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             John Gosden Asks...
             Two From Marian Van Til
             One from Lois
Rowen Answers "What is a Funnel Cake?"
"Graney" or "Granny" Cake - Katherine Sherman-Hoehn
             Jeffrey Charles Replies
             Astrid Bear Asks...
             Katherine Answers...
Ice Cream Cake (Tiramisu) - Helen Connor
Kitty Litter Cake (from Peter Langston) - Alice Gomez
Poppy Seed Cake - Ronda Magnusson
The Queen Of Twelfth-Night - Brian Tansey
             Lancashire Parkin - Astrid Bear
             Lancashire Parkin
             Yorkshire Parkin
             Jan Hatwell's Parkin
             Peter Theune
Lois' Very Versatile Pound Cake

John Gosden Asks...
Anyone know a reliable recipe for Dutch Buttercake, which my Dutch grandmother used to make, sprinkled and flavoured with almonds - the memory brings the saliva running, and thoughts of teas in the post-war years.

Two From Marian Van Til
Take your pick; they both come from Dutch immigrants to Canada, but the first seems more "classic," from what I know.
Boterkoek I
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg, yolk and white separated
2 tsp. almond extract
dash salt
2 c. flour
Cream softened butter with sugar and egg yolk. Add almond, salt, and flour.
Press mixture into round pie plate or cake pan. Brush with egg white. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes.

Boterkoek II
1 lb. butter
2 c. sugar
4 c. flour
3 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
Almond extract, to taste
Mix all ingredients and egg yolks only. Grease two cookie sheets and spread mixture evenly. Brush egg whites on top.
Bake in preheated oven at 300 degree F. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

One from Lois
1 US Stick unsalted butter (stick = 1/4 pound, 8 tablespoons)
1 US Stick salted butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
3 Cups Flour (US cooking measure "cup" is US 8 ounces, holds 240 cc liquid)
2 teaspoons almond extract flavoring (30 cc, or one US ounce)
Oven will be 250 degrees F, low, slow. Pan is 9 or 10 inch diameter if round. Line the pan with foil or parchment paper.
Melt butters gently. Stir in sugar, one whole egg, one yolk (save one white for later.) Add flour and almond extract flavoring. You'll end up with a thick, buttery paste.
Form paste into ball, put in pan, flatten it to around 3/4 inch thick.
Spread egg white on top, pour off extra. Slice small slits in diamond or square or pie pattern on top. You can put sliced almonds and sugar on top and bake that way.
Bake at 250 until top browns, maybe 30 minutes.
Serve plain. Or you can cut it into bars, cover with thin layer jelly, and then put thin dark chocolate icing on the bars.
This is very "rich" and heavy, something like cake-y marzipan.

Rowen Answers "What is a Funnel Cake?"
Oh, just one of the tastiest creations known to fair goers! A sweetish pancake-type batter is dropped through a funnel (to create a narrow ribbon) into a vat of hot oil and deep-fried. One criss-crosses the dropped batter to create a sort of flat, jumbled bird's-nest look. When it's a perfect golden brown it's lifted onto a dinner-sized plate, and covered with sifted powdered sugar. Sometimes strawberry jam is used as well, or in place of, the powdered sugar. Eat hot by pulling off bits of the cake with the fingers. Once it cools off it's too greasy to finish, but hot - oh, my it's good. Probably not anything your cardiologist wants to know about, but a couple of times a year probably won't kill you, either.

"Graney" or "Granny" Cake - Katherine Sherman-Hoehn
Inspired by a recent bout of poppy seed strudel bread baking with my Grandmother, I thought I would copy some of the recipes in her file for posterity.
One of the few recipes for which I cannot guess a possible origin (except for "20th century"), and presented without attribution, is a "graney cake." It looks a bit like a hummingbird cake, but there are other recipes in the file for that. I've presented the recipe below. For the current project, having a possible origin isn't necessary, but I'm curious. Lissuns, does this look like anything you've seen or baked? Why is it called "Graney"?
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple, not drained
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup nuts
1/2 cup brown sugar
Mix together all cake ingredients except nuts and brown sugar. Put in 9x13"
greased and floured pan. Sprinkle nuts and brown sugar on top.
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup margarine, melted
In a sauce pan, put evaporated milk, sugar, vanilla, and margarine (melted and measured). Mix together. Bring to a boil and pour over hot cake as soon as taken from oven.

Jeffrey Charles Replies
My guess is that it was originally a "granny cake" mis-spelled. Try a Google search on granny cake and you'll find it.

Astrid Bear Asks...
It sounds good, but what on earth is a hummingbird cake?

