It’s amazing how powerful pictures can be. As I was looking at some of my pictures from throwbacks, and the memories just flood back. Of times, places, people, feelings, how you are, and who you are at that moment. After all that I get hungry :)
Two pictures in particular really stood out: when I was tasked by my mom to make not one, but TWO cakes for her co-workers.
One person LOVES citrus, so for him I made a key lime cake.
The other loved carrot cake, but not with the nuts or raisins.
Now, I’m not a baker, but I thought I’d give it a try. And these two guys in particular were nice, so I figured what the hell. Since I was new to baking, I’ll hang my head in shame as I say that the key lime cake was made using a mix that I doctored up. Not real baking, but hey, those mixes exist for a reason, and people do buy them. Not as good as homemade, but good.
After being acquainted with key lime, I fell in love with key lime pie. Everytime I can get my mitts on those tiny, tarty limes, I know pie’s in my future. So from one gussied up cake from a mix comes real key lime pie. Not the green goo kind you see in the supermarket. Lemon meringue does not get the lemon switched with lime to make key lime pie! Ew.
As for the carrot cake, when The Fisherman and I started dating, he mentioned loving carrot cake. Nearly six months later, I haven’t made it for him, I feel terrible (he doesn’t care but I do), so I decide I’ll make it for him, before it gets crazy hot outside and I melt before I turn on the stove.
Another recipe that I tried, which is really baking for non-bakers, is a muffin-based recipe that I simply pour into a pan, because the thought of muffin tins and those paper cups…not gonna happen.
As I’m looking at those pictures, I asked myself, “Why don’t I bake more often?” The answer of course being, I’m not good at measuring, and I can’t leave well enough alone and have to fiddle with things. This does not bode well for baking. But, once in awhile, I’ll try to bake. Sometimes I create something good, and sometimes I make something TERRIBLE!
I try to console myself (preferably with something delicious that I didn’t just bake), and know I have to try again.
So on today’s menu, we have key lime pie, carrot cake, and banana nut muffins. Let’s get cooking!
So the recipe I used is from the bag of limes. If you get the limes, it’s there. If not, this one is very similar.
Then, a primer on key limes:
Regular, or Persian lime, versus Key Limes.
All cut up, and nowhere to go, but the JUICER!
But of course, I can’t leave well enough alone. I decided instead of buying or making a graham cracker crust, I should try making a vanilla wafer based crust. I figured it’s lighter than the graham, the vanilla smoothness would play nicely with the citrus, and I really, really believed it would work.
Here it's blind baking so it's nice and crunchy.
I can’t complain, I thought it was good. Maybe next time I’d incorporate some coconut, a nice lime-coco pie.
Next is the carrot cake, where I mess with it A LOT! However, due to some strange occurrence in the universe, it actually came out pretty good. And of course, anything covered in cream cheese icing is going to be good. This is the recipe, and here’s what I changed :)
* Unsalted butter, for the pan
* 12 ounces, approximately 2 1/2 cups, all-purpose flour, plus extra for pan (whole wheat was replaced for white, it creates less of a spike in blood sugar, has more fiber)
* 12 ounces grated carrots, medium grate, approximately 6 medium
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (1tsp) (I like things with a kicked so I doubled the
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon(1tsp)
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg(1/2 tsp)
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 10 ounces sugar, approximately 1 1/3 cups (3/4 c agave) (it doesn’t spike your blood sugar as badly as white sugar)
* 2 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup firmly packed
* 3 large eggs
* 6 ounces plain yogurt
* 6 ounces vegetable oil(4 oz apple sauce, 2 oz oil) (thought cutting the fat was not a bad idea, given the FROSTING, which should not be left out!!)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 ounces powdered sugar, sifted, approximately 2 cups
I wish I were able to find not crazy expensive walnuts (The Fisherman likes nuts in stuff), but to no avail, next time I will try to procure walnuts.
I tried to be all slick and slice the cake into two halves, so I can frost the middle. I don't know if I'll do that next time...
And I tried to do a cool pattern on the cake. Not a good idea...
Finally, we have my quasi-muffin recipe I’ve switched it up and made apple cinnamon muffins, pumpkin muffins, this time I made banana nut. This I did make The Fisherman when we were first dating, because he mentioned liking banana nut muffins. The only switch I do here is the applesauce vs. oil trick, where you replace the oil with applesauce. Some recipes this works, some it won’t, so be careful.
And, I usually don’t have buttermilk on hand, so I use either milk mixed with some lemon juice (maybe ¼ tsp), allowed to sit for five minutes, or I use yogurt if I have it. A very versatile recipe, healthy, and sweet without being too sweet. One caveat, this does not freeze well, I learned this the hard way, unfortunately *sad face*
And that wraps up The FBA’s baking post. Perhaps there will be more. Only problem with baking is, you need people to eat it, otherwise you wind up having to wear sweatpants from eating all of your delicious creations!