For the last 11 months, I have been hearing, weekly, that Carter wants a carrot cake for his birthday. I decided to go with a new cookbook, The Big Book of Gluten-Free Recipes: More than 500 easy gluten-free recipes for healthy and flavorful meals, by Kimberly A. Tessmer, RD, LD.
Did you know that carrot cake was “invented” during WWII because of the flour and sugar rationing? Yet these days, carrot cake is bursting with sugar and flour. Not so, in this cookbook.
I was a bit worried throughout, as it was one little thing after another. First, it calls for using a springform pan. Unfortunately, mine are in a box, on the bottom of a stack of boxes, at the back of a whole bunch of boxes. We’re a few weeks late (and counting) on our move. Thankfully, I hadn’t packed my regular round cake pans yet, mostly because I just didn’t see them in the lower cupboard.
The carrot cake recipe in this cookbook is quite different because it is not packed with flour and sugar. It has orange peel and ginger, two ingredients I’ve not often seen in any carrot cake. It does require a moderate level of skill in the kitchen, as you must beat the egg whites stiff and fold them into the batter. Not terribly difficult, but it can be frustrating if you don’t know what to do (don’t worry – most of the other recipes are much easier). It does produce a wonderfully light cake, though.
On the carrot cake recipe, when it says use a springform pan, it means it. Even though I had oiled the pan thoroughly, I still had to work an icing spatula under the cake to remove it from the pan.
I made a cream cheese frosting (which, for me, is more like a sweetened cream cheese and less like a frosting) for the cake. I was bone tired, so, for decoration, I added a little sugar to the rest of the grated carrots and fashioned a “7” on the top of the cake. I expected strange looks, but everyone loved it. In fact, the cake was such a hit that my mom has requested it for her birthday…next May and my brother requested I make one again very soon. The ginger gave just a bit of a zing and the orange peel added a little extra dimension. The cake was completely gone.
There are many recipes in The Big Book of Gluten-Free Recipes that I look forward to making, like Quinoa Angel Hair with Bolognese Sauce, Pull-Apart Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits, and Luscious Ricotta Griddle Cakes.
But for now, Happy Birthday to my little man!