Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Posts Tagged ‘Fruit’

Orange Bread

Posted by bakinghistory on October 22, 2008

A very good bread with a citrusy aroma

This recipe results in a wonderful loaf full of the flavor and scent of oranges, thanks to both freshly squeezed orange juice and a good amount of orange zest. The texture is reminiscent of a very light brioche, or even challah, with a moist fine crumb and a thin, soft crust. It is excellent freshly baked, and, later, toasted and spread with sweet butter and a good orange marmalade, to have with tea or coffee.

This bread goes to Susan’s Yeast Spotting Roundup is HERE

From the original recipe by the King’s Daughters Society of Duluth, Minnesota

In: King’s Daughters Cook Book, 1916—USA

Ingredients:

4 cups bread flour

1-1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1/4 cup of warm water

1 cup to 1-1/4 cups orange juice (about 2 large organic oranges, or 3 small ones)

grated zest of all the oranges used for the juice

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp sugar

1 large egg yolk

2 tbsp butter, softened

1 large egg white (to glaze)

Mix the yeast in the warm water and set aside for about 10 minutes.

In a mixer bowl pour 1 cup of orange juice, the grated zest, egg yolk, sugar and flour, mixing on low speed for about 1-2 minutes. Add the yeast and mix for a few more minutes, then add the salt. Mix a little longer, at low speed, and then add the butter. Mix until the butter is well incorporated and the dough is smooth and well developed. You might need extra orange juice, depending on how your flour absorbs liquids. I needed 1/4 cup extra juice, and I used King Arthur bread flour.

It is important to have some extra juice on hand if needed, because adding extra water would diminish the bread’s orange flavor.

Let the dough ferment in a lightly greased covered bowl, until double in bulk. Then shape it as you like (I made a large 4-strand braid), but it can also be baked in two bread pans (9 x 5-inch pans).

If you decide to bake it free-form, sprinkle generously a baker’s peel or a baking sheet with semolina, then place the loaf on it.

Let the prepared loaf (or loaves) ferment, covered, until light, then brush gently with the egg white lightly beaten with 1 tbsp water.

Bake in a preheated oven (350°F) on a baker’s stone if you have one, or simply on the baking sheet on which the bread proofed, for about 45 minutes or 1 hour, depending on the size, until the crust is a deep golden brown. Cool the bread(s) on a rack.





Posted in American Cooking, Fruit, Yeasted Breads | Tagged: , , , , | 15 Comments »

Prune and Walnut Whole-Wheat Loaf

Posted by bakinghistory on September 8, 2008

A sweet whole wheat bread full of prunes and walnuts

This is my entry for this month edition of Weekend Breakfast Blogging, a blog event started by Nandita of Saffron Trail and hosted this time by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen. The theme proposed by Aparna is “Grains in my Breakfast”.

HERE IS THE ROUNDUP

This simple whole-wheat bread is one of my favorites to have for breakfast, usually lightly spread with very fresh cream cheese and paired with a cup of strong black tea.

The liquid for this dough is provided by the water in which prunes are briefly simmered to soften, which provide flavor and just the right sweetness, counterbalanced by the slightly bitter aftertaste of the walnuts and the full  flavor of whole wheat.

Other dried fruits can be used instead of prunes, and in my opinion dried tart cherries work amazingly well—however, my favorite remains the one made with prunes, as in the original recipe.

This bread also goes to Susan’s Yeast Spotting

From the original recipe by Carolyn Putnam Webber

In: “Two Hundred and Seventy-five War-time Recipes, 1918—USA

Ingredients

1/2 cup dried prunes (I used unsulfured, organic prunes)

1 cup water

1/4 cup (organic) sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp butter

1/2 cup walnut pieces

2-1/4 cups whole wheat flour (or as needed)

1-1/4 tsp active dry yeast dissolved in 1 tbsp warm water.

Briefly simmer the prunes in 1 cup of water, just until tender—they should not be mushy. Strain the prunes and reserve the cooking liquid (add extra water to make 1 cup). Cut the prunes in quarters, then set aside.

Add the sugar and salt to the cooking liquid, mix well and set aside until lukewarm

Place 2 cups of the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast and then the cooled cooking liquid. Mix on low speed until a dough forms, and towards the end add the butter cut in small pieces. The dough should be well developed and supple, but not too stiff. Add the remaining flour as necessary.

