Mindy, John, and I decided to make dinner together a few nights ago. I have tried to make bagels in the past with mediocre to good success. That afternoon I found myself ogling Floydm's recipe and photos over at the Fresh Loaf and couldn't help myself from throwing together the sponge well before we had decided on a menu for the evening.
John and I had been interested in making carrot cake for the last few weeks so we decided to try our hand at making one for that evening. In general I have no particular lust for cakes, though carrot cake is an exception. I have to surprisingly admit, however, that this was my first time making one. I used the cake and icing recipe from the 1997 edition of The Joy of Cooking.
Mindy made us brandy Manhattans to enjoy while we prepared the food. Up to that point, I had only ever had Bourbon Manhattans. I think I prefer the latter, but these were indeed delicious.
The bagels turned out pretty well. I have to admit that I did not let them retard overnight. The texture of the crumb turned out very nicely and the crust had a satisfying chewiness, but I think they would have become more taut and smooth if I hadn't been so impatient. . . Next time. . .
We assembled a variety of greens, meats, cheese, vegetables, and condiments to make bagel sandwiches and enjoyed the carrot cake for dessert. The cake turned out very nicely. I am interested in trying more recipes in the future, but this was a perfectly respectable basic recipe.