Baby fed, changed, and strapped into her infant seat and placed on the counter so she could watch me bake (not recommended safe baby practice, but I swear I was never more than 5 inches from her the entire time and she's not very mobile yet), we got started.
I am notoriously bad at preparing to bake, and since we don't have a grocery store within half an hour, I sometimes have to adjust recipes just because I haven't picked up the proper ingredients during the weekly shopping trip. For some reason, I thought I only needed three carrots, but the recipe actually called for between 8-10. Whoops! I had to supplement with the completely hairy carrots Nate had in the bottom drawer of the fridge leftover from the pregnancy juice making extravaganza.
Piper and the hairy carrot
I fished the food processor out of the pantry. I can't believe I've never used the food processor to grate anything before. So fast! So easy! Of course, after grating the recommended 8 carrots, I had way more carrots than I needed. I also got to use the nut chopper my mother bought me off an infomercial 10 years ago. This thing never gets to see much action, except at Christmas. So many gadgets - I love this cake!
I'm a terribly messy baker, so by the time I was done mixing the batter (eggs, olive oil, carrots, walnuts, sugar, wheat germ, flour, baking soda, sald, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and vanilla), the kitchen was wrecked. But, because of the aforementioned gadgets, I actually had time to clean the kitchen before the baby started squalling!
I'd never seen a carrot cake made in a bundt pan, so I was a little nervous about that part. I've had bad luck getting cakes out of this type of pan intact, and there were some very weird directions about lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper or tinfoil, which I experimented with and then discarded, choosing instead to coat the sucker with half a bottle of PAM. I stuck the cake in the oven for 45 minutes, came back after Piper was done eating, and voila! Perfect cake. I let it cool, then completely ruined the healthiness of the recipe by coating it with frosting consisting of nothing but cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar (to be honest, this frosting is really the only part of carrot cake I like). I tested it out on Nate and Kari, who both approved, and I've been able to serve it to a variety of guests who've come up to meet Piper this week. Delicious!