There’s something very alluring about carrot cakes that finds fancying in a kind of flavor unfamiliar to even the most globally popular slices and servings of decadence. Sure one craves quite often the gooey goodness of a nice, thick slice- or perhaps the entire thing of what entices in its identity as a chocolate cake. Or think boozy rum cakes and fruity plum cakes and one cannot help but drool over the whiffs of what emanates from such freshly baked goodies of Godly gastronomy. The classics of vanilla and butterscotch too appeal in and despite all their ‘commonness’, not to mention the most exquisite of picks that occur as a sinful cheesecake sight and cakes indeed bear a reputation of never failing to deliver the ultimate hearty decadence.
Quite a unique presence on any cake platter in terms of both its taste and vision is a certain expression characteristic of a vegetable. This very conjuring of identity is what also attributes it a certain healthy essence that together with the pretty hue of what it necessarily flaunts makes it a delight differently regarded. Carrot cakes are what we are talking about in all popularity of its reception through which seeps the radiance of a presence rich and indulgent even when the according of it to quite some accounts of humbleness prevails as an amusing but aberrant ‘fact’ of its origins.
The roots of this essentially moist and sweet cake as ‘proclaiming’ of the very identity in embodying and expressing is one of not much ancientness. A 18th century becoming that most closely resembles its present day image, carrot cake in itself is not an ingenious innovation. Nor was it born out of necessity as is oft explored in the theory of it coming to be a thing during the 2nd World War when sugar found rationing making way for the natural sweetness of the veggie to render its own flavor and texture to cakes. This latest dating of its popularity is indeed valid as far as the current status of it is concerned but it is at most a half baked truth as regards to the hows and whys attempting to explain its caked character.
Carrot cake in fact might have been a modification or improvement upon a much earlier recipe of what was commonly relished as carrot pudding. That would necessarily mean a harkening back to times historically referred to as the Middle Ages while some version of what would assert more ‘solidly’ as a cake can be dated nowhere earlier than the most certain years of the 1700s. So whether it be the royal lineage of a carrot cake recipe curated to appease the tastebuds of a pumpkin-averse Louis XVI of France or its famous serving by the first US President George Washington to mark the British Evacuation Day in 1783, the distinctiveness of this baked beauty can never be derived from upon a reasoning of rationing.
If anything, it is supreme in the salubriousness of what plays through most evidently in its rich swathe of color- a light pastel assertion of its vivid orange identity such that speaks instantly of an opulence subtly even when strikingly. From its puddinged beginnings through a crusty loaved evolution to finally the creamy decadence of its immaculate frosting- carrot cakes have always found beauty in every imperfection to be lavishing now on a singular reputation of what is as gratifying and gorgeous as it is hearty and wholesome.
Of course the reputation of it as healthy might be disputed as just one wholly good ingredient does not determine the entire nature of the final serving. But to the extent that carrot cakes bear indeed the scope of being healthful and delightful at the same time is what has helped its cause in being simultaneously exotic and classic a global favorite. Underrated it still might be in some aspects but the unparalleled exemplariness of taste and a certain grainy yet soft mouthfeel of what it lends in all intoxicating aroma of what fresh bakes send wafting all through not to mention the associated aesthetics of being an eye candy and carrot cakes are what no other dessert can ever be.
Particularly in America as well as in Switzerland, carrot cakes have unfurled quite another dimension of the dessertries. The claim is even cakier in the European nation where it has found official recognition as being the favorite celebratory staple of birthdays. To be exact in fact, this exceptional regard is one only naturally occurring out of the cake’s most certain origins somewhere along the expanse of the continent of Europe. The Swiss Rüeblitorte is a case in point, asserting as a specific variant of the many general carrot cake recipes baked the world over. Outside the western world, it would be a certain fusion of the Indian dessert gajar halwa to form a carroty cake that makes for an enriching addition to the culinary repertoire.
Rüeblitorte expresses as a lighter, fluffier variant of the common carrot cake. It is more of a torte than a cake as is decipherable from its very name. Rüebli is the German word for the vegetable, the produce of which is specifically remarkable in the Canton of Aargau from where the recipe belongs. Almonds are one of the most prominent ingredients aside from carrot and almond meal pretty much replaces or at least considerably substitutes the flour in the batter. This makes it tend closer to assuming the identity of torte as validated in its calling while also embodying the lightness and ‘mildness’ of what makes it so soothing a serving of pleasant sweetness.
The visage of what a Rüeblitorte renders also matches up to its pleasing peculiarity, with cute little marzipan carrots decking up its entire face. Quintessential as well is the incorporation of eggs into the batter that yields a cake celebratory in all its decadence as such. This Swiss version of the carrot cake is also often glazed with a kirsch infused icing making the flavor manifest an even more unique character in irresistibility.
Contrast this with the zesty flavor of what any other carrot cake usually delivers in its occurring also as a spice cake and it becomes easier to decipher reasons to be grateful for the epicurean existence of either. The denser, sweeter, creamier slices of an American or even worldly serving will never match up to the exotic fruitiness almost of the Swiss specialty and vice versa, with each recipe making for desserts individually titillating the taste buds despite their singular description.
Perhaps it is such moreish might of the carrot cake in being necessarily tempting that has earned it the moniker of the passion cake. This particular prevalence does not occur currently as relevant so much so that a quick search for passion cake on the internet would hardly yield any recipe with carrots in the mix. Nevertheless, the very occurring of it sometime in that reference establishes even emphatically the fanciful manner in which it appeases the human preference for all things sensuous.
Coming to terms with this exquisiteness rested in what is a bake of much resplendence indeed and even elevating perhaps the sumptuousness of what it lends one to experience would be the desi version of what courts further flamboyance as a gajar halwa cake. Bringing together two desserts each inexplicably flavored in a certain comfort despite their essential richness and by extension also combining two separate culinary expressions of cultural uniquity, this is a sweet offering that promises to offer the best of both worlds. And it delivers as well in exact flair of rendering palpable each of the encompassing flavours through the ultimate fusion that tastes almost too good to be true!
The efforts might occur as compounded indeed in baking this Indian exclusive identity sweeping in its sweetness. The steps of what make up this recipe require first a preparation of the classic dessert of gajar ka halwa which traditionally is a labour and time intensive exercise in itself. It also is as rich essentially- loaded with ghee and milk and sugar which is what ensures every bowlful of its serving to exceed expectations but still falls short in satiating the soul. The ‘effort’ might manifest as even uphill in having to resist yourself from gobbling up all that pudding enticingly speaking to you a language of love. But persist in patience and perseverance through this processing of human character and there awaits a reward that will enrich every extent of your edible experience.
The gajar halwa cake or carrot pudding cake calls for incorporating the prepared carrot serving into the batter of what would then be baked. Additional ingredients would be accounted for as well with spices and nuts and even cream and butter or ghee finding generous pouring and mixing. The result of what ensues through this labour of love is worth every bit of effort entailed, as each spoonful would bring along a medley of flavors exploding in your mouth. So magnificent is the realisation that dawns through this trail of taste that would make anyone more than willing to dive deep into this vast ocean of what it calls for. And yet if you are feeling particularly lazy on a day steeped with the purposeless feels, a simple layer of gajar ka halwa and cream cheese perfectly sandwiched between tow slices of a spiced cake should do the trick. Indeed, that’s how blessed you really are!