Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cake without equatorial imports or chemicals

Sugar - beetroot sugar* is same as cane sugar, only slightly less in quality. However I do not know if chemicals are needed to make brown sugar, as is certainly the case for white sugar. Can be replaced with honey.

Cake recipe without baking soda (basic recipe):

  • one cup of flour
  • one cup of sugar
  • one egg
  • tablespoon of boiling water

times as much as you want up to three eggs or even more if you can handle it, and:

oven, form, butter and bread flour.

Prepare oven and form. Beat sugar and eggs until fluffy. Add flour, beating or stirring as you can. Add the hot water and beat again, then pour into form(s) QUICK and into oven QUICK. Into the oven for forty minutes on not too hot.

Can also be used as basis for biscuits: cut up cake, back into oven till dry.

Cake with yeast?

Exists in Germany and Alsace. Guglhupf/Gougloupfe is done with a little yeast and a lot of goodish candylike taste additions, like lemon zest (Mediterranean import, not equatorial) and raisins. Unfortunately I cannot remember the recipe.

Taste without imported additions?

Here in S. France, lemon zest and orange peels and raisins are not imported. Further north, apples and plums can be added to give a cake taste - though cinnamon is of course an imported spice.

* Look here on sugar beets. Seems some chemicals are necessary for sugar extraction after all. Like chalk. Is beetroot sugar an invention from Kent, England? But it seems cassonade/brown sugar does not depend on it.

And yes, I completely forgot about maple sirup!


Hans Lundahl said...

If you compare bottom and top - yes I was a bit tired. Even though I've had a coffee.

Hans Lundahl said...

"A tremendous timesaver to colonial bakers was the chemical leaven, first referenced in Amelia Simmons’ 1796 cookbook, Art of Cookery. Pearlash, the particular type of chemical leaven used during this period, is simply the alkaline substance potassium carbonate. When mixed with an acidic ingredient, such as lemon, sour milk or molasses, it creates gas bubbles that raise the baked product, typically some sort of cake or biscuit. The addition of chemical leaven to baking recipes sped up the process immensely, as it eliminated the need to wait for yeast to rise in the dough. Before chemical leaven, cooks needed to raise cakes with either yeast or beaten egg whites, a process that would take a frustrating amount of time, and one that would be repeated multiple times a week, if not every day. In a society where baked goods were an important and commonplace component of practically every meal, the subtraction of this rising time significantly expedited the baking process."

Hans Lundahl said...


Fast Food in Colonial America, Weinsteiger Article on the portable and inexpensive foods of colonial America.

Hans Lundahl said...

Pearlash - definition of Pearlash by the Free Online Dictionary ...

Hans Lundahl said...

since the word is used in the above article:

lixiviate - definition of lixiviate by the Free Online Dictionary ...

So by washing woodashes, you get a "soda" which will let you make lemon cake or scones (the recipe includes sour milk) easily. But chocolate cake? Hmmm ...