be), leftover from my winter farmers' market visit to Rhode Island. The rhubarb emerged in the dreaded freezer purge...