Hello, Heavenly Cake Bakers! At last I am getting around to telling you about my experience with making the Classic Carrot Cake from "Rose's Heavenly Cakes."
Sorry, no pictures. I mislaid my camera for a few days, See, we were having our old (late 1920's) windows rehabbed. Just the inside windows -- the storm windows stayed in place, thank goodness! But it still involved a lot of moving things around, which is how the camera came to be buried under/behind other stuff for a while. (It has since reappeared, but not in time to take pictures of the cake.)
I made the full recipe for the cake and baked it in a 9x13 inch cake pan. That worked well. The cake domed slightly in the middle, so I was glad I did not reduce the leavening.
This recipe is exactly what it says, "classic." Not too heavy, not too light, rich but not oily, very well-balanced in flavor and texture. It met with universal approval. The only thing I'd change next time is to remember to reduce the cinnamon when using the very, very spicy Vietnamese cinnamon. I like spicy cinnamon, but this was just a bit too much.
And ah, the Dreamy, Creamy White Chocolate (and cream cheese) Frosting! I'd made the original white chocolate and cream cheese frosting from "The Cake Bible" once before, and felt it was just too "white-chocolate" tasting. As I've said before and no doubt will say again, I don't like the taste of white chocolate. So, this time I decided to do a sort of "half-and-half" version. Rose does give a "no white chocolate" variation at the bottom of the recipe (p. 124). I combined the recipes -- for the full amount of cream cheese, butter, and sour cream, I used 2.0 ounces of confectioners' sugar, 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla, and 4.5 ounces of Green and Black white chocolate.
The recipe in the Cake Bible calls for mixing the frosting in a bowl -- I love the new Heavenly Cakes method of mixing in a food processor! And the result really is "Dreamy and Creamy" as Rose calls it -- even with only half the white chocolate. The word that kept coming to my mind was "suave." We're talking suave like Cary Grant in an old movie, people! Wow!
By the way, whatever happened to suave leading men? Nowadays it's only villains who are suave (in a creepy or deceptive sort of way). Well, maybe James Bond is still suave -- I haven't seen any of the recent movies so I don't know for sure. I miss it. Let's bring back suave!
Back to the cake -- this version kept the white chocolate taste enough in the background that I liked it. And let's face it, there is nothing like cocoa butter for that fabulous mouth feel -- the way it melts just at body temperature -- o0h...
Some of this went to work, some got eaten at home, and the window rehabbing guy also got some. (I think he enjoyed this job.)
If you live in the Madison, Wisconsin, area and have old windows that you want to repair rather than replace, I highly recommend you look up Larry of Sashman Service in the business pages. Tell him Barbara and Jim in Mazomanie sent you. He'll do a great job and he's a nice guy, too. No, he's not super cheap, but nobody who does a really good job is super cheap. It's still a lot less expensive than having new inner windows put in -- and much more authentic, too.
And if you're looking for a really, really good classic carrot cake, you need look no farther than this recipe. Take a look at this book, folks, you won't regret it!