CARROT CAKE REVIEW NO 4 ~ Finally Something Like The Real Thing

Carrot & Orange with Manuka Honey Cake ~ eaten at The Alby Crafts Tearooms, Alby Crafts & Gardens, Norfolk

Carrot,Orange & Manuka Honey Cake - £2.50

Now, you might be forgiven for thinking, as I did when I read the name of this cake ~ ' this cake is wearing its hipster worthiness heavily tattooed on its arm' ~ Manuka Honey, honestly! Is this really a true blue carrot cake. or is it straight out of some fooffy cook book needlessly messing around with a traditional classic, just cos they can? I even thought twice about whether to review this as a carrot cake at all. Well, thankfully I pulled back from my high horses. As ever, what it looks like and what it tastes like are both qualities of a cake, but excellence in the former does not guarantee excellence in the latter. The proof is, as ever, always in the eating.

The slice was substantial in height rather than girth. conforming to a contemporary cake trend for constructing your cake from multiple layers of cake mortared together, in this case, with a light whipped buttercream.  The cake consistency, you could see had a reassuringly dense texture, so obviously a large amount of carrot in it. The baker wasn't seeking safe refuge from the demon carrot, by clinging on to a sponge mix or the dreaded banana fixer. Here was a carrot cake that carried its carrot contents loud and proud. Hurrah, at long last!

The taste of it was quite moist. The orange was an accent rather than a rival or compensation to the carrot. I'm not normally a big fan of honey in a cake, it can add a sort of flowery perfume taste to things, that is not always a welcome addition. But the Manuka Honey,  praise be, seems to be a rather subtle sweetener.  Then of course there is the topping, a modest spread of whipped butter cream that had a rather nice marshmellowy consistency and taste to it, with a generous gravel of chopped nuts scattered across it.

If I had any qualms about it, I would say that walnuts and sultanas in the cake mix would have been a welcome addition, giving the cake a bit more substance and bulk. I can see why they weren't present, as this might have made the clean lines of the multiple layering harder to maintain. Though the buttercream was a generous compliment to the carrot cake, creamed cheese would, in my opinion, have lifted this cake still further towards the heavenly heights.

But that said, this was, after a run of rather disappointing carrot cakes, a real pleasure to eat.



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