Let the dough ferment, covered, until doubled in bulk. Knead briefly again, let ferment once more in a covered bowl until doubled in bulk. Gently flatten and stretch the fermented dough to form a rectangle, then spread the walnut and prune pieces, pressing them into the dough. Roll up like a jelly-roll, pushing to avoid trapping air inside. Form into a loaf and place into a lightly greased  8 x 4-inches bread pan and let it ferment covered until the dough reaches about 1/2-inch above the rim of the pan.

Bake in a preheated oven (350F) for about 35 minutes, until golden brown. Unmold the bread and let it cool on a rack before slicing.

Posted in American Cooking, Blog Events, Eggless, Fruit, Tea, Treenuts, whole grains, Yeasted Breads | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Almond-Orange Cake (Focaccia alla Portoghese)

Posted by bakinghistory on April 9, 2008

A light and delicate sponge cake made with almonds and orange zest

The original name of this cake is Focaccia alla Portoghese which means Portuguese-Style Cake in Italian. In fact, the word focaccia in Italian does indicate both a savory flat bread and a sweet leavened cake. Artusi does not tell us anything more about the origins of this recipe besides its name, however the combination of almonds and oranges is an unmistakable characteristic of the cuisine of Sephardi Jews. This recipe might then have been inspired by those brought to Italy by Portuguese Jewish merchants or by the refugees that settled in many Italian cities at different times in history, such as following the expulsion of Jews from Portugal in 1497.

Incidentally, Artusi mentions a number of ingredients and dishes in his cook book that were introduced by the Jews and became part of mainstream Italian cuisine, for instance eggplants, pumpkins, and Pan di Spagna (sponge cake).

This cake has a wonderfully moist and spongy texture and is nicely flavored by the orange zest and the almonds without being too sweet. It keeps fresh for many days and it is actually better when made one day ahead. It is excellent served with tea or coffee, cut into tiny squares (or other fancy shapes) .

It is important to grind the almonds until they are reduced to a very fine powder, and even the granulated sugar should be ground briefly in the food processor or coffee grinder, especially if you use—as I do—organic sugar that tends to be relatively coarsely grained. The ground almonds need to be sifted and the larger pieces that remain in the sifter should be ground again until of the necessary fine consistency. These steps require an extra amount of time and might be tedious but are necessary to ensure a successful result and make a significant difference. Of course you can prepare the ground almonds ahead of time.

It is also essential to bake the cake at a very low temperature.

Artusi suggests to cover the cake with a crisp icing made with egg whites and sugar syrup. Personally I find that a light sprinkle of powdered sugar is more suited to the delicate texture of this cake.

From the original recipe by Pellegrino Artusi

In: “La Scienza in Cucina e l’Arte di Mangiar Bene”, 1891—Italy

Ingredients:

1 cup (150 g) whole Almonds, blanched, raw

3/4 cup (150 g) Granulated Sugar

1/3 cup (50 g) Potato Flour (starch)

3 Eggs

1-1/2 (organic) Oranges (juice and zest)

Powdered sugar to sprinkle on top of the cake

Preheat the oven to 300° F (150° C). Line a 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pan with aluminum foil and grease with vegetable oil (I used almond oil, grapeseed oil is also good for this).

Grind the almonds with 1/3 of the sugar in the food processor or coffee grinder until very finely powdered. Sift the almond mixture with the potato flour and grind again any large pieces of almonds that might have remained in the sifter. Set aside.

Grate the zest of 1/2 orange. Squeeze the oranges and strain the juice; set aside.

Grind the remaining sugar with the orange zest until fine and powdery.

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the balloon whip attachment beat the egg whites until stiff and glossy; set aside.

Beat the yolks at very high speed until light and pale yellow (using the balloon whip attachment). Gradually add the ground sugar and beat until well incorporated.

Switch to the flat beater attachment and add the ground almond mixture to the yolks and beat at high speed until light and well incorporated, taking care to scrape the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula.

Add the orange juice and mix well.

Finally gently fold in the whipped egg whites, by hand, making sure they are well distributed and without deflating them. Pour the mixture in the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven (place the rack in the middle position) for about 45 minutes. A cake tester in the center must come out clean and dry when the cake is ready.

Place the pan on a rack and let cool for 10 minutes. The cake will slightly deflate and shrink from the sides of the pan. Unmold it and let it cool on the rack. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top once the cake is completely cool.

Note: I had inadvertently forgot to write when to add the orange juice to the batter. I have just corrected the text.

