Sunday, June 24, 2012

Carrot and Vanilla Cake

It is relatively early on Sunday evening here, but it has been such a big weekend and Mr B and I are absolutely exhausted so we are sitting in our warm cosy beds, trying to keep our eyes open for just a few more minutes!

It all started Friday morning, Mr B and I were fortunate enough to have the day off work and the sun was shining so we decided to make the most of it.....what better way to do this then with a road trip!?

We headed east towards an area called Strathgordon, which is about an hour and a half / two hours drive from where we live, and to get there you go through some of the most beautiful forest scenery you will ever see. Once we got to the end of the road (you literally drive until you get to the end of the road!), we were able to walk out and across the Gordon Dam. The Dam is 140m high, just several metres higher than the Sydney Harbour Bridge (134m), and holds back thirty times the amount of water in the Harbour itself! But the facts and figures are nothing compared to the view.......

On our way home we called into Maydena because we had heard about a volunteer project called Railtrack Riders. Some members of the community have gotten together and built these pedal powered railtrack carts so you can pedal your way up the old railway track through the forest. And best of all, if you get tired, the guide comes up behind you on his cart and gives you a push! Once you reach the end of the track there is a display of old photos taken in Maydena when the forestry business was booming and the guide tells you all about them and the history. After this you go for a quick walk through the forest and they tell you to keep an eye out for the local platypus. Now it was about here I started to complain, loudly, about how I had never seen a platypus in the wild and how I hate it when people tell you to just keep an eye out for one! Next thing I knew, Mr B was jumping up on a log laying across the river and waving his arms about like a crazy man. My first thought was that he had a) lost his mind and b) if he didn't stop jumping around he would fall in the water but then I saw what all the fuss was about - the platypus was there! He was a cute lil bugger and we watched in awe and admiration until he got sick of us and disappeared into the water. Mission accomplished, we made our way out of the forest and back to our railtrack cart for the ride back. It was such a unique experience in such a beautiful location, and it was so much fun!  

To top the day off, we went out for dinner to a place called the Salamanca Beef and Seafood Grill. We have been there a few times and never had a bad meal, this time Mr B had a 1kg steak topped with prawns and scallops and I had Tasmanian Salmon topped with basil pesto and camembert and we finished the whole thing off with a gelato tasting plate - doesn't get much better then that. 

Yesterday we were up early, and wearing head to toe fluro wet weather gear, and out in the elements planting trees around our fence line. My Mum and Dad have been digging these trees out from their new property and were kind enough to give them to us. We got maybe 10 in and then had to pack it in as Mr B was going to watch the local football and I had heard whisperings of a new cake decorating shop I wanted to check out. Shortly after I arrived at the shop I had to phone Mr B and advise him I would be moving in as I was now home and would he come visit me. He said no so that kind of spoilt that idea, but I was very pleased and excited about the shop and all their goodies! Definitely going to become a favourite of mine and I'm thinking it may just be easier to have my pay sent straight to their bank account every fortnight! 

I managed to pick Mr B up and feed him a veal parmigiana before taking him to a poker game (quite the social butterfly this weekend isn't he!) which meant I got to spend the evening in the kitchen baking. After cranking out enough chutney and cheese scrolls to last a life time, I also whipped up a pineapple and coconut slice using dried pineapple and it is to die for....stay tuned and I will put the recipe up in the next few days!

All of this leads us to today....Mr B and I were up early again, planting 19 more trees in the wind and the rain and the cold. But it was worth it, assuming they all survive they will be a lovely border around our property and provide some much needed shelter and privacy. After that Mr B and I had just enough energy left to make a much needed cup of tea and put a big pot of pumpkin soup and some fresh bread on for dinner. It has been a huge weekend but we have achieved a lot which is always nice. 

Do you know what else is nice - Carrot and Vanilla Cake! And it's perfect to have on hand for those busy weekends when you get unexpected visitors or your just too busy to make your own lunch and need something you can grab on the run! 

This cake was really easy - mainly because I cheated. If you want to, you can make all the components from scratch, but if you don't, it's ok to cheat! 

All you will need is
1 pkt carrot cake mix with vanilla icing
1 pkt moist vanilla cake mix with vanilla icing

Prepare and bake carrot cake as per packet directions in a 9x 6 round tin.

Prepare and bake vanilla cake as per packet directions in a 9x6 round tin. 

Combine both icing sachets and prepare as directed. Set aside. 

Once the carrot cake is cooked, remove from the tin and place cake into a bowl. Set aside.

Once the vanilla cake is cooked, remove from the tin and cut the top of the cake off so it is nice and level. Place the off cuts in the bowl with the carrot cake.

Now, get your hands in there and combine the carrot cake and the vanilla cake off cuts. Make sure it is all well combined. 

Take a round 9x6 cake tin and line with baking paper. Push the carrot cake mixture into the tin ensuring even coverage. Spread the cake with a thin layer of vanilla icing. Place the vanilla cake on top and leave in the fridge for a 2-3 hours.

Remove cake from tin, pour over the remaining icing and sit down with a cup of tea and a well deserved slice of cake!

I know it sounds a little fiddly, but it's really not that time consuming and let's be honest, the only thing better then carrot cake is carrot and vanilla cake!  

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend however you chose to spend it!

Mrs B x

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