Monday, December 12, 2011

Chocolate Meringue Cake with Almond Praline and Citrus Marmalade for #Baketogether

Chocolate Meringue Cake with Almond Praline and Citrus Marmalade

It’s true that you can take a sheet cake or a Bundt just about anywhere, but we all need a couple fancy cakes in our repertoire, if for no other reason than to feel good about the accomplishment. This Chocolate Meringue Cake is a good one to make. Pretty and indeed impressive looking, it also rewards in flavor, texture and relative ease of preparation.

Created by Abby Dodge, the cake graced the cover of Bon Appetit’s December 2009 issue. I remember wanting to make the cake at that time, but got caught up with moving and just forgot.  Abby then selected it for the November-December #baketogether group she runs on Twitter. It’s just so cool that not only do I finally get to make this gorgeous dessert but I’ve also “met’ its creator thanks to Twitter.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Vintage Recipe: An Old-Fashioned Jam Cake

Strawberry Jam Cake
With this recipe for an old fashioned jam cake, I’m introducing an occasional feature on older recipes, those from the early to mid 20th Century. And yes, most of them will be on the sweet side.

I love pouring over old cookbooks, especially the ones published by small organizations — churches, historical societies, service leagues. These collections — idiosyncrasies and all — are rich bites of history, telling us how people lived through what they ate.

One example is George Heritage: Treasured Recipes, the book from which this jam cake is taken. It was published in 1979 by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of  Georgia. There are all manner of recipes, from pimento cheese to punch serving 100 people.

And even though convenience foods were well established by the late 1970s, they are not prominent in this cookbook. Not a single recipe calls for cake mix.

Speaking of idiosyncrasies: Contributors are listed by their husbands’ names, with the wives’ first and maiden names in parentheses. A few years ago I would have been annoyed at that. Most newspapers used to behave that way and some still may for all I know. But now, so much time has passed, and there are so many things to worry about in the world, well, it’s not a bother. The quaint tradition reflects a particular time and place in society and I respect its historical value.

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