Sunday, February 10, 2013

Applesauce Cake

From a 1919 Jewish Cookbook

This apple sauce cake will be found as delicious and tasty as the rich fruit cake, which is so difficult to prepare, and it is very much less expensive.

In a big mixing bowl, beat to a creamy consistency four tablespoons of butter, one egg and one cup of sugar. Add a saltspoon of salt, one teaspoon of allspice, one teaspoon of vanilla and a little grated nutmeg. Beat and stir all these ingredients well together with the other mixture, then add one cup of chopped raisins, after dusting them with flour.

Mix these well through the dough and then add one cup of unsweetened apple sauce which has been pressed through a fine wire sieve. After this is well mixed with the other ingredients, stir in one teaspoon of baking-soda dissolved in one tablespoon of boiling water. Last of all, stir in one cup of flour, sifting twice after measuring it.

Bake forty-five minutes in moderate oven.

The tendency in making this cake is to get the dough too thin, therefore the apple sauce should be cooked quite thick, and then if the dough is still too thin add more flour. Bake one hour in moderate oven. This cake can be made with chicken schmalz in place of butter. Ice with plain white frosting.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dutch Apple Cake

From "The Story of Crisco", 1916.

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
2 eggs
3 tablespoons melted Crisco.

Mix and sift dry ingredients. Add beaten yolks, Crisco and milk.

Beat well; cut and fold in stiffly beaten whites. Spread mixture 1/2 inch thick on Criscoed pans.

Lay apples cut into eighths in 2 rows on top of dough. Sprinkle with sugar; bake in hot oven 30 minutes. Serve with lemon sauce.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rules to be Observed in Making Nice Cake, 1841

From "The American Housewife,Containing the Most Valuable and Original Recipes in all the Various Branches of Cookery", 1841. Very quaint advice, but still solid!

Cake, to be good, must be made of nice materials.

The butter, eggs, and flour, should not be stale, and the sugar should be of a light color, and dry. Brown sugar answers very well for most kinds of cake, if rolled free from lumps, and stirred to a cream with the butter. The flour should be sifted, and if damp, dried perfectly, otherwise it will make the cake heavy. The eggs should be beaten to a froth; and the cake will be more delicate if the yelks and whites are beaten separately. Saleratus and soda should be perfectly dissolved, and strained before they are stirred into the cake.

Raisins for cake should have the seeds taken out. Zante currants should be rinsed in several waters to cleanse them, rubbed in a dry cloth to get out the sticks, and then spread on platters, and dried perfectly, before they are put into the cake.

Almonds should be blanched, which is done by turning boiling water on them, and letting them remain in it till the skins will rub off easily. When blanched, dry them, then pound them fine, with rosewater, to prevent their oiling. When the weather is cold, the materials for cake should be moderately warmed, before mixing them together.

All kinds of cake that are made without yeast are better for being stirred, till just before they are baked. The butter and sugar should be stirred together till white, then the eggs, flour, and spice, added. Saleratus and cream should not be put in till just before the cake is baked—add the fruit last. Butter the cake pans well. The cake will be less liable to burn if the pans are lined with white buttered paper. The cake should not be moved while baking if it can be avoided, as moving it is apt to make it heavy. The quicker most kinds of cake are baked, the lighter and better they will be; but the oven should not be of such a furious heat as to burn them.

It is impossible to give any exact rules as to the time to be allowed for baking various kinds of cake, as so much depends on the heat of the oven. It should be narrowly watched while in the oven, and if it browns too fast, it should be covered with a thick paper. To ascertain when rich cake is sufficiently baked, stick a clean broom splinter through the thickest part of the loaf—if none of the cake adheres to the splinter, it is sufficiently baked. When cake that is baked on flat tins moves easily on them, it is sufficiently baked.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bavarian Cherry Cake

From "The Golden Age Cook Book", by Henrietta Latham Dwight, 1898.

1/2 pound of fine, juicy black cherries
5 tablespoonfuls of fine bread crumbs
5 tablespoonfuls of powdered sugar
5 eggs
1 ounce of sweet chocolate grated

Put the grated chocolate in a mixing bowl, break an egg into it and add one tablespoonful of bread crumbs and one of sugar, beat light and break another egg into it, adding another tablespoonful of bread crumbs and one of sugar. Then separate the three remaining eggs, the yolks from the whites, adding one yolk at a time alternately with bread crumbs and sugar until all are used. Add the cherries. Beat the three whites of eggs to a stiff froth and fold it in lightly. Butter thick a cake mould, sift dried bread crumbs over it, turn the cake into it and bake about three-quarters of an hour in a moderate oven. Test it as other cake.

