My four-year-old was deeply upset that I was actually making a cake without frosting-- that is just plain wrong in the kiddie universe. I was quite prepared to dislike this recipe with its fussy preparation (reducing carrot juice, give me a break!) and I certainly wasn't going to buy any special equipment. Kudos to Legalcat for suggesting mini muffin tins-- it gave a very cute result. So after all my grumping, I found that this was really delicious-- the star-anise infused syrup combines with the little spicy cakes to make a complex, not-too-sweet, very adult dessert. It would be perfect after a heavy, or asian-inspired (Vietnamese, to resonate with the star anise) meal. I would happlly make it again, and I may have to since I got the carrot juice at Costco, so I have TONS left over. Any suggestions for using up extra carrot juice? Maybe a cocktail?