Every year around this time, I make carrot cake. It’s become a tradition. It’s a large cake, and I’m the only one in the house who likes it. I give about 1/4 of it away to someone else who loves it as much as I do, put 1/2 of it in the freezer to savour in January and leave the rest out to eat over the holidays.
This year, instead of using vanilla extract, I used rum. Coldstream Coconut Rum to be exact since that was what I had on hand. I was told a few years ago that alcohol, particularly rum, can be a substitute for vanilla, but I had never tried it. After reading a horrifying article about the future of vanilla extract, I’m looking for alternatives. Vanilla sticks are expensive, and rum is still needed to make homemade vanilla flavouring.
When substituting rum for vanilla, double the quantity. In other words, if the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of vanilla, put in 2 teaspoons of rum.
This year, I grew an abundance of carrots. I grew them in the multi-sowing pattern: three seeds in one hole. If you’re like me, you’ve been taught since your first steps in the garden to either drop one seed in the hole or (since this is carrots), scatter them and when they start to grow, thin out the weaker seedlings to give the carrot lots of room to grow.
Well, that’s not how Charles Dowding does it, and I’ve been watching his videos and following him for almost two years. He puts three seeds in and grows carrots (and other vegetables, such as onions) in clumps.
My experience with this has been extremely interesting.
I can’t say these deformed characters were the result of multi-sowing or the organic seeds I had sown. However, these are the most interesting carrots I’ve ever grown. My onions sown with this method grew normally.
More on this multi-sowing method and Dowding in a future post. This post is about carrot cake.
I pulled the last of the carrots from the garden on December 14th, the day before temperatures were predicted to drop below -10 Celsius.
I’ve made this recipe several times, starting in 2017. I found the original on the Internet and tweaked it to my tastes. The original didn’t include raisins, but I love raisins.
I’ll be honest, when I look at carrot cake, nothing in my body says, “Oh. Lovely. That looks so delicious.”
Then I take a bite, and my taste buds ignite with excitement, and I love this cake.
In a sauce pan
melt 1 1/4 cup butter
In a small bowl, shred
enough carrots to make three cups – that’s about 4 carrots average size