Thursday, September 11, 2008

Caramel Cake.

Today I plan to be in Oxford for the Symposium on Food and Cookery. The story today however is from Australia in 1923, from a little cookbook produced as a fund-raiser for the Junior Red Cross. The project received the generous assistance of Mrs. Fred Aronson, ‘for many years the cookery editor for the Sydney Mail, and Telegraph and the Brisbane Telegraph’, and author of the Excell Cook Book. Mrs. Fred (‘Thallia’, apparently, if etiquette had allowed her to use her own name) gave the use of the whole of the Excell book to the society. Extra recipes were added by Mrs. Fred and a number of Red Cross ladies.

The book was offered with the feeling ‘that although it is not pretentious in its appearance, it cannot be surpassed in the excellence of its general matter.’

Where these community cookbooks usually shine is in the baking section. I like this recipe.

Caramel Cake.
Caramel Syrup. Put one half cup of sugar into a granite saucepan and stir over the fire until the sugar melts and becomes a liquid and throws off an intense smoke – it really must burn. Have ready one-half cup of boiling water. Remove the saucepan from the fire then throw in the water, stir rapidly and allow it to boil until you have a syrup (me: this is risky, take care). Bottle and put away for use. Enough for three cakes.
The Cake Part. Beat one half cup of butter, one and one-half cup of sugar to cream, add the yolks of two eggs and one cup of water. Add gradually two cups of flour and beat three minutes. Then add three teaspoonfuls of caramel and one teaspoonful of vanilla and another one-half cup of flour. Beat again thoroughly, then stir in carefully two teaspoonfuls of baking powder and then the well-beaten whites of the eggs. Bake in two layers in a moderate oven.
Filling for Cake. Take one-half cup of sugar and one-half of water, place over the fire until the sugar is dissolved, then boil quickly without stirring until the syrup will spin a thread from the prong of a fork. Have ready the beaten whites of two eggs, stir the boiling syrup gradually into the eggs and beat until the icing is cold then add one teaspoonful of vanilla and two teaspoonfuls of caramel. Spread between layers of vanilla on top (me: not sure what this means.)


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

Enjoy the Symposium! This cake sounds luscious, but I must admit the caramel part sounds daunting. I have had very mixed success with caramel on an electric stove. Guess I may need to try it over an open fire.

Anonymous said...

Caramel Cake I like it very much.
You know i made it very well on an electric stove.