Katherine Answers...
Hummingbird cake is one of those rich vegetable-type cake recipes; I have carrot, beet, and zucchini cake recipes with the same basic ratios of oil, sugar, eggs, and flour.
From my Grandmother's files (this one, I also have in a British-produced baking book):
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 tsp each: soda, salt, cinnamon
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil
1 8 oz can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups chopped bananas
Mix dry ingredients. Add eggs and oil. Stir until moist. Do not beat.
Add remaining ingredients. Bake at 350 in 3 9" pans 25-30 minutes or a 13x9" pan 40-45 minutes. Frost with cream cheese frosting.
"Graney" cake seems to have no oil, unless that's an unintentional omission. It also has a streusel crust and then that topping, instead of being frosted.

Ice Cream Cake (Tiramisu) - Helen Connor
2 Tbs Nescafe
Half a cup of boiling water NOTE: If I make this I'll use half a cup of REAL coffee, made using a 'french press' (plunger here, cafetiere UK)
2 Tbs Tia Maria NOTE: I prefer Kahlua for the coffee taste, and is 2 Tbs really enough?
400 g condensed milk
600 ml cream - about equivalent to a pint of cream
Quarter cup of milk
12 sponge biscuits, savoiardi, lady fingers...
Combine coffee, water, Tia Maria and refrigerate until cool.
Combine condensed milk and cream, beat with electric mixer until fluffy (note from guy who gave me the recipe: doesn't get fluffy as such, but nice and smooth).
Beat in half the coffee mixture.
Combine the remainder of the coffee mixture with milk and dip the biscuits in it.
Line a cheesecake pan with foil.
Spoon half the cream mixture into the pan, layer the dipped biscuits on top, then pour remainder of cream mixture over the biscuits and freeze.
After one hour, push biscuits down (note from guy who gave me the recipe - after an hour in the freezer, this thing ain't moving!)
When set, grate chocolate on top and freeze.
Remove from freezer one hour before serving.

Kitty Litter Cake (from Peter Langston) - Alice Gomez
1 box spice or German Chocolate Cake Mix
1 box white cake mix
1 package white sandwich cookies
1 large package vanilla instant pudding mix
Green Food Coloring
12 small Tootsie Rolls
1 new kitty litter box
1 new kitty litter box liner
1 new pooper scooper
Prepare and bake cake mixes according to directions in any size of pan. Prepare pudding and chill.
Crumble cookies in small batches in blender. Add a few drops of green food coloring to cup of the cookie crumbs. Mix with a fork or shake in a jar. Set aside.
When cakes are at room temperature, crumble them into a large bowl. Toss with half of the remaining cookie crumbs and enough of the pudding to make the mixture feel moist, but not soggy.
Place a liner in the box and pour in mixture.
Unwrap 3 Tootsie rolls and heat in a microwave until soft and pliable. Shape blunt ends into slightly curved points (use your imagination). Repeat with three more rolls. Bury the rolls decoratively in the cake mixture.
Sprinkle the remaining white cookie crumbs over mixture, then scatter green crumbs lightly over top.
Reserve 1 Tootsie Roll. Heat the rest, three at a time, in the microwave until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake and sprinkle with crumbs from box. Heat remaining roll just until pliable and hang it over the edge of the box.
Place box on a sheet of newspaper and serve with the scooper!

Poppy Seed Cake - Ronda Magnusson
3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 2 teaspoon baking soda
1 2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
4 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 cups sliced strawberries and
3 whole strawberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first four ingredients in a medium bowl. In a mixer bowl, beat sugar, butter and lemon peel until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, and beat well after each. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk, in three batches. Stir in poppy seeds. Pour into three greased 9-inch cake pans. Bake 25 minutes; remove and cool 10 minutes; remove from pans.

3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
6 tablespoons lemon juice
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
3 cups whipping cream
Combine 1/2 cup sugar, eggs and lemon juice in a pan over simmering water. Whisk until very thick, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add chocolate and stir until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
Beat cream and 1/4 cup sugar until it forms firm peaks. Fold into chocolate mix.
To assemble cake: Spread one layer with 1 cup of frosting. Top with 1 cup sliced strawberries, then 1 2 cup frosting. Repeat with second layer. Put top layer on and frost. Decorate with white-chocolate-dipped whole strawberries.

The Queen Of Twelfth-Night - Brian Tansey
From the O.E.D.: "Twelfth-cake . . A large cake used at the festivities of Twelfth-night, usually frosted and otherwise ornamented, and with a bean or coin introduced to determine the 'king' or 'queen' of the feast".

