I am up to my eyeballs in shredded carrots. Like a total sucker I hardly blinked when some friends asked me to make a carrot cake for their wedding. Actually, two carrot cakes - one needs to be vegan. The friend who asked me was very complimentary of my baking and referred to a party where she had some "super yummy" cupcakes of mine. I was so busy pondering the potential pitfalls of vegan baking that I didn't put it together until later which party she was referring to. Alas, it was a birthday party where I topped cake mix cupcakes with a yummy buttercream frosting. Which just goes to show you that you can hypnotize anyone with a good frosting.
Maybe I've confused reading a baking blog with being an actual baker. Because up to that point I had made a total of three cakes from scratch my entire life. I'm thinking one was a carrot cake, but it was years ago. I've certainly never baked vegan. In the past two weeks, though, I have turned out five practice cakes. The thrill of having cake in the house is starting to wear thin. Certain kitchen utensils are stained orange. Every one of my neighbors has had cake foisted upon them (and they all claimed to like it, so we are on the right path). I now own two large baking pans - 14 inch and 10 inch rounds. That's the 10 inch.
In the spirit of charging right ahead I created my own recipes (vegan and non vegan) to get the dark, moist, heavy cake I was seeking. I can tell you that not all vegan cream cheeses are created equal and that one brand in particular smells like the devil. The frosting is definitely getting as much attention as the cake. After all, based on the cupcake experience, if I can make great frostings it won't matter if the cakes are lacking.
To make this all more hilarious it's a weekend camping dance party wedding somewhere I've never been. Something about hauling a wedding cake and our yurt in the same trailer strikes me as very funny. I am trying to do everything I can to make this a huge success, but there really are a lot of variables. Luckily, if it's a terrible failure these friends are the kind of people who will just laugh it off anyway.
So, to add to my list of unusual skills, I am now a baker of very large carrot cakes. I promise to share the recipes (in non-wedding proportions) and let you know how it all turns out! Unfortunately the cake frenzy should be at its peak over this week's PMQG meeting. I hope to see my Portland pals soon, sorry I'll miss this month!