I had a very big cooking challenge on my hands this week. I was throwing a birthday dinner party for my friend who looooooooooooooooooves Carrot Cake. He told me the best carrot cake he ever had was at a restaurant in Kansas City that no longer exists. I tried tracking down the recipe to no avail. I was even in Kansas City recently and hunted around a bit. No go. It turns out my friend paid the chef for the recipe many years ago and makes the cake, but I didn't want to cheat and ask for it.
So, I then did the next best thing: I googled "best carrot cake ever" and found this recipe from Southern Living 1997. http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/best-carrot-cake-10000000257583.
My friend is from the south so I thought that might do the trick, and it called for something I had never seen before -- a buttermilk glaze that you put over all the cakes prior to the cream cheese frosting, thus locking in the moisture. Super creative, plus adding another level of flavor with the buttermilk. I then thought "hmmm.....what about chocolate chips mixed in?" So, I put chocolate chips in just one of the three layers -- to test it out. I know it was risky for an important Birthday Carrot Cake, but it turned out amaaaaazing. I put chocolate chips in only the top layer, and then.....drum roll....I put crushed the Chocolate Crisps between only the bottom two layers.
The verdict? This cake recipe is so divine, it definitely doesn't need chocolate, but it really adds a supercalifragilisticexpialidociousness to it. You don't need a lot. I'd say 1/2 to 3/4 cup for the whole thing so each layer is "dotted" with them.
But, you could also just do the crushed Crisps in between all three layers -- I'd say crush up 10 to 12 crips for each in-between layer spot.
Also, I made two alerations to the recipes -- I cut the sugar in all three elements -- cake, glaze and frosting -- by 1/4. AND, I added about 1/4 cup -- maybe 1/3 (needs to remain spreadable, so be careful) -- buttermilk to the frosting. It made it particularly creamy, and gave it an extra kick to offset all the sweetness.
Buon Sweet Carrot Appetito to all!
P.S. Sorry I didn't take a photo fo the cake all purdy and decorated...it looked amazing I promise!