• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
hummingbirdkiss

Black Cake and Browning

100 posts in this topic

Wow, I went a bit overboard with the fruit! After I dumped pineapple, apples, peaches, apricots, pears, cherries, raisins, prunes, and some dried berries plus a handful of good citron into my jar, one bottle of port and one of rum didn't begin to cover it all.

gallery_16307_2558_60465.jpg

This provided an excellent opportunity to dump all the odds and ends from my liquour cabinet into the jar. It's amazing how many little bits of port, brandy, and even some Triple Sec the fruit jar was able to handle. But only hours later the fruit is already popping up as it absorbs the booze. Do you think I need to keep it totally submerged, or should I just stir it from time to time?


Edited by Abra (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Abra that looks perfect!!! just keep adding to it ..I usually make two of those jars and keep adding fruits and booze until they are crammed packed!

the fruits taste good over ice cream later as well I think I mentioned?


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the thing, my recipe calls for 4 pounds 12 ounces of dried fruit. I'd like to marinate the whole batch together insted of lots of jars (I'm tripling the recipe this year) How much soaked fruit do you guys use per recipe?

Also will you post your recipes? Please?

I'm so psyched. I ordered from Economy candy this year, and will be picking my browning from klustians..yipee!


does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here's the thing, my recipe calls for 4 pounds 12 ounces of dried fruit. I'd like to marinate the whole batch together insted of lots of jars (I'm tripling the recipe this year) How much soaked fruit do you guys use per recipe?

Also will you post your recipes? Please?

I'm so psyched. I ordered from Economy candy this year, and will be picking my browning from klustians..yipee!

I will absolutey post my recipe for you but I have to sit and think about it first so I can make it as accurate as possible ...I am in the midst of a heavy work week so early next week I will ...(hold me to it please I am exhausted!)

I do use rosewater in mine and have not seen that in any published recipe ..it is absolutely a must for me other than that other things should be simple to find ...


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh good, I'm looking forward to the recipe too. Will you be able to express the fruit in soaked weight? I have no idea what it all weighed before immersion. And since I love rosewater, that's definitely going in mine.

Emma, when you get your browning, please tell us whether it's just caramel syrup that we could be making ourselves, or some secret elixir.

I'm really stoked about this too. Next weekend I'm making cassoulet with duck confit that I put up last November, so having the fruit on the opposite cycle makes life seem more balanced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Abra-

I have a little browning left over from last year, the jar list caramel coloring as the only ingredient. I tasted it and it's only faintly sweet and very, very dark...it stained my tongue! Anyhow, from what I've heard it's the same thing people use to dye pumpernickel bread.

I guess I could weigh all the fruit post soak and divide it by three, but, my scale is dinky and that would be a production.


does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is anyone adding any dried tropical fruits to the mix aside from pineapple, such as mango or papaya? Also, I have seen the words "dried berries." What berries have people tried? Cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, currants?

Finally, in an effort to learn about how the cake has traditionally been made, what countries have been most traditionally active in making this type of cake? Would Trinidad be the main one?

I found this:

http://www.inmamaskitchen.com/RECIPES/RECI...dblackcake.html

It includes figs and mentions "carmelizing sugar," which I assume is the browning.

Here is a similar one with some nice photos at the bottom of the recipe and a little conversation below that about whether to puree the fruit or leave it in chunks:

http://www.trinigourmet.com/index.php/trinidad-black-cake/

Black cake is also listed in the Wiki listing for Trinidad. All of this leads me to ask if anyone has come across this book before:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...KX0DER&v=glance

As I was looking at various travel books for Trinidad a while back, I stumbled across it. It seems that quite a few people have reviewed it favorably.

Hopefully I haven't watered down the thread with my millions of questions.

