beta carotene love

>> March 28, 2009

if i somehow found myself what most would deem the horrible situation in which i was forced to pick just one dessert to eat for the rest of time, it would take me, oh, .000003 seconds to answer: carrot cake.

i would gladly give up all chocolate (most chocolate desserts don't impress me... i only like dark chocolate and in small amounts), say goodbye to pie (mom's pumpkin is the reason for the miniscule delay in answering), wave off custards, cremes, tortes, and all other cakes and creations if i could have carrot cake after every meal.

i think i fell in love with it, sadly, in elementary school when my mom bought things from market day, the frozen-food fundraiser company. i'd open the box in the freezer to find little individually wrapped 3 by 3 squares. they were the perfect shade of orange-y brown, covered with a thin layer of sweet-tart cream cheese frosting, and topped with a decoratively piped carrot. i'd unwrap the gem, pop it in the microwave, and savor the goodness. 

i don't ever remember having homemade carrot cake... neither my mom nor grandma ever made it, and i can't really think of a restaurant that served it up. but somehow, those little market day frozen wonders stuck with me, and i've harbored this affinity for the vegetable-laden baked good.

after i was diagnosed with lactose intolerance and the myriad of other digestive disorders, i pretty much kissed all dessert goodbye, unless i baked it myself. but after a little bit of searching, i found one beacon of hope to which many, many of you should be jealous: i live in allentown, which is right next to bethlehem, which is the home of the famous vegan treats bakery. yes, that one; praised by VegNews (veggie awards, 222 best reasons to be vegan) as the home of the legendary peanut butter bomb and the most ooey-gooey sticky buns i've ever seen. 

as i stood at the counter, excited by the idea that i could pick anything i wanted without fear of getting sick, my eyes immediately found the bright orange-and-white triangular prism of amazing. it was 2 layers of moist, carrot-studded cake, oozing with cream "cheese" frosting in between, on top, and coating the sides. 

and it didn't disappoint. i ate froze half, at the other, and went to the freezer and finished it off before the sun went down on day two. this october for my sister's wedding, my mom got me a slice so that i could have dessert with everyone else. 

tonight, after a thesis and stat all day marathon, i needed carrot cake. since i don't have the luxury of vegan treats or market day in my freezer, i was on my own.

i was a little disappointed when i scanned the joy of cooking and didn't see my favorite cake in the index. i did, however, find a sour-cream spice cake, which i figured i could easily adapt by subbing yogurt for sour-cream and adding in some carrots. but then i remembered that my brown sugar isn't arriving until my parents come tomorrow, and i wanted it now.

apparently, over winter break, i had anticipated such a calamity when i purchased a box of simply organic carrot cake mix. it's gluten and dairy-free, doesn't call for oil, and has a nice vegan adaptation recipe on the back. since my egg-less baked goods never work out, i used 1 (instead of 2) and 3 tablespoons of yogurt (the vegan recipe switched the eggs for 1/4 cup of applesauce). i used my cute little mini-bread loaf pans, making 1 with raisins to give to my sister (she's coming tonight), and the other without so that lyss and i could have one (she hates raisins). obviously, it's not complete without cream cheese frosting, so i made a glaze by mixing some marshmallow fluff and tofutti cream cheese (my bagel-saver) with a little bit of warm water.

perfecto. i think i shall have another slice as i try to tackle more algebra and round out the thesis marathon. oye.



Alisa March 31, 2009 at 9:58 PM  

Oooh, carrot cake is one of my favorites, and really the only kind of cake I like! (not a big chocolate person either, unless it is straight dark chocolate). I prefer the dairy-free carrot cakes made with oil as they are so dense and moist .. but that darn frosting gets me! Thank goodness for Tofutti.

Alisa March 31, 2009 at 10:23 PM  

I also linked to your blog and quoted this post for Vegan Treats -

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