CAKE REQUEST BRINGS RECIPES FROM ALL OVER
A recent request for an Almagation Cake recipe led to an almost immediate response, followed by additional copies of similar recipes that kept arriving for several days.
In such cases, I use the first one to arrive, which is this case was from Eula Mitchell Moore.
Having grown up in the same neck of the woods, Eula and her siblings and I went to school together and have been friends for a long long time. She sent the recipe for the Almagation Cake recipe that her mother, along with my aunts and a lot of other people, normally made only at Christmas time.
I had lost my aunt’s recipe, and several people sent me copies of a column written years ago with my aunt’s recipe for both Almagation Cake and Lane Cake. Eula also included her mother’s recipe for Ground Orange Cake, which my aunts also made, though they often used a combination of ground oranges and apples.
Eula merely said to use your own recipe for a white cake, or a cake mix, baked in three layers. Several people included the white cake recipe from scratch, including Polly Shelton whose letter was among the first I got on the subject, and a few said they preferred using a mix.
The amount of ingredients, and in some cases the ingredients themselves, differed a little in the Almagation Cake recipe. For instance, some used both chopped walnuts and pecans, some used maraschino cherries, and so on. But the basic filling is thick enough to work with most variations as to fruit-and-nut ingredients.
2 cups sugar
2 cups butter
8 egg whites
1 cup milk
3 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups plain flour
(Some recipes call for 1 cup butter, 10 egg whites, and 3 and 1/2 cups flour. Some call for a teaspoon of vanilla. The same is true of the filling – the number of egg yolks can vary, along with other ingredients in the filling. Some recipes call for a spoonful or two of flour to help thicken the filling, though without the flour, you only have to cook and stir a little bit longer to get it to the right thickness. The size of eggs can make a difference in some recipes, though most of the time the difference in a medium or large egg won’t matter.)
Cream butter and sugar well, and then add milk. To this mixture add flour and baking powder that has been sifted together. Beat egg whites until stiff, then fold into batter. Bake in three greased and floured cake pans at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until cake layers test done.
Amalgamation Cake Filling
6 egg yolks (or 8 if you use that number of whites in the cake)
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 cup nuts (some recipes call for 1 cup each of pecans and walnuts)
1 cup raisins
2 cups shredded coconut (part of the Christmas scene for me, as I imagine it was for Eula and others of our generation, was breaking the shells and shredding the fresh coconut)
1 cup drained maraschino cherries
Cook egg yolks, butter and sugar in double boiler, while stirring often, until it begins to thicken. Add remaining ingredients. Cook until the texture is right for spreading on cake. Eula said they decorate the cake with candied cherries and holly leaves.
GROUND ORANGE CAKE
Any white cake recipe or white cake mix baked in layers. If desired, you can use lemon flavoring instead of vanilla.
Filling: 2 cups milk (may use Pet condensed)
2 cups sugar
2 to 3 Florida oranges (navel oranges may be too bitter)
Discard seeds and white pith from oranges. Grind oranges and peel (or zest) together in meat grinder. Mix all ingredients in double boiler. Cook slowly, stirring often, until thick enough to spread.
(My aunts made a similar cake by using juice and pulp of 4 oranges, and the grated rind of 1 orange. They also made an apple and orange cake by mixing ground apples and oranges with sugar to taste, and spreading it on a white layered cake, and keeping it chilled.)
ORANGE NUT CAKE
3/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup orange marmalade
3 cups flour
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup chopped pecans
Cream margarine; add sugar, orange peel and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Blend in marmalade. Sift flour, and add to creamed mixture alternately with orange juice and evaporated milk. Stir in nuts. Spoon into well-buttered 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes. Serve warm, or cool, and frost with whipped topping. Topping can be made by whipping cream and adding 2 or 3 tablespoons sugar, or you can use nondairy whipped topping, and to either one you stir in enough grated orange peel to taste. Spread on cake and decorate with candy orange slices.
Thanks folks for all the response. I have enjoyed opening the mail, and appreciate all the notes and letters and recipes. After years of writing this column, which at times has been little more than a recipe exchange, I am sure there is enough interest in recipe swapping to support a newsletter on the subject. Though I don’t have time for such a project, which would start small and grow, I would be happy to devote space in a column to help anyone who wanted to develop a newsletter devoted to recipe exchange. All you would need is some time and a home computer and printer. My voice-mail number at the Daily Journal is 678-1580.