Top 100 Cake Blog

Top 100 Cake Blog

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Classic Pound Cake

With just five simple ingredients, you can easily create this moist and delicious old-fashioned pound cake from a vintage recipe. Pound cake, so named because it originally called for one pound of each ingredient, is a perennial favorite, and one that has survived the years. Most modern recipes gild the lily with sour cream, milk or any number of other flavorings and additions. As good as those are (and who doesn't like variety?), this classic version is rather perfect.

Here's the mis en place for the recipe. Flour, butter, eggs and sugar. (Also, vanilla and a pinch of salt, which I forgot to photograph.)

Start by beating the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time.Add the flour, a pinch of salt and vanilla -- and that's it!

Spoon the batter into a greased bundt pan.

Smooth it with an offset spatula, a butter knife or the back of a spoon.

Bake for about 45 minutes. The top will look underbaked, but you can tell it's done by the way the cake is separating from the sides.

Let it cool in the pan for about ten minutes. Then run a knife around the edges to loosen it, turn it out on a rack, and tap the top until the cake releases.

The cake has a nice crumb.

Production notes: Have the butter at room temperature, and beat it well. Add the sugar and beat the mixture until it's light and fluffy before adding the eggs. I also added the vanilla to the butter-sugar-eggs mixture, instead of after the flour. The first time I made this (see below), I sprayed the pan with Pam and overbaked it, which resulted in a broken cake. This time, I greased the pan with Crisco -- not sure that made a difference.
It is essential not to overbake this cake. Don't go by the color, but do test with a skewer.
I also made an quick icing -- put some confectioner's sugar in a bowl, and add liquid (milk, cream, water or lemon juice)  and mix to the desired consistency.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Bee's Matzo Meal Bagels

I didn't have to look far for this vintage recipe card -- it's from my mother Bee's collection. She wasn't a particularly good cook or baker, but she made dinner six nights a week without fail and always made special food for holidays, these Matzo Meal Bagels among them.

I'm not fan of food hacks that use a substitute to imitate the real thing (Tofurkey, for instance), but even during Passover, some people will insist upon bagels, I suppose. And they are handy if observant folks need to have a sandwich during the holiday.

Even those these are called "bagels" they resemble them only in shape, not in texture or flavor. But, they are pretty good and take but minutes to make. The outside is crispy, while the inside is soft. My son-in-law said they taste like matzo balls, which is pretty accurate, since they have the exact same ingredients.

Let's get started. Mix the dry ingredients (matzo meal, salt and sugar) in a bowl.

Add the boiling liquid all at once, mix well, and add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Let the batter stand for about 15 minutes. Then, with greased, wet or gloved hands, form balls. Place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.

Flatten each ball slightly, and use your index finger to create a center hole.

Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.

Cool and serve.

Below is Bee's very stained recipe card, with rather incomplete instructions.  Below that, is the recipe written out.

Matzo Meal Bagels

Preheat oven to 350F

2 c. matzo meal
1 c. water
1/2 c. vegetable oil
dash salt (up to 1 t.)
2 T sugar
4 - 5 eggs

Combine the matzo meal, salt, and sugar in a bowl. 
Bring the oil and water to a boil and add to the matzo meal mixture. Stir well to combine. 
Add eggs,o­ne at a time, mixing well after each addition. (I used four eggs, as the batter seemed too wet to accommodate an additional egg.)
Let batter stand for 15 minutes.
With oiled hands, shape into balls and place o­n a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Pat each ball down slightly, and using a greased finger, insert it into the middle of the roll, moving it around to create a hole in the center. 
Bake at 375°F for 40-50 minutes.

Carol's Raw Apple Cake

This isn't a pretty dessert, and I was about to classify it among my many recent vintage recipe fails, until my son-in-law was crestfallen that, after eating one slice, there was no more left. Even the DS liked it. And so, with those endorsements, I bring you a simple raw apple cake. It is brimming with apples and is super moist as a result. It also takes just 15 minutes to make, and is super low-tech -- you only need two bowls, a spoon, a knife and a baking pan.

It's not apple season, but I wanted to bake a quick treat for the lovely workers in my house and I was a bit short on ingredients -- until I spied two apples in the fruit bowl. It was meant to be.

Start by peeling and chopping some apples.

Next, mix the wet ingredients -- just oil and eggs.

Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

 Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir in the apples and some nuts.

Spoon the batter into a greased pan and push to the edges. The batter is very thick.

Bake, cool and enjoy.

Production notes: I halved this recipe, using 1/4 c. oil, because I didn't have enough apples.  I used an 8 x 8 inch pan.  The batter was so thick and dry, that I added about 1/4 cup of water to make sure it held together. The only nuts I had -- slivered almonds -- worked just fine.