What is your favorite sweet thing to eat? Bread pudding? Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies? A smooth and creamy piece of cheesecake?
No hesitation here – for me, the epitome, the nirvana, the apex, the most wonderful, fabulous, irresistible, sweet thing to eat is a chunk of moist, crumbly carrot cake.
Not for me the neat square or the tidy cup-cake. No fake marzipan carrots or artificial cream cheese topping. If it cuts into a neat square, it isn’t carrot cake. If it’s in a little paper cupcake case, then it’s a cupcake, not the genuine article. Grated or shredded chocolate on top is the work of Satan.
It’s got to be the kind of cake that is so moist and packed with carrot, orange and walnuts that it falls apart a little when it’s cut, the three primary flavours of can be distinctly tasted, the cream cheese topping must also taste of oranges. The texture of the shredded carrot and the crumbled walnuts should be distinguishable and the orange should zing on your tongue.
Over the years, I’ve made it a point to try the carrot cake in every city I’ve visited. Surprisingly, the Paris test, which one would expect to be the pinnacle of pattiserie, was a huge disappointment. Lucky for me, a cafe just round the corner does a really nice version, but I found the ultimate, finest, most supreme and perfect candidate in Cairo.