The vibrant root vegetable eventually migrated to being used in cakes during the 18th and 19th centuries, and gained a revival on British shores when luxury foods were rationed and larder provisions were limited during World War II. The Ministry of Food actually encouraged the nation to quench their pudding cravings by making carrot cakes for Christmas and special occasions, and distributed recipes throughout the land.
Considering I’ve been devouring Downton Abbey like the rest of my family, I was naturally gleeful thinking that Daisy might be helping Mrs. Patmore prepare this cake or something similar for Lady Mary and her sisters at some point.
As Paul’s birthday rolled around, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to try the classic carrot cake variety myself. I used the traditional one from Joy of Baking website and took what shortcuts I could — including pre-shredded carrots! I skipped the raisins – actually I just plain overlooked them, but good just the same!
I’ve only recently learned that toasting the walnuts is an essential first step so they don’t get rubbery when baked. They are also more fragrant.
The kitchen I was using is in the middle or maybe the beginning of a rather large remodel… but electricity was working.
I wouldn’t have tried this without a working stove.
The pans were different — one was an aluminum pan, made for baking cakes. The other was a cheesecake pan with a glass bottom. I opted to bake simultaneously for timing sake, but the downside was the differing temperatures. Having the parchment paper makes the process much, much easier too.
Cream cheese frosting between the layers with a healthy coat on top, topped with the walnuts. Happy Birthday!