Thursday, 24 November 2011
A birthday cake
If my grandmother Greta had been alive, she would have turned 99 last Monday and, quite naturally, I have been thinking a lot about her for the last couple of days. She was, as I have mentioned before, a woman with many talents and one of them was to bake. She baked bread and she baked cakes. Though she didn't quite followed the tradition of a Swedish "kafferep" (a social meeting where you drank coffee and had cakes) and always had "seven kinds of cakes" at home, she had, at any given time, always buns, sponge breads and several kind of cookies. My Mum said only the other day that when she was a kid there was a special "cookie cupboard" in the kitchen. One of her fortes was to bake three sponge cakes in the oven at the same time which made the middle one sunk, as it didn't get as much heat. For some reason that middle one always tasted like it was filled with almond paste.
Thinking of my grandmother and cakes made me remember that I have one of her cookbooks, the one the picture, called Läckra Rumfordfinesser ("Delicious Rumford Delicacies") from 1946. It’s really more a pamphlet to advertise the glory of Rumford baking powder, but it's a quite lavish one. There are several coloured pictures of rather tasty looking cakes and cookies, but most fun is the two pictures on the inside of the covers. The first one depicts two women engaged in just a "kafferep":
Vera: "You know, Rumford makes it both easy and fun to do the baking and it saves me a lot of money too,”
Guest: “Thank you, dear Vera, for all the delicious cakes you have offered. From now on Rumford will save money at my home too.”
And on the back cover we see the guest in her own home, plying her family with “new” baking:
Father: “Suddenly you have become an expert on baking.”
Son: This cake is yummy.”
Mother: “How will I ever be able to thank Vera enough for showing my how delicious it is to bake with Rumford. We will save a lot of money on it.”
Daughter: “Mummy, you must make a cake like this often.”
Perhaps you would like the recipe on the Palm cake? I have never made it myself, but it seems like it could be quite yummy.
3 egg yolks
180 gram sugar is whisked together until fluffy. Then add 3 tablespoons of water slowly. Stir in:
60 gram potato starch
60 gram flour
60 gram almonds, blanched and grounded
3 bitter almonds, blanched and grounded
1 ½ teaspoon Rumford baking powder (or, of course, any baking powder)
Then whisk 3 egg whites until hard and carefully stir that into the batter.
Pour the batter into a greased form and put it in the oven for 45 minutes. (Note that there is no indication for oven temperature. I would set the temperature on 175 degrees Celsius.)
When cold, cut the cake into three layers and spread the filling on all of them. The filling is made thus:
4 deciliter milk
3 tablespoons cocoa (unsweetened)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornmeal
Stir all the ingredients on low heat until it has the right consistency.
Decorate the cake with
200 gram powdered sugar mixed with the juice from
1 orange. Add orange food colouring.
Cover the cake and let it dry. Then fill a pastry bag with a mixture of:
25 gram dark chocolate, melted and cooled
25 gram butter
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Make the appropriate pattern, indicated by the pictures and finish off with some almonds. An option if you want a stronger taste of oranges is to mix the juice of an orange with 2 tablespoon sugar and spread that on the layers before the filling.
I’ll end with a question; would you like more recipes? I haven’t considered that before, but as this blog have evolved to be about all sorts of thing forties, then perhaps there is an interest?