Top 100 Cake Blog

Top 100 Cake Blog

Friday, June 12, 2015

Brandy Cake

When I saw that this c. 1950 recipe combined two of my very favorite things -- cake and whiskey -- I just had to give it a try.  Brandy Cake (whiskey can be substituted, according to Wilma Eckert, the recipe's author) is a yellow cake flavored both by liquor and lemon. It has a delicate crumb and delicious flavor. It's pretty easy to make, though it requires separating the eggs, beating the whites and folding them in, a step I find somewhat taxing, though it does lighten the texture.

I used a new (for me) whiskey from France called Bastille. While my very favorite scotch is Lagavulin, it has a peaty flavor, and probably not a good choice for cake.

In the bowl of  a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar, and add in the egg yolks.

After the lemon zest and juice are incorporated, alternately add the whiskey and dry ingredients. Mix until combined. Carefully fold in the egg whites (which you've whipped to stiff peaks in a another bowl). I always add a bit of cream of tartar to prevent overwhipping (which makes them dry), and I always use a very clean bowl and beaters, because any fat or grease will impede their whipping.

Spoon the batter into a greased and floured angel food cake pan. Smooth out the top.

Bake for about 45 minutes. I got overly involved in a book I was reading and overbaked the cake by about five minutes -- notice how it's coming away from the sides of the pan a bit too much?

Release from the pan and let cool completely.

Production notes: I followed this exactly, except used all butter for the shortening, used whiskey instead of brandy, and did not add the optional almonds. I added a scant teaspoon of salt (the amount isn't indicated in the recipe), and if there's a next time, will add a bit more lemon zest (grated lemon rind).  I baked it (actually overbaked it) for 50 minutes. Should have pulled it from the oven five minutes earlier.
Easy-to-follow recipe below the card.

Brandy Cake

Preheat oven to 350 F
Grease and flour an angel food cake pan

1 c. butter (two sticks) at room temperature
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs, separated
Grated rind of one lemon
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 c. brandy or whiskey
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
Separate eggs, placing the whites in a medium to large bowl.
Beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat until well combined.
Add egg yolks and combine.
Add lemon zest and lemon juice.
Add 1/2 flour mixture and combine.
Add whiskey. Mix and add the remaining flour mixture.
Whip egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Using a spatula, fold egg whites into batter until combined.
Spoon batter into prepared cake pan. Smooth the top.
Bake for about 45 minutes.
Remove from oven, cool for about 10 minutes, then turn cake out on a baking rack to cool.

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