A chance encounter with a Carrot Cake

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I’ve been a little quiet on my my blog lately as I have been busy focusing on setting up my own business TallOrder Marketing. a couple of weeks ago I went to a local networking lunch meeting, which as a Coeliac usually fill me with dread – beige buffet central but a chance encounter with a lovely lady called Maggie made it all the more bearable!

I arrived at the event and did my usual awkward shuffle over to get a coffee to find, instead of the usual plate of  gluten ridden Fox’s biscuits, a beautifully presented basket containing slices of ginger cake made by bakeit freefrom. Once the main talk was over I made a beeline to find Maggie – the founder of Bakeit freefrom to find out more. The business concept is bake at home kits (bakeit freefrom – genius name) that are free from all EU listed Allergens. Not only are they gluten free, but they are also dairy free, egg free, nut free and 100% vegan. My instant reaction was they must also be taste free but my was I wrong. I took home my slice of ginger cake and had it for afternoon tea and it was delicious! Like Jamaican Ginger Cake I remember having as a kid. So, imagine how thrilled I was when Maggie got in touch and asked me to pick a cake kit from her website to bake at home and review. So here goes…..

Carrot Cake by Bakeit Freefrom 

The concept is that you get everything you need to make the cake in the kit. I was expecting the essential unlikely ingredients. But by everything, Maggie means EVERYTHING! Including the carrots and the oranges and even a pre-cut circle of silicone paper and a skewer. It came beautifully packaged too.

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Maggie has clearly put a lot of thought into how to package up the ingredients to make it as stress free as possible meaning you have a glazed and iced carrot cake in just 10 steps! Which is ironic as she actually apologises that the cake is a lot of work at the end of the instruction leaflet. She also shedded some light on what on earth fruit puree actually is – I have come across many a recipe requiring it and never realised it is essentially baby food – the same stuff my kids adored when they were weaning.

I must admit I felt a little daunted by the prospect of reviewing a baking kit as I am no star baker but the instructions were written so well it instantly felt achievable. I followed the instructions to the letter. I loved how they were not precise or pretentious and there were no surprises. It cooked beautifully, came out of the tin easily (which is usually where I fail) and it looked and smelt amazing!

We had it for tea when my children came home from school and the general consensus was it was the best carrot cake we have ever tasted. I did miss the cream cheese topping, I must confess and as I can eat dairy would probably swap this in if I were to make it again but the orange icing was in no way a poor man’s substitute.

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Now for my only grumble……..

The quantities for the cake ingredients are not on the recipe, so I have no way of replicating the cake again. I can see Maggie’s argument for not including them. She wants repeat business. But I think it is an oversight. It was a truly delicious cake, but it was not worth £19.50 every time I want to bake one, especially as the ingredients are all fairly standard and readily available.

I actually made a mistake on the frosted topping by adding in too much orange juice, making it too runny. As I didn’t know how much icing sugar I needed to use I could not start again from my own store cupboard. I did try to thicken it by adding more icing sugar but it lost some of it’s orange flavour as the ratios were then wrong. Also the plastic bags the dry ingredients come in could be easily knocked over or drop and then you would be left  totally unable to make the cake.

If I hadn’t have had the pleasure of meeting Maggie and had just ordered the kit online, I am not sure I would have bought into the concept as much as I have in this review. She needs to give a little bit more of her away. By including the quantities in the recipe, customers are getting their hand held the first time they make the cake and, as they are delicious, will then no doubt have the confidence to make it themselves next time. I think they would also be more likely to buy the kits as gifts for people and to recommend the kits too. I would certainly considering buying one of the other kits in the range, but I also want to make another carrot cake (my 8 year old daughter is demanding it!) and I can’t….

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