From the cookbook of Dough Momma:Apricot Carrot Cake with Tangelo Marmalade Swirl
As mentioned in this week's story on Garage Project I was a judge of the bake-off at their Pie vs Cake night. It was an enormous amount of fun, and by enormous I mean the enormous pair of trackpants that are the only thing I can fit in to after feasting on 19 different cakes and pies, along with Garage Project's Ziggy's Carrot Cake Ale and newcomer Pecan Pie Ale.
There was some fierce competition amongst the cake and pies… and a few fierce gag reflexes too. For more on the night you should read Jeremy Taylor of the Omnivore's write up on the event.
But there was a clear winner on the night. Brandie Stephens not only took out Best Carrot Cake, she also won Best Pecan Pie and was crowned the almighty winner with her pie also. Damn, she is good!
So Eat & Greet thought we would do a little mini feature on Brandie and she has very generously shared her recipe of her Apricot Carrot Cake with Tangelo Marmalade Swirl! Rightfully keeping her show stopping pecan pie to herself! I was a huge fan of her carrot cake - the dried apricots speckled throughout the cake would pop with every mouthful. And guess what? She has her own pie delivery service so you get to try that pecan pie after all.
Where do you like to eat out in Wellington?
My new favourite lunch bite is Tommy Millions. A hot crispy slice of their spinach and mushroom pizza is a perfect thing to eat while people-watching on Courtenay Place. I also love Maranui's Fish Tortillas as well as La Boca Loca's Beef and Mushroom Enchilada's for my Mexican food fix. For dinner, I am in love with Uncle Mike's Kansas City BBQ in Petone. They have something called 'The Burnt Ends' which is my definition of the best BBQ dish invented. I also recently had one of the top 5 meals of my life during Wellington on a Plate event The Larder Parks up at the Garage. Every single dish was amazing and the paired beers made the evening deliciously happy.
What do you make for yourself at the end of a long day?
My go-to quick dinner for the family is a stir fry. Chicken, veggies, garlic and ginger over brown rice. It's quick, healthy and everyone likes it. If it's available, my all time favorite meal is leftover spaghetti. It's soo much better the second day! However, if it's been a reaaally long day, I go for a gin and tonic and bowl of salty buttered popcorn.
Who do you admire as a chef (or in the food industry)?
The person I follow most is former Chez Panisse pastry chef David Lebovitz. Like most people I admire, his sense of humour about making mistakes is what draws me to him. His talent with creating ice creams and, my absolute favorite, caramels, keeps me following him. I also relate to his adventures living abroad and how that influences and forces your baking methods to change.
Who taught you everything you know about baking?
Thankfully, I have had many teachers in my baking life. My mom let me experiment in the kitchen from a young age. I remember my brother and I would make cookies from anything we wanted out of the cupboards. I never remember eating those creations, but the freedom of measuring and mixing was a very liberating thing as a young kid. My paternal grandmother, Zella Faye, is an amazing baker and I found that all of the food at her house made me happy. I was always stealing pinches of dough or helping her make syrup or jam or casseroles or pies or candy or whoopie pies or cookies. There always seemed to be a holiday, occasion or season that had everyone in the kitchen.
Where/how can we buy your cakes and pies?
I'm currently offering up weekly pie flavours through my Facebook page. Wellington CBD and Eastern suburbs only for now, but I hope to be expanding beyond that soon.
In the meantime, you can make her Apricot Carrot Cake with Tangelo Marmalade Swirl by following her recipe here.