Monday, December 28, 2009

An Italian Cake for Me.

Today is my birthday and tomorrow I am going to the beach with my gorgeous little grandson (and his parents). Usually I have stories written ahead and pre-posted, but somehow I have used the supply up, and must do them on the hoof, so to speak - so it is quite possible that posts will be shorter than normal for a week – the distractions of sun, sand, sea and good food and wine being what they are.

Today, I give you my chosen birthday cake recipe, and hope that one of you will make it for me and send it to me by express post. I am co-opting a Christmas cake for the purpose. It is from The Italian Confectioner, by William Alexis Jarrin (1827)

Another sort of Spongati, or Italian Christmas Cakes.
Five yolks of fresh eggs; one pound seven ounces of sugar in powder; seven ounces of bread, dried and powdered; one pound two ounces of almonds, blanched and roasted like cocoa; four ounces of wild pine-apple kernels [pine nuts]; three drachms of fine cinnamon; three drachms of cloves; three and a half drachms of nutmeg; two ounces of preserved cedratys*; and one drachm of ground pepper.
This mixture must likewise be put into a crust or covering made of the following paste, viz. steep two ounces of gum-dragon [gum traganth] in twice its volume of orange-flower water, and put on your marble slab fourteen pounds of pulverized sugar, and six pounds of fine starch; add your gum, and strain it through a cloth like the paste for drops; form a malleable paste by adding a little white wine; make your crust, put in the above ingredients, and cover them with thick wafer paper; make them an inch thick. You may have wooden moulds representing different subjects, into which you may put your paste, and fill the moulds as above, covering them with a wafer paper. They must be kept in a stove in a gentle heat a day before they are baked, in a slack oven.

*The Cedraty [Citron]: a fragrant and beautiful variety of the lemon species growing chiefly in Italy and the South of France is preserved in quarters in the same manner as the quince.


Today is also the 3rd day of Christmas: you can read an explication of the Twelve Days of Christmas, and a story about the 1st day, HERE. You can catch up with the 2nd day of Christmas HERE, and the 3rd day is HERE.

Quotation for the Day.
I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, toys not included.
Bernard Manning.


Gillian Polavk said...

Have a very lovely birthday week!

Liz + Louka said...

Happy birthday Janet, and have fun at the beach. Sorry, I won't be making you a birthday cake - have you ever made it yourself?

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

Happy Birthday, Janet - enjoy the beach! You know that for a moment I considered making this cake for you, but the many pounds of sugar, and the thought of the shipping costs have deterred me! Instead, I'll send sweet wishes of the virtual kind!

Martha said...

Happy birthday, Old Foodie...

The Old Foodie said...

Thanks T.W! I will enjoy your sweet virtual wishes this afternoon while I sit on the balcony with a glass of wine, and watch the surf.

The Old Foodie said...

Hello Gillian and Liz- thankyou for your kind wishes: I have never made this cake - nor am likely too: sounds wonderfully interesting, but a professional job - and, as you said, T.W. that is an awful lot of sugar.

The Old Foodie said...

Sorry Martha - meant to thank you in that last comment too!

Diamond Grinding Tools said...

wish you happy birth day dude.