Lancashire Parkin - Astrid Bear
I have a recipe for parkin, from "Festivals, Families, and Food", a neat book with songs, recipes, accounts of traditional (mostly English) festivals,craft ideas, etc. Our Jack likely would have burned a Guy, so there is a POB connection here. The book explains: "The "burning of the Guy" and the great bonfires enjoyed on this night must surely go back further in origin, however, to the Celtic Samhain and the heralding of winter. In fact, Lancashire Parkin, now associated with Guy Fawkes night, was once called "Harcake" or Soul Hars Cake", originally named for the Norse god Odin or Har and eaten on All Souls Day."
6 oz plain flour
1 t. salt
1 t. ground ginger
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t bicarb of soda
10 oz medium oatmeal
6 oz black treacle
5 oz butter
4 oz dark brown sugar
3/4 pint milk
1 egg
Sift together flour. spices, and soda, then add oatmeal and mix lightly. Heat the treacle, butter, sugar and milk together until the butter has melted. Cool slightly, add the egg and beat well. Pour these ingredients into the centre of the dry ones and stir rapidly until smooth. Turn into a greased and 7" square tin. Bake at 350F for one hour. Store in an airtight tin for at least two weeks before using, as this mellows the flavor.
This sounds pretty good, and we all just have enough time to bake it and age it for Guy Fawkes Night!
Please to remember
The Fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason, and plot!

Lancashire Parkin
1 1/2 lb oatmeal
1 teaspoon ground ginger 8 oz brown sugar
8 oz butter 1 lb treacle
1 teaspoonful allspice
Mix the dry ingredients . Heat treacle and butter; add to the dry mixture and leave to stand overnight. Place in a well-greased shallow baking tin and bake in a moderate oven for about 2 hours. It is done when the parkin springs back when touched.

Yorkshire Parkin
8 ozs self raising flour
4 oz butter 8 ozs oatmeal
1 teaspoonful ground ginger
8 oz treacle
2 teaspoonfuls bicarbonate of soda
4 oz sugar
1 egg
1 gill milk
Pinch of salt
Rub the butter into the sieved flour, then add the rest of the dry ingredients, the treacle, milk and beaten egg. Mix well together. Put the mixture in a prepared shallow tin and cook in a slow oven for about 2 hours. When cool, cut into squares.

Jan Hatwell's Parkin
Guy Fawkes' Day would not be complete with Parkin, a wonderful cake traditionally served on Bonfire Night.
Herewith the recipe in American measures (British lissuns probably don't need
it, but will find it in Delia. Of course.)
5 fluid ounces of light molasses (1/4 cup plus 2T)
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 C. light brown sugar, packed
1 1/4 C. oatmeal
3/4 C. self-raising flour
2 tsp ground ginger
Generous pinch of ground cloves
Stingy pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
About 3 T milk
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit OR 140 Centigrade
For this recipe you need a cake tin six inches square by three inches high, lightly greased
Put the molasses, butter and brown sugar into a saucepan and warm it gently until the butter has melted. Don't go away and leave it -- you don't want to bubble at all.
Meanwhile, measure the oatmeal, flour, ginger and cloves into a mixing bowl, add the stingy little pinch of salt and, making a well in the middle of the mixture, stir in the warm syrup mixture until everything is thoroughly blended.
Next add the beaten egg and finally the milk. Pour it into the baking pan and bake it for about 1 1/2 hours or until the centre springs back when you touch it.
Let it cool in the pan for half an hour or so before you turn it out and Delia says not to worry if it sinks in the middle. Mine always does, but family and friends woof it up anyway.
Hope you enjoy it -- goes well with ice cream.

Peter Theune
I came across this recipe, does it look to be quite the thing? I notice it's rated "easy". I would hate to see "difficult."
Recipe courtesy of The Rose Pistola Cookbook, Reed Hearon and Peggy Knickerbocker, Broadway Books/Random House 1999.

For the meringues:
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon amaretto
2 teaspoons white vinegar

For the Genovese Butter Cake:
7 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
13 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Zabaglione Filling:
8 large egg yolks
1/3 cup cream sherry
1/2 cup sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 sheet gelatin (9 by 2 1/2 inches) or 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to medium-soft peaks

For the Cream Frosting:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brandy

For the Simple Syrup:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cream sherry

