Memories of Carrot Cakes
I love a good carrot cake. Maybe it's because part of me pretends it's healthy. Maybe it's because I like the tangy icing on the top. Or possibly it's because it just goes so well with a cup of tea. Either way it's helped me celebrate some major milestone birthdays, and now my daughter is my expert baker.
No one knows quite when we started enjoying carrots in cake. There was a recipe in the late 1500s that had a carrot stuffed with meat, plus some of the other elements more commonly found in a cake (e.g, eggs, cream, sweetener). However most believe it was a European thing, when carrots were used to give cakes some sweetness because sugar was so expensive. In 1814 we had the first formal reference to a Carrot Cake in a cook book, when Antoine Beauvilliers published his recipes and the Carrot Cake was in there.
In the UK, Carrot Cakes took off in popularity during the second world war, when again sugar was difficult and expensive to find. It might also have helped when carrots were linked to better eyesight, for wartime pilots at night. You can almost imagine the kids at the time looking to the skies munching their way through slice imagining flying the planes of the time.
For me though it invokes some great coffee shops (English Heritage at Dover Castle used to do a huge slice), and some great birthday creations. One year we went the whole hog, with carrots on top and even thicker cream. However I'm now double the man I was so things need to be a bit more measured, as is the cake recipe below...
Find your cup of tea. Sit down. Eat and enjoy.
Get what you need to bake a glorious carrot cake, from silicone cake molds to the ingredients!