Saturday, 23 April 2016

HFF- Literary Foods - Marigold's Cake

This fortnight's challenge: Food is described in great detail in much of the literature of the past. Make a dish that has been mentioned in a work of literature, based on historical documentation about that food item.

Lucy Maud Montgomery is well known for Anne of Green Gables, but she wrote goodly number of other works, including one of my favourites, Magic for Marigold (1929).  This is a delightful story of a child's adventures, from birth to womanhood,  in a single volume.   I was quite taken with the story when I was 12 and still remember my visions of the chapter, when at age 11, Marigold was left to watch the house, Cloud of Spruce, alone, with no cake in the pantry, because surly nobody would visit.    Cloud of Spruce and the Lesleys were known for their cake!

The references to any particular cake are quite vague, but the cake that I remembered was one with "golden orange crescents on it - the special company cake of Cloud of Spruce".   The only description of it was a delicious feathery concoction with whipped cream, and golden orange crescents on it.   My childhood vision was a cake with little orange slices on it as decoration and lots of chocolate icing.    I went to my copy of The Boston Cooking School Cook Book, by Fannie Merritt Farmer, 1912 (Boston).   The recipe needed to be tasty enough to be a cake that the family had been known to make for some time, which is why I chose the 1912 book.   It also had to be easy enough for an 11 year old to make.   I chose the recipe for Cream Cake
It was an easy enough cake and the spice mixture looked really tasty.   I substituted the thin cream for almond milk and used gluten free flour and xanthan gum in place of the wheat flour.    I would use an 8 in. pan next time, instead of the 9 in. pan.   I think it would fill the pan better.

The icing was from the same book.   This icing was really, really good and super simple to make.  Next time I'd add just a little less icing sugar as it was a bit more fudge like than frosting when it set up.  Not a bad thing by any means.

I chose to serve the whipped cream on the side.  A cake that was kept in the pantry, even in a cake box, wouldn't likely have been covered with whipped cream as it wouldn't have lasted.  It might have been coated with whipped cream just before serving, but I know in my family, the cake wouldn't have been finished for several days, so the cream would have gone bad before we finished it.   I decorated it with little mandarin oranges, from a tin.

This was an awesome combination.   If the cake had been in a smaller tin, it would have been higher and lighter.  The spice mix, with the chocolate and oranges was a really perfect blend.   This is now on my cake for special occasions list.
Cost - .79c  for the tin of oranges
        $4.79 for a box of baker's chocolate.   I used Baker's because it was called for in another recipe.   It is a good thing I am old enough to remember how it used to be made, because the squares are half as deep as they used to be, so I had to use 4 squares, rather than 2.
The rest of the ingredients I had on hand.
It took only a few minutes to mix up, and the icing took only a few minutes to make as well.  It was a quick, easy to make cake, which tasted of much more effort.


Jeanette said...

Wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

Jeanette said...

Wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

QNPoohBear said...

I almost went to the same book. I stuck with Anne though. I always liked Marigold a lot. Have you read the Pat books? I liked her a lot too.

South Bay Ladies' Tea Guild said...

Interesting! I have all the Anne series, as well as the Emily of New Moon trio, and the Pat and Marigold books. I haven't read them in years; this makes me want to get them out again and re-read them!