Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Block House Strategery
Carrot Cake Cheesecake with Gingerbread Siding
by SuSu, MaceVindaloo, Diasala, Zeedot

It was a combination of desperate need and a shortage of qualified or experienced personel: Wedge Antilles had ordered Wes Janson to develop a strategy for an upcoming battle. Luke Skywalker had asked Hobbie Klivian to create a model of a block house from which the Alliance has been taking a lot of fire. But Wes and Hobbie being Wes and Hobbie, both were restricted to quarters as punishment for some ridiculous and immature thing they'd done. What's more, another level of silly misbehaviors resulted in them on KP duty for a week, too.

Either commander could have removed the punishment from the two miscreants, but they really were short of personel, and admin had rotated other staff out of the kitchen, knowing Wes and Hobbie were assigned to the kitchen. So the two had no choice but to do their multiple duties, with limited resources.

Their restrictions meant they had no access to model-building software or datapad networks. Wedge and Luke had delivered classified data discs with all the information they had about the target. What's more, in such a situation the strategy and model builders would do the presentation. Ironically, the presentation would happen over dinner the next night where Starfighter Command and Intelligence would be in attendance, and which Wes and Hobbie had to cook and serve!

They did manage to wake up some off-duty personel to help with cooking dinner, so at least Wes and Hobbie had a few hours to go over the data and come up with what they termed a "strategery." Given the parameters and their long field experience, coming up with an attack plan was "a piece of cake," noted Wes. It didn't take them any time at all.

"But I have to have a model of the target," whined Hobbie. "I don't have access to the software or even glue and boards!"

Wes laughed, suddenly inspired. "Didn't you hear me? I said it's a piece of cake! It's an armory and blockhouse, how hard could it be to make those things out of cake? We'll make sure it'll be something dense so it makes block shapes."

Hobbie brightened up, "Hey! And then we won't have to make a dessert, too! Can we make cheesecake?"

Wes frowned. "Isn't that kind of delicate? I thought we'd use the carrot cake recipe I like. It's dense and the icing is easy to make. We made it yesterday, so we already have it, right?" He got up to look in the chiller where the wrapped cake layers were kept. "Hmn ... hmn ..." He didn't look happy. "There doesn't seem to be enough to make the building models."

Hobbie, in contrast, looked cheerful. "Ooh, let's use the carrot cake as a base, and bake the cheesecake right on those? That way, we won't need the icing, either! The cheese cake will be the icing! Though you know, I kinda LIKE that icing ..."

Wes had to admit it sounded really, really good. "Hey, remember that cake we made when the Boss died? We used gingerbread and royal icing to decorate the cake. How about we use gingerbread to side the blockhouse buildings? We can decorate the slabs in advance, then slap the sides on at the end. And we can use the cream cheese icing as mortar for the slabs, since you like it so much. Hey, I'm brilliant!" Wes was now very happy.

Hobbie sighed ... couldn't Wes give HIM some credit now and again?

In revenge, Hobbie graffitied the sides of the blockhouse and amory. If Wes was going to take credit for the idea, let him take the heat for it, too! But the cake was a big hit, and so was their 'strategery' ... in fact, the diners had seconds of their big slabs of cake and enjoyed talking about what the enemy blockhouse would look like after their attack!

Wes and Hobbie accepted their congratulations, but had to excuse themselves soon after. They still had KP and had to wash dishes afterward.

    Carrot Cake
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • pinch allspice
  • 1½ cup nuts, chopped
  • ½ cup dates, chopped
  • ½ cup raisins, chopped
  • 3 cups (about 1 lb / 450 g) carrots, grated
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Grease and flour a 9" x 13" (22 x 32 cm) lasagne or roasting pan, and line with parchment, and grease that too. Heat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. (Actually, a quarter-sheet foil steam / roasting pan is a good choice here — it's simpler to peel the foil pan away from the completed Carrot Cake - Cheesecake when serving.)

Sift together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and allspice. Set aside.

Mix together the chopped nuts, dates, raisins, and carrots. Toss them to combine well.

Into a bowl, beat the eggs till frothy. While beating, add the oil in a thin stream so that it blends and emulsifies with the eggs. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture in three portions, beating well after each addition of dry ingredients. Alternate adding the flour mixture with the carrot mixture, also in 3 portions. This will help the ingredients blend well and uniformly.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, till a cake tester (a wooden toothpick or bamboo skewer) inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the pan onto a rack and leave in the pan to cool to room temperature.

After it's cooled, you can go on and bake the Cheesecake right on top of the carrot cake. Or you can remove from the pan — to do so, run a knife around the edges and invert onto a platter or a piece of foil or plastic wrap. Tightly wrapped, you can freeze the cakes for about a month. Or just ice the cake as is, with Cream Cheese Icing. You can even cut it in half and layer the cake, putting icing in between and on top and around the cake.

    Cream Cheese Icing
  • 1 lb / 450 g cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup (¼ lb / 125 g) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • grated rind of one lemon (optional)
  • 1 cup powedered sugar
Beat together the cream cheese and butter till thoroughly blended. Beat in the vanilla extract. Using a wooden spoon, beat in the powdered sugar till well combined. Yields about 2½ to 3 cups of icing.

    Cheese Cake with Carrot Cake base
  • 2 lbs / 900 g cream cheese, softened to room temperature (4 x 8 oz / 225 g packages) — do NOT use whipped or low- or non-fat cream cheese)
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 3 eggs
Heat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Make the Carrot Cake base. Make sure the base is completely cooled. Do not remove from the pan.

You'll need an electric mixer. In a large bowl, beat together a quarter of the cream cheese (8 oz / 225 g), ½ cup of sugar, and the cornstarch. Combine them well so the mixture is creamy, then add the rest of the cream cheese, and beat till smooth. Beat in the remaining 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Add the heavy cream and mix till well combined, but at this point, don't overmix.

Carefully spoon the batter right on top of the Carrot Cake in the baking pan. Place this pan in a larger pan. Place the whole thing into the over and carefully had hot water to the outer pan till the level of the hot water come up 1-inch / 2½ cm up the side of the inner pan. Bake for about an hour. The cheesecake is done when the center barely shimmies and jiggles when you shake the pan. Do not overcook the cheesecake.

Remove from the pan and place the cakepan onto a wire rack. Allow to cool completely to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or longer. The cake should be completely cold before removing from the baking pan.

It's hard to cut gingerbread once its baked, so if you intend to make a structure like this one, figure out what size your slabs should be. If desired, make enough for the base of the cake, too. Decorate the gingerbread slabs as you wish. You should do this at least a few days before assembling the cake.

Create the "blockhouse" by slicing the cake and stacking them on top of each other so you create an unconventional carrot cake - cheese cake layer cake. Don't stack more than two layers high, or you will need to add support. (See tips for constructing a taller cake in Cake From the Boss.)

Use icing as mortar and filler to stick the gingerbread onto the cake, or to smooth out any bumps. Present immediately, or cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To serve, remove the gingerbread siding. Break it up for serving. Slice a tall, wide, narrow piece of cake. Garnish with broken up gingerbread. This cake should serve about 20 generously.

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