Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cake Day No. 2

February 19

Today we have two variations on a theme of multi-coloured cakes.

From yesterday’s source: Cakes, Cookies, and Confections, a little gem from the California Home Economics Association in 1920, a tri-color cake requiring some artful arranging of the batter in the pan – or a more simple marbling technique if you are not up to too much construction work.

Mosaic Cake.
1 c. sugar, ½ c. fat, 1 ¾ c. flour, 2 eggs, ¾ c.milk, 1 ½ tsp. baking powder.
1 tbsp. molasses, 1 tbsp. melted, unsweetened chocolate, ¼ tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. nutmeg, ¼ tsp. allspice, ½ tsp. salt.
Pink coloring and rose flavoring, vanilla
Mix first six ingredients together according to cake method number one.* Separate into three parts. To one add spices, molasses, and melted chocolate. To the second add pink coloring and rose flavouring. To the third add ½ tsp. vanilla.
Into a round cake pan put an outer ring of the white, then a ring of pink, and the innermost ring of the black. On top of that put three more rings, reversing the order and so on till all the batter is used. This makes Mosaic Cake.
For a marbled effect drop into a loaf cake pan alternately a spoonful of each mixture, drawing the spoon through each color two or three times to make the colors lie in patterns.
Bake in a moderate oven about ¾ hour.

[* cream fat and sugar, add yolks well beaten, mix and sift dry ingredients and add alternately with the liquid, fold in beaten whites.]

The next recipe appeared in a California newspaper in 1957. I chose it for three reasons. Firstly, the name. This is no ordinary Marble Cake, this is a Busy Bachelor’s Marble Cake, so it is quite special. Secondly, it includes as an ingredient called ‘black walnut flavoring’ - which I don’t believe I have ever come across before - although but no doubt it is very familiar to those of you in California. Thirdly, the marbling effect is not produced by the two-colours of cake-batter method, but by a cocoa-streaking method, which sounds like it would result in a much finer marble veining effect. If only I could get some black walnut flavour, I could try it.

Busy Bachelor’s Marble Cake.
2 cups sifted flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
½ tblsp. shortening
½ cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. black walnut flavoring
2 unbeaten eggs
¾ cuos nut meats (walnuts) finely chopped.
¼ cup cocoa
¼ cup cold milk plus one tblsp.
Have shortening at room temperature. Line bottom of 10x5x3 [inch] loaf pan with paper. Preheat oven for 350 degrees [Fahrenheit, or 180 Celcius]. Sift flour once before measuring. Stir shortening to soften, then stir in flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
Add the ½ cup milk and beat 2 minutes. Add vanill and black walnut flavoring. Add unbeaten eggs and beat one minute. Add the chopped nut meats.
Mix the cocoa with the cold milk.
Gently stir cocoa, cold milk mixture into batter. This mixing method produces a marble cake with streaks of light milk to dark bitter sweet.
Bake one hour or until cake is done.

Tomorrow’s Story ...

Cake Day No.3

Quotation for the Day ...

How come when you mix water and flour together you get glue ... and then you add eggs and sugar and you get cake? Where does the glue go? Rita Rudner.


T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I fit the profile for Cake Number Two quite nicely, so perhaps that's the one I should tackle!

The Old Foodie said...

I thought that one might appeal to you t.w.!

And Sandra emailed me to say "We had a cake pan set when I was a kid that had a gizmo that was
essentially three concentric rings of metal held together across the
top. You put it in the (round) cake pan, and filled the three rings with cake batter (alternating colors, of course). Three cake pans got filled and baked this way, and when stacked made a checkerboard effect when slices
were cut. I seem to recall having some difficulty getting the ring gizmo out without a bit of mixing of color stripes, but it worked pretty well. I wonder where it is now?"

I've never seen one of these gizmos. The cake sounds like a version of the English Battenberg cake.

Ford said...

Black walnut is native to North America and is commonly grown as a street tree, and for its beautiful wood. The strong flavor of the nuts is highly prized and has long been used in American confectionary, but the nuts have a very thick, difficult-to-crack shell and go rancid quite quickly due to their high essential oil content. Black walnut extracts and flavorings, both natural and artificial, are available from many online sources. I find black walnut flavor delicious in cakes, icings, cookies, and ice cream, but it is quite strong and should be used sparingly as it will overwhelm other flavors.