Carrot cake with pistachio crumb topping

Carrot cake with pistachio crumble topping

In our house, when we put the boys to bed, David reads stories to Isaac, and I sit next to Malcolm reading my novel while he reads his. (Pretty clever, huh? Reading time for me!) Then we go downstairs and yell at them periodically to Be quiet! Get back in bed! Get to sleep! (They share a room, and it’s nice to hear them chatting for a long time after lights out – what on earth do they talk about? But really, they need their sleep!) I just started reading The Brothers Karamazov. I like it so far, but it reminds me of reading War and Peace, which was so confusing at first because everybody has about three different names that they’re called by, and they all sound sort of similar, and I have trouble keeping them all apart. Which reminded me, in turn, of my brilliant idea that somebody should make a hip hop version of War and Peace. I think it would be wonderful! Epic! Here’s why. Rappers have a lot of different names, and I sometimes have trouble keeping them straight. And…so many of the concerns explored in War and Peace are also of primary importance in hip hop songs. Religion, violence, love, lust, greed, over-indulgence in alcohol. Can’t you just see it? Or maybe hear it, it should probably be an opera, right?

Ahem. Sorry for the creeping tangential nature of this post. Anyway – I can sometimes hear snippets of the stories David reads to Isaac, and yesterday one of them mentioned carrot cake. Carrot cake!?! Said Isaac. What on earth is that? You know, said David, it’s like pumpkin bread – it’s sweet and sweet-spicy. You could see the little wheels turning in Isaac’s head as he processed this information. And, of course, you could hear the little wheels creaking rustily in my much older head as I planned to make a carrot cake. Why not, thought I, why not purée the carrots, instead of grating them? Just for a change. And then my mind wandered back to an Indian dessert I had recently read about (I like to read the dessert sections of my Indian cookbooks while I eat my breakfast, don’t you?) It was a sort of carrot pudding, with pistachios and cardamom. Sounded good! But I didn’t want to just stir the pistachios in. I thought I’d make them into a crumbly topping with lots of butter and sugar, to make this even less of a healthy cake. It turned out very good! The cake is velvety, and the pistachios are a perfect crunchy little accent. Isaac came running into the kitchen, with a beaming smile, saying “you made carrot cake!” and boys both give it their seal of approval (crumbs all over the living room).

Here’s the B 52s with Cake

Continue reading