Shaunda Kennedy Wenger and Janet Kay Jensen
Ballantine Books (2003)
This was probably the last cookbook I bought before we left the Netherlands. I found it at a local bookstore and it said it needed to come home with me. I resisted at first but finally went back to buy it. As a result, it moved with us and didn't end up in storage for six months. It's a lovely book; each quote from a book is followed by a recipe related to that book. I've used it at least once, but for the last couple of years, it's been sitting on the shelf unattended.
I haven't made a proper dessert in the last days, so tonight I thought I'd try Anne's Anodyne Liniment Cake from Anne of the Green Gables. (That's a book I've never actually read, but heard recently on the BBC iPlayer.) The woman who provided the recipe for the cookbook is the granddaughter of the author.
As I frequently do, I did all the cake mixing in my cuisinart and baked it in my 9"x13" pan, rather than two 9" round cakepans. But something wasn't quite right. The cake rose very high on the outside edges, mostly along the long edges, rather than the short ones. After a very short cooling it came away from the sides of the pan.
For an icing, I used the Creamy Butter Frosting recipe that's printed with the cake recipe. Definitely wouldn't do this bit again. Much too sweet and I added only about 2/3 of the sugar required. A nice cream cheese icing, not too sweet, as we prefer, would be better. Or maybe a chocolate icing to contrast with the vanilla cake. This time, since the whole cake looked a bit sad, we thought we'd top it off with some hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles, for those whose Dutch is rusty).
The cake actually tasted pretty good, but the texture was more like a thick, fluffy pancake. I'm not sure what caused the strange rising and texture , but wonder about the amount of baking powder. One tablespoon was called for, where I'd expect no more than 1-1/2 teaspoons (a half tablespoon). It also seemed to me that there wasn't enough batter for two 9" pans. If there were less leavening, I think the cake might work fine in a 9" square pan. I'll try this again in a few weeks.
This post is linked to this week's Cookbook Sunday.