Sometimes, I find blog props in the garbage. I am being very serious.
Take this white spray-painted table top. I rescued it from the dumpster in my building.
I had been meaning to “make one” for years, but obviously was too lazy to get myself to Home Depot to purchase the necessary supplies. So, the table top never got made. Then last week, I noticed that my parking spot neighbors, two spots over, had put down at the foot of their spot a big plastic sheet and had left a spray-painted piece of plywood to dry. I eyed it enviously and then I walked away. I wanted it, but it wasn’t mine to take.
Luck would have it that, a couple days later, the piece of plywood appeared in the dumpster. So, I pulled it out and brought it up to my apartment. As usual, when I find a treasure like this tossed away, I get very excited. I think about all the pretty photos I can take with it and all the money I saved by “rescuing” the item from the garbage.
Of course, dumpster-diving for blog props doesn’t always work out. My balcony is proof of that where you will find a graveyard of bits of old disintegrating fences and a door of some sort. I also found these in the trash, walking down my street, and proudly carried dragged them up to my apartment and out onto the balcony. Sadly, when I went to dismantle them to build them into a table top, I found that I didn’t quite have the strength or the proper equipment to deal with the stubborn, rusty nails and screws. The fence bits and the door were rejected outside, never to be used.
Since the universe was kind enough to provide me with a proper white table top, I guess I am finally ready to part ways with my failed attempts at craftiness. Then, it would be significantly less obvious that I belong on the show Hoarders. Unfortunately, I now have to drag the bits and pieces down to the dumpster. I should probably do this at night when nobody’s around to judge my junk problem.
This carrot cake recipe was adapted from the French magazine Saveurs (May 2012, page 79). The original recipe was entitled “carrot blondies”, but it actually yielded carrot cake. That’s okay because it turned out to be a really nice snacking cake, moist and flavorful. I tweaked the spices and the add-ins, opting for crystallized ginger and walnuts. The only issue I had was with the glaze, but that was my own fault. When I read the glaze recipe, I misread “2 cuillères à café de jus de citron vert” (2 tsp) for “2 cuillères à soupe de jus de citron vert” (2 tbsp). I ended up with a runny glaze that mostly just ran off the cake, but the bit that soaked in gave a nice citrus hit. I added a second layer of thicker glaze later on.
As with most recipes from France, no pan size is suggested. I find this rather curious. Are French women born knowing exactly what pan size they need to use for each recipe? Is there some rule or formula I don’t know about? All this to say that I used an 8-inch square metal pan, so my squares are thicker than those pictured in the magazine.
Glazed carrot cake
Carrot cake ingredients
- 90 grams white chocolate I used Cacao Barry Blanc Satin
- 120 grams unsalted butter
- 120 grams raw granulated cane sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 150 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 40 grams chopped walnuts
- 30 grams chopped crystallized ginger
- 60 grams shredded carrot
- 1 tbsp grated orange zest
Glaze #1 ingredients—the runny glaze
- 90 grams icing sugar
- 2 tbsp lime juice
Glaze #2 ingredients—the thick glaze
- 180 grams icing sugar
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 1 large egg white
- zest of orange lemon, and lime
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square metal pan with parchment and set aside.
- Melt together the chocolate and butter in a medium bowl in the microwave (power level 4 or 5, NOT high!) or over a double boiler. Set aside to cool slightly, stirring occasionally.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar until they have thickened and lightened in color (this takes a good 2 minutes or more). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the melted chocolate mixture to the mixer, and beat it in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and spices. Drop them into the mixer bowl, and beat them in on low until they are just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the grated carrot, chopped nuts, ginger and grated orange zest, then mix them in on low.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and bake it for about 35–40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool completely before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.
- Whisk together the ingredients of glaze #1, then pour them over the cake set on a drip rack over a rimmed sheet pan.
- Let the glaze seep in for about 45 minutes, then whisk together the ingredients of glaze #2 and pour it over the cake.
- Sprinkle the zests over the glaze and let it set a full hour at least before cutting to serve.
Want more carrot recipe ideas? Here you go:
- Here’s a carrot recipe roundup including recipes from some of my favourite bloggers!
- If you are craving something savoury, try this carrot focaccia.