Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Cake

I am trying out a new recipe. As anyone who knows me in real life can attest, I collect antique cookbooks. I read them cover to cover like a novel. I also use them as inspiration and will attempt the recipes contained. What I love about them is that they're from a time when you HAD to put food on the table, three times a day, from scratch. Naturally, rather than make your workload insane, many recipes are simple, easy to put together, and often variations upon a theme. These are also useful things to consider when busy and broke.

So this recipe. It's from the 1916 edition (although is also found in the 1932 edition) of the Boston Cooking School Cook Book written by Fannie Farmer. I double checked my later copy to see if there were any edits (nope) and to see if there were any additional directions (aside from a rough chart of oven temps, nope).

As if testing an antique recipe wasn't enough stress for myself, I am also using a holiday bundt pan for the first time. I received it as a gift from my Grandmother years ago, but I had never used it. It's shaped like a castle with trees. In fact, it's this pan:

So with no further ado, here is the recipe:

Rich Coffee Cake
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 cup cold boiled coffee
- 3 3/4 cups flour
- 5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon clove
- 1/2 teaspoon mace
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 3/4 cup raisins, seeded and cut in pieces
- 3/4 cup currants
- 1/4 cup citron, thinly sliced and cut in strips
- 2 tablespoons brandy

Follow directions for making butter-cake mixture. Bake in deep cake pans.

That's it! So here are the directions for how I actually made it.

1) Cream butter. Add sugar a bit at a time until fully incorporated and creamed.
2) Add eggs one at a time, beating fully after each addition.
3) Sift dry ingredients together.
4) Add dry ingredients to butter mix a bit at a time, alternating with wet ingredients; beginning and ending on dry ingredients.
5) In last dry ingredients set, toss the dried fruit (this is so it doesn't sink in the oven. N.B. based upon my own pantry, I used 50/50 dried cranberries and chopped dark chocolate).
6) Prepare your pan -- using a pastry brush, coat every inch with oil. Sprinkle flour over this oil, covering every inch. Tap the excess oil and flour out of the pan.
7) Carefully spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
8) Bake at 300F until done aka when the top springs back from touch and a testing skewer comes out cleanly.
9) Remove from pan immediately, and cool on rack.
10) Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Here's hoping it both GOES well and TASTES well!


Here it is!
It baked well (didn't even spill over though it domed SUPER high), it baked in a bit over an hour, it came out of the pan PERFECTLY, and the batter tasted good so I'm sure the cake will taste good. The white speckles on the cake are from the oil+flour that I used to prep the pan.

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