Best,

Alan


Edited by A Patric (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used unsweetened mangos, peaches, apricots, cherries, raisens, pineapples, 3 kinds of dried cherries...any fruits are fine that you like ..figs come out kind of gross texturally but ground up are fine I have used those and dates in past mixes ... I have not seen dried papaya that was not sweetened

I did not weigh the fruits but I could since I always use the same amt ..I keep two gallong jars going as I mentioned and then spilt the one remaining and refill both jars ..so the mother jar keeps going .....I used that entire gallon jar I had shown you above then ground them out in the juice

my homemade browning came out perfectly fine and it was very easy to do ...I have made pumpernickle bread ages ago and it is the same kind of browning

these are always very popular for weddings as well ...

another thing I do is grind all my own spices ...you can not beat that ...

half cake flour and half AP

ok this weekend I will sit down and write it out ...

it is as I said ..kind of like the family meatloaf recipe!


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am so excited in the interest in this cake ..I love talking about it!!...where I live there is only one other friend of mine that makes it !


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you ever add nuts? I can imagine adding some ground up nuts of some sort, maybe pistachios, for flavor and texture.

I have only found one reference to nuts in black cake online here:

http://oletalk.tripod.com/kitchen.html

It doesn't mention what type of nuts, but says that not everyone likes the cake with nuts in it.

Any thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The berries I added were a packaged mix from Trader Joe's. I think it was strawberries, blueberries, and cherries, which of course are not berries.

As to the fruit measurement, maybe someone can give the volume measurement of ground soaked fruit in their recipe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The berries I added were a packaged mix from Trader Joe's.  I think it was strawberries, blueberries, and cherries, which of course are not berries. 

As to the fruit measurement, maybe someone can give the volume measurement of ground soaked fruit in their recipe?

I'll do it (in a few months, when the fruit is soaked)


does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I just noticed that one of the recipes that I linked to above includes chopped almonds, so that answers my nut question.

Well, I just started my own fruit tonight. One bottle of Port (26 oz), one of spiced rum (26 oz), two tsp freshly ground cinnamon (the good light-brown mexican kind, not the hard dark stuff), 1 tsp freshly ground cloves, and 1 tsp lemon essence. I used four pounds of dried fruits including: cherries, mangoes, prunes, raisins, golden raisins, and pineapple. It is all sitting in a nice big glass jar on the counter until I can be sure that the fruit won't expand too much, and then into the liquor cabinet it'll go for a few months.

I noticed that of the three recipes I linked to above, they are all pretty much the same with the exception of one item. One of them calls for 1 tsp of baking powder, while the others call for 4 tsp. Considering that otherwise the recipes are pretty much identical, that is kind of odd. I did notice that the one with less baking powder starts at a higher temp before dropping to 250 F like the others. Perhaps this makes a difference.

I seem to recall Shirley Corriher talking about insane amounts of baking powder being added to recipes at times and how to spot when something just isn't right. I'll have to re-read that section. I'll also be interested to see how much baking powder Hummingbirdkiss's recipe calls for.

It'd be nice if we could get a few more people making the cake to compare results.

Lindacakes:

When you age your cake, do you wrap it in foil? a rum-soaked cloth? something else entirely?

Also, do you age it in the pantry, or the fridge?

Thanks for the tips!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well according to Shirley Corriher's notes on leavening in Cookwise, it seems that 4 tsp of baking powder is more in the range of what we are looking for than 1 tsp. This seems to especially be the case due to the fact that there is so much heavy chopped fruit in the cake.

I'd still be interested to see what amount the experts in this thread add to their recipes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never use nuts I did one year and they did not add anything to the complexity of the flavors in this cake and the texture was not right either ..it was disapointing ..one year I soaked my fruits with some coconut rum I had on hand ..that was kind of nice but not traditional at all ..not for me anyway ...Ok I have to think this out and write it down now

my cake right now is at its peak of flavor I made it 3 weeks ago for Easter but last night a taste of the last cake and for sure 3 weeks age is the best!!!! for me anyway ...


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this is it and it is not exact you can mix and match to make your cake unique mine changes every year!!!

