It is time for cake, and perhaps a little trifle. I am perilously close to “finishing” my monstrous Food History Almanac (it will happen today, folks) and I deserve a little sweetness. Trifle has never really been my thing, and I don’t know if today’s offering can really be called trifle, but some of you like it, I know. It is not actually called “trifle” in the recipe anyway, but and it is Charlotte Russe, but it is surely not a genuine version of that dish either.
The recipes come from a “U.S. Expert[‘s] Suggest[ions]s for an Ideal Christmas Dinner in” 1915. They were published in the New York Times on December 19, 1915 and were given as alternative desserts to heavy pudding and cake. The expert was Miss Caroline L. Hunt, of the Bureau of Home Economics. I don’t believe we have such a bureau anymore, in any country, do we?
Both recipes contain honey, which I believe I have neglected in this blog to date.
Honey Charlotte Russe.
1 quart cream
Six lady-fingers [biscuits]
½ cup delicately flavored honey.
Chill the honey by placing the dish containing it in ice water. Whip the cream and add the honey, mixing the two well. Line a dish with the lady-fingers and fill it with the honey and cream. Serve very cold.
½ cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
3 ½ cups flour
5 teaspoonfuls baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom seed
1 ½ teaspoons ginger
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cloves
½ cup raisins, seeded and cut in pieces
½ cup figs, finely chopped
1 tablespoon honey
Rub the butter and sugar together and add the yolks of the eggs. Sift together the flour and baking powder and add them to the mixture, alternating with the milk. Finally, add the whites of the eggs, well beaten. Bake two thirds of the mixture in two layer pans. To the remainder add the spices, fruit, and honey, and bake. Put the layers together, with crystallized honey.