Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Day of Cakes

(A preview of my kitchen. Modern oven set in a vintage 20s kitchen.)

Having all these days off for going onto nearly a week now is growing on my domesticity. The house is spic n' span, everything is in order, meals requiring more time than 30 minutes to cook are made well prior to it being mealtime. And - when I'm not working on my photography or finishing up a textile art piece - I'm baking.

Yesterday I decided to bake a cake. Not just any old cake, no, I had to use my beloved cookbook from the 1800's that I bought in the Smoky Mountains. This cookbook contains no recipes past the late 19th century. A 1920 recipe is pushing the envelope. And having such the love for 1800 livelihood - I adore my old cookbook!

The desserts section of this book is glorious! Judging by the thickness of this chapter alone in this cookbook, women by any means were not stick figures! What not with their decadent teacakes that call for thick creamy icings! Bliss!

So I chose to create a cake with icing made from scratch. (of course from scratch IS the only way!) The cake I chose is called a Snow Cake with Fluffy Vanilla Frosting. I'll also share the recipes - I'm updating older term ingredients with modern names.

(a sneak peek into the oven - I'm risking the integrity of my cake to get this shot. And yes, a good seasoned cast iron skillet is perfect for baking an old fashioned cake such as this one.)

Snow Cake

• 1/4 cup butter (shortin')
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/2 tsp vanilla
• 2 egg whites
• 1 1/2 cups flour (i used organic enriched unbleached white flour)
• 2 level tsps baking powder
• 1/2 cup milk

Cream the butter, add gradually the sugar & vanilla. Beat the egg whites to a stiff froth & add. Mix and sift the flour, baking powder & add to the first mixture alternately with milk. Bake in a moderate oven for 45 minutes. (I baked the cake at 350) Cover with boiled frosting. (even though I have the recipe for boiled frosting, I substituted it for the fluffy vanilla.)

(The end result - a delish frosted old fashioned cake.)

Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

• 1/2 cup butter (shortin')
• 5 cups of powdered sugar (yes, brace yourself, this is a sweet one!)
• 2 tsp vanilla
• 1/8 tsp salt
• 4-5 Tbs milk

Cream butter, 1 cup of sugar, vanilla and salt. Add rest of sugar alternately with milk. Beat till of spreading consistency. Makes 3 cups.

I hope you all enjoy these recipes as much as the guys and I have! Mr. D says this one takes care of creating cavities for the year it being so yummy and sugary sweet! I'd even say it nearly trumps a king cake. Ha! Well, I'd better run - I'm humming along on a good sugar buzz - and there are a few dishes to do since lunch and dinner needs to begin, but not before a little painting is done! I hope everyone is having a beautiful day! xo!

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