6 lbs of dried mixed unsweetened fruit (more or less)

1 cup of lemon/lime/orange rinds (you can add these along the way when you eat a fruit just grate the rind first and toss it in your fruit mix)

1 3 inch piece of fresh ginger sliced

1 bottle of dark rum

1 pint of brandy (fruit brandies are good for this like apricot or cherry)

1 bottle of port wine

you want enough fruits and booze to fill a gallon jar you can mix and match any fruits you like my usual from Trader joes or similar is to use dried pineapple, peaches, cherries, raisins, apricots

soak fruits for 3-6 months

(If you plan to make this cake again and you will I hope it is really best to double this and make 2 huge jars then you can use one jar to make the cakes and split the second jar to make two more ..the older the "mother fruit" gets the better your cakes get ...it is heritage food!)

when ready to make the cake take out and grind the fruits in a food processor until they are coarsely chopped the amount came out to a gallon of chopped fruit since the fruit was chopped with the liquid and was already soaked up ..the volume of the chopped vs whole fruit did not change much at all

Browning

2 cups of brown sugar in a heavy bottom skillet carefully blacken the brown sugar until just before burned when the sugar is black remove it from the heat and add 1/2 cup hot water slowly stirring until mixed well

set aside

cake prep ingredients

dry sift together

6 cups of flour (half and half cake flour and AP flour)

5 tsp of baking powder

1 tbl salt

1 tbl fresh ground ginger

1 tble fresh ground cinnamon

1 tsp fresh ground cardamom

1/2 tsp fresh ground cloves

1 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp all spice

cream together well

1 lb of unsalted butter softened

4 cups brown sugar

2 tble good vanilla

2 tble rosewater

1 dozen large eggs

the browning

in a giant bowl mix the wet and the dry then add the fruits ..in the end I dive in with my hands and mix it all together well you should have a nice thick mix of cake batter that can be poured into pans that are greased and lined with parchment on the bottoms

I prep four cheese cake pans

and one cake mold

bake in a 250F oven for about 3 hours until a toothpick comes out clean ...let cool in the pan wrapped in for at least a day wrapped then remove the cakes wrap them in rum soaked cheese cloth then plastic wrap then foil then put in a ziploc bag and leave for a 3 weeks

enjoy!


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have just recently eaten a very good black cake made by a Caribbean student, and although I don't think anything can compare to having made it for years and years (Since she was 3 years old, and she's in college now), this recipe sounds close.

What size is a cheesecake pan? And is a cake mold one of those pudding-type bucket molds? Can I use bundt pans?

Thanks and I hope to start soaking my fruit soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What size is a cheesecake pan?

12 inch

And is a cake mold one of those pudding-type bucket molds?

I have a couple of old small English pudding molds I use and I have steamed these cakes as well but it was easier and it did not make much of a dif I baked it so that is what I do most times

Can I use bundt pans?

Yes if you grease it well and can line the bottom with parchment ...any cake pan will do actually..you can even use a loaf cake pan ..I have also made mini black cakes as gifts by making them in large muffin tins then wrapped them well and gave them away like that as part of a gift basket

I am not sure if it was mentioned before but I have also served black cake with hard sauce and that was very good ..but alone with coffee or topped with heavy whipped cream are my favorite ways of serving it ...I had some with coffee yesterday morning and did mot get much done after that :smile:


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arrrgggh, I have about $200 worth of black cake fruit and liquor going, and now we`re going to live in France for a year and I won`t be able to make it. I`m going to give my started fruits to Chefpeon, and we`ll all watch to see what she does with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Arrrgggh, I have about $200 worth of black cake fruit and liquor going, and now we`re going to live in France for a year and I won`t be able to make it.  I`m going to give my started fruits to Chefpeon, and we`ll all watch to see what she does with it.

