My favorite cake combines two of my favorite things (funny how that works, huh?) - warm fall spices and cream cheese frosting. Carrot cake. There's a reason why it's one of the four flavors of cake I'll be baking for my wedding. Here's the problem though: I don't want my carrot cake to taste too... carrot-y. So when I tried the carrot cake recipe from Cook's Illustrated's New Best Recipe cookbook, there was a necessary re-do. It tasted too much like carrot, not enough like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. So I redid, reducing the oil (I hate soggy carrot cake) and doubling or tripling each of the spices. Ah, much better.
What does this have to do with this week's TWD pick? Well, a lot. You see, I worry now whenever I see a carrot cake-inspired dessert. Will there be too much oil? Will they (the horror!) use butter? Did they use enough spices? Should I stick to the recipe, or assume that things will need to be tweaked? I mean, my kitchen currently has the remnants of every single TWD pick for the month of August. Because I'm that person, the one who walked into the kitchen at 8a and walked back out at 2p, covered in flour, sugar and butter, hands wrinkled from trying to keep up with all the dishes. So I can't afford a recipe re-do. Or at least, my thighs can't afford a re-do. Because while the fiance gladly consumes vast quantities of ice cream, he's much less enamored of things like tarts and quick breads.
Therefore, pre-emptive tweakage occurred. I doubled the spices, because generally I like more than Dorie calls for. I doubled the salt. I eighthed the recipe (yes, that was a lot of fun...). And then I baked four wee little cookies. The result? I forgot one tweak, because it's only occasionally needed with Dorie's recipes. I should have reduced the sugar. A lot. Like, by half. These things were like eating sugar held together with carrot shreds and dotted with raisins. (What, you thought there'd be coconut? Ha!)
Unfortunately, as I mentioned there wasn't really time for tweaking any more. Despite my downsizing (didya miss the minis? I did!), our apartment was just too inundated with baked goods to countenance a carrot cookie redux. It does, however, remind me that we need to get on the carrot cake recipe testing again. Three months left, three recipes left to nail down - coincidence? I think not! I foresee lots of carrot cake, chocolate stout cake, and flourless chocolate cake in our future...
Last Week: Chewy Chunky Blondies
Next Week: Chocolate Ganache Ice Cream