With a Little Help from My Friends: Carrot Cake

It was Justin’s birthday, and I wanted to make him a cake.

There is a reason why he is the baker, and I am more of a cook.  Cooking is improvisational.  You can measure things by flavor and scent.  You can stir it and try it and season it and try it again.  Baking is quite a bit more precise.  I’m not super good at measuring.  Ok, I will come clean.  I don’t measure anything.  Justin is much more careful in the kitchen.

I was confident going into the carrot cake project that I could pull it off.  I would just discipline myself to measure carefully.  I learned to do it once.

I can bake things; I am capable.  I make really good scones.

I have baked things.  I have made cake and bread and pizza dough and cookies.

I set out to make a two-layer carrot cake with a recipe from What to Bake and How to Bake It, our favorite baking book at home.  I opted to (wimp out) use store-bought frosting, so I wouldn’t be as overwhelmed by steps.

Right off the hop, I had a problem.  The recipe offers the option of toasting the pecans before adding them, and I thought, “I can toast pecans,” and dutifully put them on a tray in the oven.  Well, they burned.

Burned Pecans

These were pecans once.

Fine, I thought.  I’ll leave the pecans out.  No big deal.  I mixed the dry ingredients, and then went to work with the wet ingredients.

We had no eggs.  Since I am a good and kind wife, I woke early on Justin’s birthday and made him breakfast.  And I used up the eggs needed for the cake.  It needs 3 eggs.

Without a car available to run to the store and with my nerves beginning to frazzle, I decided it twas time for reinforcements.  When Mel, who is a much better baker and much calmer, offered to help, I naturally said yes.

We went to the store and bought eggs and more pecans, which Mel expertly toasted.  The cake was baked without incident, and I even managed to frost it so it looked pretty.  Eventually, we even got to eat it.  Delicious.

So tasty! Those toasted nuts were the best.

So tasty! Those toasted nuts were the best.

I remember now why I don’t bake, but maybe if I keep trying I’ll get better…