Allegra is an avid devourer of books. Loves ’em. Mostly loves ’em if they’re about princesses, or ballerinas, but she does make exceptions and allows select others into her repertoire of favourite titles from time to time and over the last month or so one of those has been the delicious culinary comedy ‘The Carrot Cake Catastrophe!’.
Written by Elizabeth Dale and beautifully illustrated by Gemma Raynor, this adorable story tells the tale of a well-meaning bunny and her hapless Grandad, who set about to bake a carrot cake for mummy’s birthday but end up creating a catastrophic and inedible mess despite their best efforts! Soap is used instead of butter, salt instead of sugar, and the carrots go in whole… all in all, it doesn’t make for a very good cake.
Allegra finds it hilarious. She giggles as each mistake unfolds, gasping and bringing her hands up to her mouth in a “oooooh noooooo!” moment as Grandad gets each step of the recipe wrong. I think she loves the story-telling around the Grandad figure and his granddaughter – maybe it reminds her of her and her own Grandad having fun together, although he’s a pretty darn good baker, so no parallel catastrophe’s to report there…
This book is great fun and actually comes complete with a carrot cake recipe at the end, which looked AMAZING, so Allegra and I decided to give it a go ourselves.
… off we went to the shops, the two of us, to stock up on all the ingredients – Allegra enjoyed this a lot and insisted on carrying the shopping basket around the supermarket (or rather dragged it around the aisles on the floor, there was NO WAY she was letting me help in any way by carrying it with her… it was a long trip!).
Then back home to bake up a vision of carrot cake loveliness…. hmmm… it didn’t exactly go to plan. Well, the thing is I kind of got my measurements wrong on the cake tin front… so I sort of screwed it up by using tins that were too big and ended up with two sponge/carrot cakes that were ridiculously thin.
BUT, all was not lost. I decided to get crafty with a heart-shaped cookie cutter and instead of a big chunky cake as is pictured alongside the recipe, we opted instead for mini heart-shaped carrot cakes with lashings of filling and a dusting of icing sugar. Catastrophe alerted and they were delicious too, a big hit!
We really enjoyed this book, have read it over and over again, and having the recipe to inspire us to shop and bake together was a real added bonus, so I’d highly recommend – especially great for entertainment on a rainy day (and let’s face it, we’re experiencing a lot of those right now!).
Disclosure: we were sent The Carrot Cake Catastrophe by Parragon Books to review but all opinions are honest and our own.