Posted in Cakes, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Flourless Cakes, Fruit, Gluten-free, Italian Cuisine, Italy, Pareve, Tea, Treenuts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Orange-Graham Muffins & Orange Tea

Posted by bakinghistory on February 29, 2008

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A healthy breakfast full of the sunny flavor and scent of oranges
healthy-eats.jpg This is my entry for the Weekend Breakfast Blogging event hosted this month by Suganya of Tasty Palettes and initiated by Nandita of Saffron Trail. Suganya’s theme is “Healthy Eats”.
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These muffins contain no eggs, no dairy, and just a minimal amount of sugar and shortening (olive oil). Graham flour provides fiber and freshly squeezed orange juice gives flavor and a moist, tender crumb. The tea is infused with fresh orange slices, and it is so flavorful it does not require any additional sugar.
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From the original recipes by:
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Alice Bradley In: “Sunkist Recipes. Oranges-Lemons”, c1916—USA
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and
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Mrs. J. L. Lane In: “365 Orange Recipes: an orange recipe for every day in the year”, c1909—USA
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Ingredients
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Orange-Graham Muffins

1/2 cup (65 g) flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp (25 g) sugar

3/4 cup (100g) Graham flour

Grated rind 1/2 (organic) orange

7/8 cup (205 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice (1 cup minus 2 tbsp)

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp (30 ml) shortening (extra-virgin olive oil)

Orange Tea

1 thin-skinned (organic) orange

1 qt (1 l) freshly brewed hot tea

Make the Muffins: Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C); if you have cast iron muffin pans preheat them in the oven as well.

Sift flour, salt and sugar; add Graham flour and grated rind of orange. Dissolve the baking soda in the orange juice stirring
until it begins to get frothy, then add the shortening. Pour orange juice mixture onto flour mixture and mix well, then pour the batter quickly into (hot), greased muffin-pans, place the pans in the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 400°F (200°C) and bake for about 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Make the Orange Tea: Slice the orange into paper thin slices, discarding the seeds. Place the slices into a glass jug and pour the hot tea over them. Serve hot or cold and sweetened to taste.

Posted in American Cooking, Beverages, Dairy-Free, Eggless, Fruit, Muffins & Biscuits, Pareve, Tea, vegetarian, whole grains | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Crostata di Marmellata (Jam Tart)

Posted by bakinghistory on January 23, 2008

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A traditional Italian jam tart
This is my entry for the event hosted by Erin from Skinny Gourmet, for which participants should post about a food that for them evokes memories and stories. My entry is a jam tart, a dessert rather simple and homey in itself, yet never boring or dull. This is the first kind of baked goods that as a little girl I learned to make from my mother. It was easy and quick to assemble, improved with time, and was our favorite to have with tea. In Italian we called it a crostata di marmellata. It evokes memories of many happy, precious hours spent with my mother in the kitchen, watching her preparing food and learning from her. We always used the following recipe to make pastafrolla—a perfect shortcrust pastry: sweet and buttery but not too rich, tender and crumbly yet sturdy enough to hold the filling.
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From the original recipe by Pellegrino Artusi
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In: La Scienza in Cucina e l’Arte di Mangiar Bene” , 1891–Italy
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Ingredients
2 cups (250 g) AP flour, unbleached
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1/2 cup (125 g) unsalted butter, diced
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1/2 cup (110 g) sugar
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1 medium egg
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1 yolk
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1 cup (260 g) fruit jam (such as apricot, plum, or sour cherry)
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If the granulated sugar is coarse, it is preferable to process it briefly in a food processor or coffee grinder. Mix flour and sugar, then work the butter in with the tip of your fingers until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the egg and yolk and work briefly until the dough just holds together.
It is important not to overwork the dough (do not knead it) or it will harden when baked.
A food processor works perfectly to make the dough: start by placing flour and sugar in the work bowl, process for a few seconds to mix, then add the butter and pulse a few times until the mixture looks like wet sand. Add the egg and yolk and process a few seconds more until the dough forms. Do not overprocess.
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Wrap the dough in wax paper and let it rest in a cool place for at least 30 minutes.
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On a lightly floured board roll 2/3 of the pastry dough to a 1/8-in (3 mm) thickness, and line with it the bottom and sides of a 9-in (23 cm) tart pan with scalloped edges and a removable bottom. The sides should be lined with a slightly thicker layer of pastry than the bottom, about 1/4-in (0.5 cm). Fold back in the dough that is hanging over the sides to make a thicker lining along the sides. Cut of excess. Prick the pastry bottom with the tines of a fork in a few places, then spread with the jam. Do not use a deep tart mold.
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Roll the remaining pastry on a lightly floured board slightly thicker than 1/8-in (3 mm), then with a sharp knife or pastry cutter cut it in strips 1/4-inch (0.5 cm) wide and make a lattice on top of the jam layer. There might be some leftover pastry. I usually make a few cookies with it, or tartlets.
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You can see how the lattice should look here.
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Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and bake the tart until golden, about 25 minutes. Unmold the tart as soon as it is ready and let it cool on a rack. If left in the pan it will turn irremediably soggy. It is great freshly baked but it definitely improves after a day or two, if kept in a closed container.
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A note on the fruit jam: select a jam that is relatively low in sugar, 38% to 40% content of sugar is best; jams that contain a higher percentage of sugar tend to be adversely affected by the baking temperatures, turning sticky and ruining the final result.
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Posted in Blog Events, Desserts, Fruit, Italian Cuisine, Italy, Pies & Tarts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Kuchen Roll (bbd #05)

