You are about to see a big ol' wedge of moist carroty goodness, the carrot cake from Morro Bay's Taco Temple, made by their pastry queen, Donelle Pollard. This is a short little dessert of a video, a fun, happy transition piece between our visit to California's Central Coast and our upcoming series in San Francisco with Tony Gemignani (which begins on September 1st). As I say on the video, my wife Susan's carrot cake is my personal benchmark and Adam Pollard, who we met in the Taco Temple webisode, feels the same way about his wife's version. What struck me was how different each of these carrot cakes actually are and how easy it is to love them both. Donelle's version is moist and dense, loaded with carrots that are still bright orange and al dente, proudly on display in two big layers surrounded by plenty of the requisite and delicious cream cheese frosting. Susan's version also has lots of frosting; the two versions of frosting are very similar -- let's face it, cream cheese frosting is one of the wonders of the world and is no need of innovation -- but Susan's cake is also is loaded with what I think is the true secret ingredient of carrot cake: raisins.
Regardless of the differences, what you will see on the tape is how hard it is stop eating good carrot cake. At first I had to wrap my mind around the fact that this one was so different from Susan's version but then, the more I tasted, and as the sweet flavor of the carrots began to shine, I fell under its charm. At the end I'm mumbling something in the van, still nursing that wedge and refusing to share it with anyone else. I can't even recall what it was I said because my mouth was so full of carrot cake and cream cheese that I could barely speak. And that, ironically, says it all.