Since my post last week, I’ve been so incredibly thankful for the positive vibes sent my way from friends and strangers. Sometimes just knowing there are people out there who care is enough to break up the dark clouds.
Though I’m not truly ready to discuss the reasons behind the sadness, I do have light in my life. There’s a roof over my head, there’s food in the fridge, there’s friends close by. Most importantly, I have something that helps me get up in the morning. It gets me through even the roughest of days. It is my guiding light. My saviour. And that something is love.
In case it wasn’t clear, Brent and I met tree planting which is essentially like speed dating. Months spent in a community of 75. 4 days on, one day off. The teeny town of Hornepayne, Ontario. Friendships form quickly, relationships even faster. Neither of us saw it coming but after spending that Summer together we simply couldn’t say goodbye.
Now 9 years later, I’ve been grateful everyday to wake up next to the best person I know. He is my best friend, my drinking buddy, my biggest fan. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t laugh together or lay in each other’s arms. Sometimes the mere thought of losing him – because sometimes those horrifying thoughts creep in – brings me to tears. If there was but one thing I could have in this world, it wouldn’t be the fame of an award winning food blog or successful restaurant. It wouldn’t be millions of dollars. It would simply be him. When the pain seems too much to bear, I simply remember that single fact. As long as I have him, I have everything. I can honestly say he is the best thing that ever happened to me.
He is true love.
Though there is nothing I could make him to even come close to expressing my feelings, he does love carrot cake. I even made it for his birthday the first year we were together. He also happens to love carrot cake full of raisins. I, on the other hand, NEVER eat baked raisins. Not raisin bread, not bread pudding, not cookies, and certainly not cake. Not ever. So when I bake him a carrot cake packed with bourbon soaked raisins, it must be true love right? Add to that a bourbon cream cheese frosting and this is next level carrot cake, the kind of carrot cake he deserves.
And despite the fact that this is simply and hastily decorated – hey at least I garnished it – and the photos are far from perfect, that’s not the point. I’m finally realizing it’s the story that matters. And our story is the best story I know.
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 1 cup finely grated carrots
- 1 8 ounce (250 g) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 1 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
- Preheat oven to 350. Cut a piece of parchment the same diameter as a high walled 6" cake pan or two low walled 6" cake pans. Grease the pan then place the parchment in the bottom.
- In a small sauce pan, heat the butter and bourbon til just boiling. Add the raisins. Remove from heat and let sit 15 min.
- Mix together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk sugars, eggs, oil and bourbon til frothy. Gently fold dry ingredients with wet, adding in the carrots and raisins. Mix til just combined.
- Bake about 40 min (or 20 for the two pans) until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack about 20 min. Run a knife around the edge and remove from the pan by inverting it on a plate. Let cool completely before frosting. If making one thick cake, slice it through the centre to make a double layer cake.
- For the frosting, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add in the bourbon. Add the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating until smooth. Frost cake as desired.
- This will also work as a single layer 9" cake.
- If you don't have cardamom, simply omit it. I've been adding it to everything lately.
- This may be a lot of frosting even for a double layer 6" cake but I happen to think when it comes to cream cheese frosting, the more the better. Especially if it's full of bourbon-y goodness.