Thursday, February 08, 2018

Retro Baking: Velvet Spice Cake from the "Joy of Cooking"

Just out of the oven!
My copy of The Joy of Cooking is dog-eared, broken-spined, and full of splatters from past cooking experiences. I also own the Joy of Cooking iPad app, which I actually used to make this spice cake. Baking from scratch is kind of a retro thing to do involving beaten egg whites and many steps to completion. Not at all like a cake mix!

My also-antique bundt pan is coated with Teflon, but it still works. (Note that Teflon is not considered harmful, that's kind of a myth.) The printed book I used is so old that the recipe version there only mentions a tube pan. Bundt pans became popular in 1966, which is probably when I received mine as a gift from my Aunt Bernadine, though she may have given it to me even before that. The app -- being entirely twenty-first century -- says to use a bundt pan, which I did.

Here's the cake after it cooled a bit, shown in front of my very-not-retro stand mixer.
The spices I used were ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves: a bit more than the recipe suggested.
Also, I used Kefir in place of the buttermilk specified in the recipe, as I often do these days.

I greased the pan with my secret hoard of original Crisco. I use it only for greasing baking pans, so I don't think it will harm us too much even though it's trans fat. I used butter as the shortening in the cake itself -- butter, the great and wonderful and vindicated fat that isn't anywhere near as dangerous as they once told us. Greasing the pan with Crisco does make a very crisp and brown exterior on a cake!


Olga said...

Thanks for the hint about greasing my pan with Crisco. Is Crisco from one of the oblong containers as acceptable as the kind out of the can? Just wondering. Do you flour the pan after adding Crisco>

Mae Travels said...

Hi Olga, My Crisco is very old though of course the shelf life is infinite, and I keep it in the refrigerator. I have not experimented with the various current types of Crisco, but I bet they would also be good for greasing a pan. The real issue is that you need solid shortening, not oil, to keep things from sticking to the pan. Butter works to but it's harder to spread on a cold pan. I did flour the pan in this case: I usually do what the recipe says to do, and this one said to grease & flour.

Story Time said...

Crisco now has 0 trans fat. Not, I'm sure, good for you, but I do like it in pie dough as well as for greasing pans.
If using non-bundt pan, parchment paper is great for keeping the cake from sticking. I grease the pan enough to make the parchment paper stick to it, and then lightly grease/flour the parchment paper. The other day I made the 1-2-3-4 Cake from the back of the Swans Down Cake Flour, another very retro recipe. I cut the recipe in half and used 2 8 inch round pans in place of 3 9 inch ones. It made a very nice small cake, and with the parchment paper, it was really easy to remove the layers.

Judee Algazi said...

Crisco does have amazing qualities in baking! I'm sure greasing your pan will not be a major health concern

Beth F said...

Can't beat an older edition of Joy of Cooking.

Tina said...

My Joy of Cooking is so old, the spine has cracks but it’s always a go-to book for recipes. My husband likes the French toast recipe, that’s his territory.
Great cake!

jama said...

The cake looks so yummy! Love your bundt pan too. I don't have one -- my mother used to, but unfortunately I didn't inherit it.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Such classics--the cookbook and the cake which looks delicious. My mom insisted on Crisco for her baking for years. ;-)