My community is pretty fortunate. We can get almost everything kosher that we need at our local grocery store, and the smaller nearby markets. But it’s kind of exciting when you can find unique or novelty items here. Last Thursday, I was doing some Shabbos shopping with my Ima in our local Aldi’s, when we passed a box of carrot-cake mix. I think carrot-cake is a delicious comfort food, and my young balabusta-looking-for-a-shortcut eye was drawn to the box, examining it for a suitable hechsher. Surprisingly, it had one! My mother asked me if f I’d like to make it for Shabbos, but in the end decided to save it for another time.
Friday morning dawned, and we got busy with Shabbos preparations. My mother, rather against her will, was called into work for a few hours. She asked me if I could start the challah. I gladly obliged. I love making Challah, and appreciate the great significance of the mitzvah, and labor of love. I sprinkled my yeast over the warm water, waited for a bit… and nothing. It was older yeast anyway, so I disposed of it, and started over. Coming back to it 15 minutes later, I was surprised to find that it didn’t bubble, or even dissolve! I tried a third time… still nothing. I called my mother, and asked if she could pick up some fresh yeast on the way home. In the meantime, I still wanted to do something in the kitchen. I remembered the carrot-cake mix in the supermarket, and decided a nice dessert would grace our Shabbos seudah. It would be my extra kavod! (This balabusta ain’t lookin’ for an easy way out anymore– we’re doing this from scratch!)
Below, you can find my recipe. Credit goes to Allrecipes.com, for the basic ingredients and instructions– with my substitutes and extra touches.
~2 C. all-purpose flour, ~2 Tsp. baking soda, ~1/4 Tsp. salt, ~2 Tsp. cinnamon, ~ Pinch or so of ground nutmeg, ~3 eggs (make sure to bring to room temperature before baking), ~3/4 C. water, ~3/4 C. vegetable oil, ~1 1/2 C. white sugar, ~2 Tsp. orange extract, ~2 C. shredded carrots, slightly packed ~3/4 C. flaked coconut, ~1 C. chopped pecans, ~1 C. grated apple, slightly packed with applesauce (in place or the original recipe’s cup of crushed pineapple with juice), ~1 C. raisins, ~8 chopped dates
What to do:
And now for the (optional) Honey Orange-Blossom icing, my original recipe!
What you need:
~Margarine, ~Confectioner’s sugar, ~Honey, ~Orange extract or orange zest
1.) Melt maybe 1/2 a stick of margarine in a small saucepot. Once liquefied, sprinkle in the sugar, whisking consistently. Do not let it burn, or clod. It should be thick, but you should still be able to drizzle it.
(A note of caution: If you’re using margarine, some of the grease may separate once most of it mixes with the sugar to make the icing. If you have excess grease, watch out so that it doesn’t splatter and burn you, and carefully channel the liquid into a paper cup or disposable container to cool, before throwing away.)
2.) Add a generous slosh of the orange extract, or heaping spoonful of zest, and squeeze in honey, to taste. Whisk well.
Drizzle or spread icing, while still warm, over cake.
Whisk water and confectioner’s sugar together, until smooth and drizzly. Add orange flavor and honey. Combine, and top cake as normal.
Oh, and by the way, the Challah came out pretty nicely too, Baruch Hashem! :)
Hope you had a good Shabbos, and Bitayavon!
Don’t forget to share how your masterpieces come out!