Posted by bakinghistory on January 1, 2008

kuchen-roll-1.jpg

A slightly sweet yeasted dough with a touch of nutmeg and a flavorful prune-cinnamon filling

breadbakingday51_2_2.jpg This is my entry for bread baking day #05, hosted this time by Chelsea at Rolling in Dough, and initiated by Zorra. Chelsea proposed Filled Breads as a theme, and I decided to keep on the sweet side with this kuchen roll. The dough is actually barely sweet, which lets the prune-cinnamon filling really shine through. It is perfect with a glass of lemon tea.

bbd #05 roundup is here 

From the original recipes by Lizzie Black Kander (Mrs. Simon Kander)

In “The Settlement Cook Book”, 1901–USA

Kuchen Dough, No. 1

1 pint (470 ml) milk, scalded

1/2 cup (113g ) butter

1/2 cup (100) sugar

1 tsp (6 g) salt

5-1/2 to 6 cups (750 g-820 g) bread flour (or as needed)

yolks of 2 eggs (or 1 egg)

1-1/2 tsp (6 g) active dry yeast

grated nutmeg to taste

1 egg to shine the roll surface

Prune Filling

1 lb. (454 g) prunes

2 qt. (1.90 l) water

1 cup (200g) sugar

2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice

grated lemon zest

1 stick cinnamon (or 1 tsp of ground cinnamon)

Make the Filling

Soak the prunes in water for a few hours, then cook them in the same water, with (a stick of) cinnamon, until soft. Add sugar (1/4 cup of sugar every 2 cups of stewed prunes) and cook 2 minutes more. Take off the heat, add lemon juice to taste and lemon zest. Remove cinnamon stick (unless you used ground cinnamon) and process the prunes in a food processor or with an immersion blender till creamy. The quantity of sugar and lemon juice should be adjusted by taste; personally I prefer the filling to be rather tart.

Place the prepared filling in a covered glass container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. It can be prepared the day before.

Make the Kuchen Dough

Dissolve the yeast with 1 tsp of sugar in 1/2 cup of the warm milk and set aside till foamy. To the rest of the milk add the butter, sugar, salt, nutmeg and, when cool, the two beaten yolks or the beaten egg. Add some of the flour, mix well, add the yeast-milk mixture and then the rest of the flour, kneading on low speed with the dough hook attachment if using a stand mixer. The dough should be well developed, smooth, soft, supple and satiny; the amount of flour has to be adjusted so that the dough is not sticky but still fairly soft. Let the dough rise, in a covered container, until doubled and light. Then take the dough, press it flat with the palms of your hands in a rectangular shape, not too thin or it might tear, spread with prune filling leaving a little clean margin on one of the short sides. Roll up the dough, starting with one of the short sides and seal well the seams.

Let the shaped roll(s) raise, covered, till light. Gently brush the surface with the beaten egg glaze and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (180°C) for about 35-40 minutes.

Cool the rolls on racks (unmold them if you used a pan). Slice and serve only when they are throughly cold.

The roll can be baked free form on a baking sheet lightly greased and floured, or arranged in a lightly greased bundt pan.

The dough can also be divided in two before rolling and filling to make two smaller rolls to bake free form or to arrange in a pan.

Posted in Blog Events, Fruit, Jewish Cooking, Spices, Yeasted Breads, Yeasted Cakes, Kuchen, Coffee Cakes | Tagged: , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Lemon Cake (Novel Food: Winter 2007 Edition)

Posted by bakinghistory on December 19, 2007

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A velvety lemon cake to have for tea–inspired by Edith Wharton’s “The House of Mirth”.

nf_chef_100px_2.jpg This is my entry for the lovely blog event co-hosted by Simona of Briciole and Lisa of Champaign Taste, for which participants prepare a dish that has a connection to a literary work.

