Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Presidential Cakes.

Yesterday’s source for a Washington Cake recipe The Godey's Lady's Book Receipts and Household Hints, (Philadelphia, 1870) also contained instructions for Jefferson Cake. As I am staying in the nation’s capital for the next week or so, it seems almost obligatory to continue the theme of cakes named for the nation’s presidents.

First, a cake named for Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was the third American president, serving from 1801-1809.

Jefferson Cake.
Butter, one pound; sugar, one pound; flour, two pounds; a little salt; soda, quarter of an ounce; one grated nutmeg; a little cinnamon, and milk sufficient to form a dough. Cut into cakes, and bake.

Not presidential, but close enough to the theme to include as a bonus, from the same source:

Congress Cake.
Flour, two pounds; sugar half a pound; butter half a pound; cream one teacupful; best brandy half a pint; four eggs; soda one scruple; flavor with orange flower water; mix into a stiff dough with warm water; form into loaves, and bake in a moderate oven.

As with Washington Cake, there are several iterations of the concept of Lincoln Cake. Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was the sixteenth president of the United State, serving from 1861 until his assassination in 1865. In the case of Lincoln Cake, there were extant recipes during his lifetime. The earliest I have found to date (admittedly not spending an awful lot of time on the subject) is in the Excelsior Cook Book and Housekeeper's Aid (1863.)

Lincoln Cake.
One tea-cup of sugar, half a cup of butter; stir to a cream, then add half a cup of milk and one cupful of flour; stir well, and add a grated lemon, and two eggs beaten to a froth, then add another cup of flour, and lastly, add half a teaspoonful of soda.

There are two versions of Lincoln Cake in Arthur's Lady's Home Magazine (T.S. Arthur & Company, Philadelphia) of July 1869.)

12. Lincoln Cake.
Two eggs, two cups of sugar, half a cup of butter, one cup of sweet milk, three cups of flour, one teaspoonful of extract of lemon, one of cream tartar, and half a teaspoonful soda.
13. Lincoln Cakes.

One half cup butter, two cups sugar, half cup sweet milk, three cups flour, one teaspoonful cream tartar, half teaspoonful soda.


Anonymous said...

I can't help but notice that the presidential cakes are fairly straightforward, but the congressional cake has a fair bit of alcohol mixed in...

tess said...

it's very hard to "stomach" our congress -- considerable alcohol is necessary to avoid nausea. ;-)

Judy said...

I wonder if that is a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the state of the average congressman or senator. ;>)