Saturday, March 1, 2014

An Experimental Carrot Cake for my Husband's Birthday

It was one of those insanely crazy years when a birthday fell on a busy day, so we celebrated on a different day. When we can we attempt to travel to a fun spot for a birthday, but with college commitments, such was not to be. Also my husband's birthday tends to fall on moving day. When I first met him he moved from apartment to apartment on his birthday. A few years later we were married and we were moving from San Antonio to Sheppard AFB in North Texas. The following weekend we were unpacking boxes in base housing while I was very pregnant on his birthday. After 2 more moves from base house to base house at Sheppard, we finally moved back to San Antonio on his birthday. Years later we moved from Texas to Virginia on his birthday. Then once in Virginia, we seized the opportunity to travel to historic spots and mostly did that for his birthday.

This year I had time to make his favorite birthday cake, carrot cake.


However, I was out of one of the special extra ingredients, raisins.  What to substitute? If it weren't for my watching Chopped on Food Network all the time, I might not have ventured into the adventurous, but when I found candied ginger from Colonial Williamsburg in my baking cupboard, I thought, "why not?"


I chopped it up rather finely and added it to the batter. I had also found a storage bag full of cinnamon and confectioner's sugar from dipping baked pfefferneuse last Christmas. I'm on a spring cleaning binge, so I dumped that into the frosting. Oops, it came out sort of brown! My son was quite antsy, wondering what Dad would say.  When my husband came home from work, he commented as soon as he came into the house that he smelled baking. My son was busy with a task, and my husband left for a moment, then my son asked tons of questions about what his dad did and did not know about the cake. I really didn't know but I said I thought he knew what he was getting. My son was going nuts.


For the first time since moving from Texas we also got Blue Bell ice cream. His favorite is Tin Roof, which is a winter flavor. I did see it last month, but not when I was shopping this time.  I bought a new flavor since he likes cheesecake and it had lots of extras like Tin Roof has.


My son added the candle, which my husband heartily approved! Then the kids in some sequence started giggling and let the cat out of the bag. My husband was confused. My son was antsy. I asked my husband if he knew what *kind* of cake I made. He said I had to have made carrot cake because anything different than that would be mean. The kids and I died laughing. He was confused. He did see the cake in the fridge earlier and had no idea why the white icing was a bit brown, but it had to be carrot cake. He said he knew I couldln't have put raisins in it unless I bought more, because he knew we were out of raisins. We told him I put in a different ingredient. He was getting worried.


However he couldn't find any fault with what he tasted. My daughter and I easily tasted the tiny bit of spicy heat from the ginger. My son found it in certain bites. My husband, not at all. He's destroyed his tastebuds with such spicy peppers and salsas, that he can no longer taste subtler flavors. I got him a piece of candied ginger to inspect and taste. Finally he noted it in the cake. He liked it!

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