That's too bad. I'm sure that Chefpeon will have luck with it though. Mine turned out great. The recipe I used is basically one that I posted a link to above but with a few changes:

http://www.trinigourmet.com/index.php/trinidad-black-cake/

I added fresh ginger and more spices, and added them to the fruit mixture, and not the cake batter, I added one extra lb of fruit and didn't add any almond extract, but didn't really change much else. It ended up being about the following proportions:

1 lb flour

1 lb butter

1 lb eggs

1 lb brown sugar

1 batch of browning (1 lb brown sugar and 1/2 cup boiling water + 1 T butter)

4 tsp. baking powder

4 lbs dried fruits + cinnamon, cloves and fresh ginger with alcohol to cover (topping it off as they absorbed more)- 1 1/2 cups saved to start my next batch. I used dark rum and port

2 tsp lemon essence

2 tsp vanilla

2 tsp lime rind

I combined everything in the order suggested in the above recipe (i.e., cream the butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time, add dry ingredients, add wet ingredients). However, I didn't process the fruit to a paste, I only processed the fruit until it was in in smaller pieces, but still had some texture. Of course some pieces were smaller than others. The fruit I used was the following (everything dried):

pineapple

mango

prunes

golden raisins

raisins

cherries

apricots

The batter was extremely liquid due to all of the alcohol, and it filled 11", 10", and 8" springform pans until just about 3" tall or maybe a bit more. I layered the pans with parchment paper and didn't grease anything.

I baked at 250 F for 3 hours on the dot and the knife came out clean. The cakes, however, still seemed VERY jiggly, so I was a bit worried, even though I tested all three cakes a few times, and they had pulled away from the sides of the pans. Not to worry, after cooling, they weren't jiggly at all. They have a dense and thick pudding quality to them, but can definitely be sliced. I soaked all three with good rum, and will wrap 2 out of the 3 and age them for a few weeks. The third, and smallest, I'm sad to say, will not make it to the aging process, because it is too good, and I wouldn't be able to stand the wait!

Anyway, I'll be wrapping them in rum-drenched cheese cloth, then plastic wrap, then foil, then throwing them in a ziplock, like Humingbirdkiss recommended.

I'll post after the aging process to tell you all how the flavor has changed.

Best,

Alan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hee hee. I love when this topic gets resurrected.

My fruit's been going since May, I don't intend to bake until September.

Right now I'm candying cherries for my fruitcakes -- this year I'll be starting my fruit AT CHRISTMAS! So that it will be a year-long process. I like the poetry of that.

The candied cherries are a real pleasure, take only about fifteen minutes a day for a couple of weeks and yield fabulous deep red delicious cherries.

Very difficult to keep from eating them all now.

I've copied all these recipes and I might change my recipe a bit.

To answer a question above, I use ground pecans in my cake. You don't taste the pecan flavor, but I'm sure it adds to the overall effect.

Also, regarding the aging of the cake -- I don't soak mine in alcohol. I wrap in plastic and then foil and leave it be. I personally don't like a really boozy cake, I want the taste of the alcohol to subside.


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Candied Cherry recipe has been added to Recipe Gullet.


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By Panaderia Canadiense
      Hi all! I'm trying to perfect my lemon bar recipe, which is from my grandmother's Purity cookbook with all sorts of notations and changes she made. It's perfect in terms of flavour and the pâté sucree base works exactly as it should, but the topping is coming out too fluid.
       
      The topping is 3C sugar, 1/4C lemon juice, the zest off of those lemons, 1tsp baking powder, 6 eggs and 2C coconut.
       
      What can I do to firm it up a bit, so that it stays put once I cut the bars? Would cornstarch or tapioca flour do it?
       

    • By Daily Gullet Staff
      by David Ross

      I was pushing my shopping cart through the aisles of Yoke’s Supermarket on a recent “Fresh Friday,” when a spritely-sounding young woman announced over the public address system, “Attention shoppers, attention shoppers, two minutes until the next Cakewalk, two minutes.” Frozen with suspense and the anticipation of winning one of Yoke’s chocolate crème de menthe cakes, I stood pat on the number 36 yellow flower pasted on the floor in front of me. I wasn’t going to budge off that number 36 -- I wanted a cake. While I waited to hear my number called, I was overcome with a sense of nervous anxiety --the same emotion I had felt as a young boy waiting to win a cake when I was seven years old. I wondered why a boyhood fascination with winning a cake still left me with such a deep, lasting hunger some 47 years after I first danced a Cakewalk.

