Finding the Inspiration: Lemon Carrot Cakes

Inspiration will often come from an unusual place. Sometimes, you scour Pinterest for hours, saving loads of items, and even then, nothing really strikes your fancy. You’ll pour over food magazines, savouring the incredible photos and weighing up how complicated the recipes are, and even so, the muse eludes you.

And then, when you least expect it, the inspiration strikes you. You see some small item somewhere which just fascinates you and you start to think, I could do that. In fact, not only could I do that, but I want to, and I want to make it my own.

Such was the inspiration behind my Mini Lemon Carrot Cakes that I made today. I watched a cookery programme, and watched a chef create a gorgeous naked carrot cake, and I think it was the way he piped the icing that just captivated me and made me want to do my own version. And so, my mini-cakes were born.

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While the carrot bran cakes and cream cheese icing were pretty familiar to me, I did take the opportunity to make my own lemon jam, for in between the two cake layers, lemon curd to pipe among the cream cheese blobs on top, and my own granola, for the crunchy element on top. Each of these are things I have seen on many a TV show before (especially Masterchef Aus, of which I am a huge fan), but I’ve never considered actually doing them myself.

But I think what surprised me most was that, while I was building the mini cakes, spreading the jam, piping the middle and the top of them, making sure my curd wasn’t a mess on top, and then finishing off with the granola, all I could think about was my mom, and how I am sure she would have absolutely loved these bites. For the first time in a long time, it felt like she was actually with me – I almost imagined I could smell her as she looked over my shoulder.

And so, inspiration may come from interesting places, but in the end, I have one question: what do you think, Mom?

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