Sunday, December 19, 2010

#267 Nut Cake

I needed to test out my oven’s baking capabilities so I thought I would go for a tried-and-tested pound cake. There are five pound cake recipes in English Food and this nut cake is the final one. They all have the same basic recipe, but this one being a nut cake, required two ounces of chopped nuts (I went for walnuts) as well as two tablespoons of strong coffee or rum (I went for coffee) extra. A pound cake needs icing and Griggers suggests making the one that is given for the walnut cake recipe from many moons ago. However, there is such an exciting selection of frostings available in American supermarkets that I had to try one. I bought a vanilla. Talking of vanilla, I got to test out the concentrated vanilla sugar from the last post and used half vanilla and half normal sugar.



#267 Nut Cake. This was a good cake – the vanilla sugar was very successful I thought. Although never the most exciting, pound cakes don’t disappoint either, so all was good. It was a bit dry, but I think I over-did mine a little, so it isn’t Griggers’ fault. 6.5/10.

7 comments:

eric said...

Reminds me of the time I was on Cape Cod and was entertained by the most fantastic carrot cake ever. Also in evidence selections of 'loaves' - date & walnut, banana & almond - eaten in chunks buttered for breakfast. It aint Texas but I wouldn't mind revisiting.
BTW - do you have the 1925 book called Scents and Dishes by Dorothy Allusen? Great social history record of recipes. Stiil around in paperback at Amazon

Neil B said...

I've not heard of that book at all! I'll have to check it out, cheers man!

eric said...

Re Scents and Dishes - For your eyes only.
The book is a collection of recipes supplied by the great and good of the time and compiled by Dorothy Allhusen for publication in aid of some charity (probably war veterans). It's fascinating from beginning to end but the contribution that takes the biscuit (as it were) came from Mrs John Galsworthy, Grove Lodge,The Grove, Hampstead. It's from the section on beverages. I quote:-
To those of us whose breakfast is not of the British order, but possibly little beyond the crispest of toast and the best of coffee (how to make it is another story) there may come about 11.30 an almost peevish feeling (low be it spoken!). Try as a cure, and a bridge between you and lunch, an
EGG NOGG : Break two faultless eggs into a soup plate, whites and yolks together, beat furiously with a silver fork, drifting powdered sugar in lightly to taste, until it is quite frothy, with no look of stringiness or streakiness: add 2 tablespoonfuls of good brandy (Martell Three Star or better) stirring the while. Poue into a wide mouthed goblet, add about a gill of fresh cold milk, stirring it in. Grate a little nutmeg on top if you like that flavour.
To be continued . . . .

eric said...

And if you feel peevishness overtaking you again, or even melancholy. thinking of the distant dinner hour, instead of waiting for the cocktail moment so far ahead, try this at 7.30: The juice of 2 good oranges and 3 teaspoonfuls of good brandy mixed. I believe this is more wholesome than any cocktail and a certain pick-me-up.
And now for the coffee, for I do not wish to convey the impression that my contributions are those of a heavy drinker. There is no simpler, and perhaps no better way of making coffee than the following: A breakfastcupful of the very best pure Mocha it is possible to buy, medium ground (not finely ground or it will not be clear made in this fashion); tip it into a quart jug already warmed, add, stirring the while, boiling water to fill the jug. Stir vigorously, leave for 5 minutes in a warm place (but not where it will simmer or bubble, stir again and leave again, and in another 5 minutes or a little more it should be quite clear and strong and delicious. To a breakfastcupful of coffee add just a little cream, no milk. This may be an extravagent method of coffee making, but when it is a question of a good cup of coffee and one's small breakfast, who cares?
And now a small hint about tea. If you are rather 'done' after a long country walk or mountain climb, try clear tea, weak,with a dessertspoonful of ordinary red wine added to your cupful.Quality of wine does not seem to matter at all in this astonishing restorative; any vin ordinaire (red) will do.
Unquote.
Now there's a lady to satisfy my every appetite.
And she certainly knew how to make good coffee.

Cheers.

Neil B said...

Ha! Completely brilliant. I'm rerally getting into these books at the moment. I'll have to try and get a copy of that one. I just got a facsimile of The Experienced GHousekeeper by Elizabeth Raffauld. Amazing. I think I will be adding some of her pearls of wisdom to the blog soon...

Cheers to you to, man - and Happy Christmas!

eric said...

EDUCATION THROUGH COOKERY.
(a last word on Mrs John Galsworthy).
She was born in 1864, the love child of Ann Pearson.
Her wronged young mother gave her the name Ada Nemesis Pearson Cooper.
'Nemesis' is the name of the goddess of retribution.
Ada died in 1956 aged 92 presumably having seen off all her enemies.
In 'The Forsyte Saga' she had been the template for the beautiful but ill-used Irene, one of literature's great heroines.

Thanks hugely for the info about Elizabeth Raffald. This is one I didn't know about. I discovered through abebooks.com that her book was republished in 1996 so I've ordered a copy (cookbooks are my idea of thrillers).

Cheers, Eric

Neil B said...

I agree! Although I have never bought them until now - just flick through them in the shop or on the British Library website - hace you been there? There are several facisimiles on there too. Check it out...