Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Ben! - carrot cake and CCCs

On Saturday night we celebrated my buddy Ben's birthday. A perfect excuse for baking. After asking him about his sweet preferences, I settled on carrot cake and chocolate chip cookies with toffee bits. The carrot cake was based on my friend Lynn's grandmother's recipe. Full of pineapple, cinnamon, a little rum extract, and of course, loads of carrots. Absolutely delicious.

As I've said before, I'm not great at the aesthetics of baking, so I enlisted the delicate Daniel to aid me in frosting (a decadent cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar number.)

Using techniques he's seen on Ace of Cakes, Daniel shaved the top of one cake to make them stack well and went to work with our make shift cake plate (an inverted bundt cake pan). He did an excellent job, and I have to say, the cake was a huge hit. I'm glad to have it in my repertoire.

I was less thrilled with the outcome of the chocolate chip cookies, from the Alton Brown chewy recipe. I'd made these before and been really pleased with them. They'd been moist and chewy and really perfect, so I was excited to make them again with broken up Skor bar. But this time, for some reason, they didn't turn out as well. Very cakelike for some reason. One day, I'll be a good enough baker to understand why sometimes things work and sometimes they don't.

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