A Recipe from Cakes & Tortes (1957)
About the Recipe
Yesterday was my little brother’s birthday, and I asked him what kind of cake he wanted. I passed him a few of my baking books and let him figure out which sounded the most interesting to give a test run. This was the cake that he picked out. He was excited about the dates, nuts, and cherries, and it was his birthday so I said “okay!” When all is said and done, I have to say that he definitely chose wisely!
All in all, this cake is wonderfully moist, yet crumbly, with just enough chocolate and spice to give it depth – a real winner! The method is a little bit more on the complicated side, but that’s to be expected with some of these Culinary Institute recipes. Note that it cooks low and slow. I actually needed to tack on another 15 minutes or so to the bake time before my tester came out clean from the center. But honestly, it was well worth the wait.
An additional note from my brother: “It goes really well with jam!”
About the Book
This is another booklet from the Culinary Arts Institute, which I’ve said before and I’ll say again are lovely little books. As with most of the others, it’s arranged into sections, this time by type of cake – butter, chiffon, angel, etc. What I didn’t realize when I bought it is that it’s really a nice basic resource on the science of cakes and tortes. Not only does it come with the 193 recipes noted on the cover, but also pages and pages of tips and tricks on how to improve your cake baking. I almost missed acquiring it from a fellow cookbook enthusiast, but last minute she found another copy and it feels like it just came home.
2 1/4 cups sifted flour
2 t baking powder
1 t allspice
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 cups (about 12 oz.) maraschino cherries
2 cups pecans, chopped
1 cup date pieces
2 oz. chocolate
3/4 cup butter or margarine (softened)
1/2 t vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
4 egg yolks, well beaten
1 cup unseasoned mashed potatoes
1/2 cup milk
4 egg whites
Prepare a 13x9x2″ pan – Grease the bottom of the pan only; line with waxed paper cut to fit bottom; grease the waxed paper.
Soft together 2 cups of the flour, baking powder, allspice, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
Drain, slice and set aside on absorbent paper the maraschino cherries. A few pats with the paper will absorb excess moisture.
Coarsely chop pecans. Cut dates into small pieces. Put fruits and nuts into a large bowl with remaining 1/4 cup flour. Mix well and set aside. Grate chocolate and set aside.
Cream together butter/margarine and vanilla extract until softened. Add sugar gradually, creaming until fluffy after each addition. Add the egg yolks in thirds, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add the chocolate and mashed potatoes and beat until well blended.
Measure out the milk. Beating only until blended after each addition, alternately add dry ingredients in fourths, milk in thirds, to creamed mixture. Finally, beat only until smooth (do not overbeat). Pour batter over fruit nut mixture and mix thoroughly.
Beat egg whites until rounded peaks are formed. Spread beaten egg whites over batter and fold together. Turn batter into pan and spread evenly to edges.
Bake at 275*F 1 hr. 30 min., or until cake tests done with cake tester. Cool and remove from pan as directed for butter-type cakes.