Edith Wharton is one of my favorite American writers, I enjoyed all of her novels–and her ghost stories too.

The cake I made is inspired by the tea and cake shared by Lily Bart and her friend Lawrence Selden as told in the early pages of The House of Mirth (1905).

This cake–with its moist texture and pleasant lemony flavor–goes really well with a nice cup of tea, so it might very well be the one mentioned in the book. And I do have a green teapot as well.

here is the excerpt from chapter 1 of “The House of Mirth”:

He paused a moment. “Come up and see,” he suggested. “I can give you a cup of tea in no time–and you won’t meet any bores.”

Her colour deepened–she still had the art of blushing at the right time–but she took the suggestion as lightly as it was made.

“Why not? It’s too tempting–I’ll take the risk,” she declared.

“Oh, I’m not dangerous,” he said in the same key. In truth, he had never liked her as well as at that moment. He knew she had accepted without afterthought: he could never be a factor in her calculations, and there was a surprise, a refreshment almost, in the spontaneity of her consent.

On the threshold he paused a moment, feeling for his latchkey.

“There’s no one here; but I have a servant who is supposed to come in the mornings, and it’s just possible he may have put out the tea-things and provided some cake.”

He ushered her into a slip of a hall hung with old prints. She noticed the letters and notes heaped on the table among his gloves and sticks; then she found herself in a small library, dark but cheerful, with its walls of books, a pleasantly faded Turkey rug, a littered desk and, as he had foretold, a tea-tray on a low table near the window. A breeze had sprung up, swaying inward the muslin curtains, and bringing a fresh scent of mignonette and petunias from the flower-box on the balcony.
Lily sank with a sigh into one of the shabby leather chairs.

“How delicious to have a place like this all to one’s self! What a miserable thing it is to be a woman.” She leaned back in a luxury of discontent.

Selden was rummaging in a cupboard for the cake.

“Even women,” he said, “have been known to enjoy the privileges of a flat.”

“Oh, governesses–or widows. But not girls–not poor, miserable, marriageable girls!”

“I even know a girl who lives in a flat.”

She sat up in surprise. “You do?”

“I do,” he assured her, emerging from the cupboard with the sought-for cake.

“Oh, I know–you mean Gerty Farish.” She smiled a little unkindly. “But I said MARRIAGEABLE–and besides, she has a horrid little place, and no maid, and such queer things to eat. Her cook
does the washing and the food tastes of soap. I should hate that, you know.”

“You shouldn’t dine with her on wash-days,” said Selden, cutting the cake.

They both laughed, and he knelt by the table to light the lamp under the kettle, while she measured out the tea into a little tea-pot of green glaze. As he watched her hand, polished as a bit of old ivory, with its slender pink nails, and the sapphire bracelet slipping over her wrist, he was struck with the irony of suggesting to her such a life as his cousin Gertrude Farish had chosen. She was so evidently the victim of the civilization which had produced her, that the links of her bracelet seemed like manacles chaining her to her fate.

And now for the cake:

From the original recipe by Jane Cunningham Croly

In:Jennie June’s American Cookery Book”, 1870–USA

Ingredients

1 cup (227 g) butter

3 cups (600 g) sugar

4 eggs, divided

1 cup (245 g) milk

1 large (organic) lemon–juice and grated zest

4 cups (454 g) flour, sifted

Icing: 1 small egg white, beaten till light and foamy

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C), grease and flour two 9.1 x 5.4 inch (13.6 x 23.2 cm) loaf pans

Cream the butter until light and fluffy, then gradually add the sugar. Add the 4 yolks, one at a time, then the lemon juice (strained) and the grated zest. Gently add the flour, little by little through a strainer, and then the milk in a fine stream, still beating at high speed. The mixture should be light and creamy. Finally fold in the egg whites, beaten until stiff and glossy, taking care not to deflate the mixture.

Divide the batter into the prepared pans and bake at 325°F (170°C) for 45 minutes or more, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of each cake.

Let the cakes cool in the pans placed on racks for 5 minutes, then take them out of the pans and let them finish cooling on the racks. Ice the cakes once they are perfectly cold.

Icing: mix the confectioners’ sugar with a little egg white and 1/2 tbsp lemon juice to a spreading consistency and cover the top and sides of each loaf.

Notes: This cake does not contain any leavening, and to be light the batter must be worked well to incorporate as much air as possible. It must be baked at no more than 325°F , otherwise it will brown too fast on top and still be raw in the middle.

The recipe can be halved.


				

Posted in American Cooking, Blog Events, Cakes, Fruit, Tea | Tagged: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

 
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