For Assembly:
1 cup amaretti cookie crumbs
Cocoa powder for dusting

For the meringues: Preheat the oven to 200 to 250 degrees fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Lower the speed and gradually beat in the sugar. Add the amaretto and vinegar and beat at medium speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 8 minutes longer. Using a large kitchen spoon and your barely damp fingers, shape the meringue into twelve 4x3-inch ovals on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Place on the lowest rack in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Store in a tightly closed plastic container at room temperature.
For the Genovese Butter Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Butter and flour an 8-inch springform pan.
In a large metal bowl, beat the eggs, yolks and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until tripled in volume, about 7 minutes.
Place the bowl over a saucepan of water, bring the water to a simmer, and whisk for 1 to 2 minutes to warm the eggs slightly. Remove from the heat.
Sift the flour and baking powder together and fold into the egg mixture. Transfer one-eighth of the batter to a small bowl and whisk the melted butter into it. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan.
Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. (The cake can be made a day ahead if tightly wrapped in plastic.)
For the Zabaglione Filling: Make a water bath by filling a large deep pot half-full with water. Combine the yolks, cream sherry, sugar and orange zest in a large bowl (preferably copper, to get more volume). Place the bowl over the water and, while whisking the eggs vigorously, bring the water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Continue whisking for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and is light and fluffy. Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool. (Leave the water bath over low heat.)
Place the gelatin sheet, if using, in cold water to soften. When soft, squeeze out the excess water, then whisk into the egg mixture. Or, for powdered gelatin, put 2 tablespoons cold water in a small dish and sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Let stand for 1 minute to soften, then whisk into the egg mixture. Return the bowl of egg mixture to the simmering water bath and whisk constantly over medium-low heat until the gelatin is fully dissolved, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the eggs, as they may curdle, and make sure when whisking to bring all of the mixture up from the bottom of the bowl. Refrigerate until cold, whisking occasionally, then fold in the whipped cream.
For the Cream Frosting: In a medium bowl whip the cream with the sugar, vanilla, and brandy to stiff peaks. Set aside in the refrigerator.
For the Simple Syrup: Over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in 1/4 cup water and the sherry.
To Assemble: Place the cake on a cake stand. With a long sharp knife, trim off the very top (about 1/8 inch) of the cake. To slice the cake into 3 equal rounds, score 2 evenly spaced lines all around the sides of the cake. Cut
into the score lines about 1 inch deep all the way around the cake, then make a clean cut all the way through the cake to separate it into three layers. With a very sharp knife, trim off the outer brown edges of each layer.
Place the top layer of cake on a flat serving plate.
Place the cake ring around the cake. Dip a pastry brush into the simple syrup and brush it generously onto the cake layer to moisten it. Spread about half of the zabaglione on top. Add the next layer of cake, brush with the syrup, and top with the remaining syrup and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight, to set.
Remove the ring from the cake. Frost the whole cake with the cream frosting, spreading it very evenly and smoothly. (Use a cake comb if you have one.) Sprinkle the amaretti crumbs on top. Dust the tops of the meringues with cocoa, then press them lengthwise into the sides of the cake, spacing them evenly. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve, or overnight.
Yield: 12 servings

Sacripantina (traditional recipe)
-500 gr genoise (sponge cake)
-200 gr butter
-180 gr icing sugar
-25 gr bitter cocoa powder
-1 small cup of concentrated coffee (possibly Italian-style espresso or mocha-machine coffee)
-1 small cup of rum
-marsala wine
Note: with "small cup" I mean the cups we use to drink could call them, perhaps, "espresso cups."
Work butter, softened at room temp, until creamy, then add 150 gr icing sugar and beat until soft and fluffy. Add rum, then divide this cream in half and complete the first half with coffee and the second half with powdered cocoa.
Put aside 100 gr of genoise. Cut the rest in slices, about 1/2 inch thick, and brush them lightly with marsala. Line with plastic wrap a small dome mold, then cover the bottom and sides with genoise slices.
Put aside few spoons of the cocoa cream, then divide the rest into three parts. Divide also the coffee cream into three parts.
Fill the mold with alternate layers of chocolate cream/genoise/coffee cream, ending with genoise. Cover with plastic wrap, put a load on in order to pack well the cake, and refrigerate it at least for 3-4 hours.
(This is the recipe I got. I have had many times, however, Sacripantina made of a smaller number of thicker filling layers, so you'd like more to divide your fillings only in two parts each.)
Unmold the cake and spread the remaining choc cream on the surface.
Dice the remaining genoise in very small cubes and scatter them over the cake until it's completely covered, then sprinkle it with the remaining icing sugar.

Lois' Very Versatile Pound Cake
This is a very heavy cake recipe. It's basic, good, easy to make, and you can flavor it any way you want. Or not.
1 Cup Flour
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Stick Butter (quarter pound of)
Soften the butter in the microwave. Add the sugar to it. Add two eggs, beaten. Add the flour. I do this all without a mixer and it works fine.
It's a very stiff dough, but it spreads out when you bake it. You can add milk, cream or sour cream to make it more fluid, but I don't.
Normally you put it in the pan, cover it with fruit, sprinkle with sugar and maybe cinnamon, and bake at 350.
It's good plain, or you can add just about anything to this recipe, and it's darned good. When plums are in season, you cover the whole top with plum halves, skin side down, add sugar and cinnamon, that's really good. I've also made it with nuts, dried cranberries, added melted chocolate to part of the batter and marbled it, whatever. You can also flavor it with lemon, vanilla, almond, whatever. But, as I said, plain is good. Plain with fruit is very good. The batter also works well for an old-fashioned pineapple upside down cake.