In Bavaria it is served cold, but I think it would also be nice hot with fruit sauce.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Real Gold and Real Silver Cakes

From "Dishes and Recipes of the Old South", 1913

Real Gold Cake: Beat very light the yolks of sixteen eggs, with a full pound of yellow sugar, and a scant pound of creamed butter. Add a cup of rich sour cream with a teaspoonful soda dissolved in it. Or if you like better put in the cream solus, and add the soda dissolved in a teaspoonful of boiling water at the very last. This makes lighter cake so is worth the extra trouble. Flavor to taste—grated lemon rind is good. Add gradually four cups flour sifted three times at least. Beat hard for ten minutes, then bake in well-greased pans, lined with buttered paper, until well done, let cool partly in the pans, then turn out, dust lightly with flour or corn starch and frost.

Real Silver Cake: Wash and cream to a froth a pound of fresh butter, work into it a pound of sifted sugar, and a pound of flour, sifted thrice with a teaspoonful of baking powder. Add flavoring—vanilla, lemon or rose water, following it with a wineglass of whiskey. Then fold in the whites of sixteen eggs beaten with a pinch of salt to the stiffest possible froth. If the batter looks too thick add half a cup sweet cream—this will depend on the size of the eggs and the dryness of the flour. Bake in deep pans, else in layers. By baking gold and silver batter in layers, and alternating them you can have a fine marble cake. Or by coloring half the white batter pink with vegetable color to be had from any confectioner, you can have rose-marble cake. This should be iced with pink frosting else with plain white, then dotted over with pink. Very decorative for birthday parties or afternoon teas.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

General Advice on Baking Cakes

The following advice to bakers from "Dishes and Beverages of the Old South", 1913, is still relevant today. Enjoy!

Here are a few cardinal helps. Have the eggs very cold, butter soft but not oily, flour dry and light—sun or oven-dry it in muggy weather. Sift it three times for ordinary cakes, twice for tea cakes, and so on, four to five times for very light things, sponge cake, angel's food, and measure it before sifting, and don't forget the needed amount—then you will be in no danger of putting in too much or too little. Always put a pinch of fine salt in the bottom of the mixing bowl, which ought to be freshly scalded and wiped very dry. A damp bowl clogs with either sugar or flour, making the stirring much harder. Unless specifically directed otherwise, separate the eggs, set the whites on ice till time to whip them, beat the yolks very, very light—to a pale, frothy yellow, add the sugar, free of lumps, a cupful at a time, then the butter washed and beaten to a creamy froth, beat hard together for five minutes, then add alternately the flour and the egg-whites beaten to the stiffest possible froth. Add a pinch of salt as beating begins, and if the egg supply is scant, a teaspoonful of cold water to each white. This will increase the quantity, and help to make the cake lighter, as it is the air-bubbles imprisoned in the froth which give it its raising virtue. Add fruit and flavoring last thing. Fruit should be well floured but never clotted. If batter appears to be too stiff a little whiskey thins it excellently, and helps to make it lighter. Put in two tablespoonfuls to six eggs, using more in proportion. Rose water or a liqueur have the same effect but give their own flavor—which whiskey does not.

If strong butter needs must be used, it can be mitigated to a degree, by washing and kneading well in cold water barely dashed with chloride of lime solution, then rinsing well in cold water, and afterward in sweet milk. The milk may be half water. Rinse it out clean. Let the butter soften well before undertaking to cream it. A stout, blunt wooden spoon is the best for creaming, along with a deep bowl very narrow at the bottom. Grease deep cake tins plentifully, with either lard or butter—using only the best. For heavy cakes such as fruit, spice and marble cake, line them with double thicknesses of buttered paper and either set shallow pans of water in the oven while baking or stand the pans themselves in other pans with a quarter inch of water in the bottoms. If cakes brown too fast, open the oven door, a trifle, and lay over the pan a thick, well buttered paper until the oven cools. Never jar the oven while cake is baking in it—neither by banging the doors, nor dumping heavy vessels on top of it. Beware likewise slamming kitchen doors, or bumping things about in the room. Fine cake demands as many virtues of omission as of commission. Indeed the don'ts are as essential as the doings.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Spice Cake

Cream a coffee cup of well washed butter, with two cups yellow sugar and one cup black molasses. Add to it one after the other, seven egg-yolks, beating hard between. When all are in, add one tablespoonful whiskey, or brandy, one teaspoonful grated chocolate, teaspoonful each of powdered cloves, allspice, ginger, mace, and cinnamon, a grated nutmeg, and half a saltspoonful of powdered black pepper. Add also a pinch of salt, and the barest dusting of paprika. If whiskey is for any reason disapproved, use strong, clear coffee instead, putting in two spoonfuls, and leaving out the chocolate. Beat all together hard for ten minutes, then add four scant cups flour browned in the oven but not burned. Sift after browning, adding to it two teaspoonfuls baking powder. Beat hard five minutes after the flour is all in, then pour in a deep, well greased pan, lined with buttered paper, let rise ten minutes with the oven door open, then bake in quick heat until done through.

From "Dishes and Beverages of the Old South", by Martha McCulloch Williams, 1913