I have a confession to make; I used to despise carrot cake. Truly, utterly, and deeply. My carrot cake eating experiences had always been characteristically stringy, with the carrot pieces still too chewy, and the cake was always really dry. The cream cheese icing was also never cream-cheese-y enough for my taste. But that was before I had one little slice of carrot cake that turned my whole world upside down. Well, not really, but it WAS pretty darn tootin’ good. It was while I was working NBC’s press tour. Lunch was provided for us and so I went down the lunch buffet with my plate, a little bit of cheese here, some deli meats there, and then I came to the dessert selection at the end. I don’t know what made me pick the carrot cake when I’ve always hated carrot cake, maybe it was because I was delirious from standing for the past 5 hours running a microphone back and forth between various members of the press in a giant ballroom, but I took a piece and sat down and started eating. It was wonderful; moist, soft, rich, and with the best cream cheese frosting I have ever had, hands down. I told Jeremy about it and he confided that carrot cake was his favorite cake of all, which kind of weirded me out. Not chocolate? Not yellow cake? Red velvet? Carrot? Really? But, like any loving girlfriend, I knew that on his birthday I would make the cake he wanted. So last week I scoured cookbooks and the internet, looking for nuances in various carrot cakes recipes that I wanted to combine into one ultimate carrot cake. Crushed pineapple sounded interesting, and I liked the idea of coconut, but hate shredded coconut baked into things (once again, the weird stringy texture), so I used coconut milk to add the coconut flavor instead. It came out perfect, incredibly moist and soft and full of that cinnamon brown sugar-y carrot cake flavor. The best carrot cake I’ve ever had, and Jeremy, too.
…..It was so good, in fact, that three days later Jeremy asked me to marry him. Yes, we are engaged! I couldn’t be happier about it. We spent the weekend in San Francisco and he proposed at the end of the day in the pouring down rain by the seaside. We were completely alone on the pier at night and it was wonderfully romantic and sweet and perfect. So here’s to carrot cake, and all the joy it brings.