CARROT CAKE REVIEW No 5 ~ In Carrots We Trust.
|National Trust Carrot Cake £2.10|
It was quite a moderately sized slice of carrot cake, but the price probably reflects that. I've certainly had bigger, but then size isn't everything, and those huge slices often turn out to be flavourless sponges anyway. The cake had a good open texture, with that reassuringly orangey brown that any half decent carrot cake will possess, like a healthy baked tan. It also had a rugged smattering of sultanas and walnuts, some of which, unfortunately still lay on the bottom of the cake. They probably weren't well enough mixed in.
The first flavour you hit, once you stop observing the external indicators and sink your molars into it? Well, actually its an excellent carroty taste, not overly moist, but then not gingerbread dry, probably about right. The texture is good, the recipe appears to possess a goodly amount of carrot, it has avoided that weightiness, solid and soggy, that the truly worthy wholesome carrot cake can become in ardent hands. Having said that, a carrot cake is probably the very definition of a homely cake, weighty and wholesome.
There was some spice in it, probably mixed, thought I could detect some signature inflections of cinnamon. Nothing too noticeable or it would risk turning a carrot cake into a spice cake, which I have encountered in my previous undocumented adventures into the world of cafe carrot cakes.
Hubby says it was machine made, because there were tell tale signs of its catering paper casing. Whether they run their own central catering department, or contract this out, I don't know. Though presumably they use a similar recipe to the one in the NT Cookbook.
The topping strikes the one major note of disappointment. No, its not a buttercream, its a white icing sugar topping, - yeh yuk! . Hubby assures me they've added some sort of white fat/trex to stiffen it, plus a dash of lemon. But the dominant effect is of one massive sugar hit, that stamps angrily on the not insubstantial carrotiness, like its flattening a fly on a window pane.
This being a carrot cake sold through the National Trust at the beautiful Sheringham Park, it is stately and dependable, its not going to inflame any conservative purists into apoplexy. Though perhaps lacking a little in stylistic flair and hence, excitement. it is quite an acceptable carrot cake nonetheless, in the classic sense.
CARROT CAKE SCORE ~ 6/8