      What was it that tugged at my heart, telling me to delve deeper into the meaning of the Cakewalk? Why did I sense that there was an underlying truth I hadn’t discovered as a child? The only way I could unveil the mystique behind my relationship with this odd little dance to win a cake would lie in retracing the footsteps of my childhood, setting forth on a quest to discover the history of the Cakewalk.

      + + +
      We moved to Salem, Oregon from The Dalles, in the Summer of 1964, when my Father, Edgar Ross, accepted a position at the Oregon Department of Agriculture in the Commodity Commissions Bureau. My parents settled on a ranch-style, three-bedroom home on the corner of Ward Drive and 46th Avenue in the new community of “Jan Ree” Gardens. Our lot was bordered by new homes on two sides and to the East was a field of Blue Lake bush beans that would soon be consumed by the encroaching development. Mother and Father shared a few details about our new home. It had a second bathroom, a wood-paneled living room and an unfinished family room that my father promised would have a metal wood stove. But they kept one little secret from my sister and me until we were a block from our final destination on the day we drove to Salem -- our new house was next door to the grade school. I didn’t know whether to feel good or sick at the thought of living next door to the school where I would spend the next five years.

      Hayesville Elementary School was typical of the architecture of grade schools built in the early 1960’s-an L-shaped, non-descript building painted in drab green and grey. The assembly room, cafeteria and administrative offices anchored the building with the classrooms jutting out from the principal’s office. I started the school year in Mrs. Rhonda Sample’s second grade class. She was young, blond and attractive, totally unlike the spinster vision I had of the teacher that awaited me at my new school. The highlight of the school year was the annual “Open House at Hayesville.” Students showcased their talents, dazzling parents with displays of frogs and snakes in aquariums, samples of cursive writing on paper chains hung over the blackboard and paper mache busts of historic American figures like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Mothers and fathers could take a tour of the gleaming, stainless steel kitchen where Mrs. Fox prepared our hot lunches each day-warm, billowing cinnamon rolls dripping with powdered sugar frosting and her buttery, oven-fried chicken. But the most anticipated event of Open House at Hayesville was the annual Cakewalk Raffle -- a silly fun dance around the classroom. The winner won a cake and the proceeds went to fund other activities at school.

      We cut footprints out of colored construction paper and pasted them in a large circle on the spotless, pink vinyl-tiled floor. Each “foot” was given a number from one to twenty. Red, white and blue streamers were tacked on the outer walls and then brought to the center of the ceiling to define the center point of the cakewalk circle. When the room was ready, Mrs. Sample turned on the lights and opened the door, welcoming a parade of Mother’s who pranced into the room carrying Tupperware cake caddies, Pyrex baking dishes, glass cake domes and disposable aluminum trays coddling their precious cake creations.

      Three long tables were placed against the wall and covered with proper linen tablecloths. The tables served as the stage upon which the cakes would strut their stuff. The chorus line of cakes went on and on through the annals of cakedom-Chiffon, Angel Food, Devils Food, Sponge Cake, Pound Cake, Marble Cakes, Chocolate Torts and Jelly Rolls. There were cakes garnished with coconut, dusted with nonpareils, frosted with peanut butter, sprinkled with peppermints, and dotted with spiced gum drops. I entered the Cakewalk over and over until I won, seemingly always at the end of the evening when very few of the best cakes were left on the table. While Mother’s “Burnt Sugar Cake with 7-Minute Frosting” was good, it would be a total embarrassment in front of ones classmates for a kid to choose the cake made by his mother. No, should I win the Cakewalk and should it still be available, I would choose the Spiced Praline Crunch Cake made by Bernie Bennett’s Mother.

      The historical importance of the Cakewalk wasn’t a part of Mrs. Sample’s second-grade curriculum at Hayesville in 1964. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we were insulated from the racial struggles of the South at that time. I was a young white boy in a middle-class American family. I led the colorful life of a kid, yet I lived in a country that saw only shades of black and white.

      Only three years before my second grade, in the Spring of 1961 the Freedom Riders set out on a campaign to test the Supreme Court Ruling that upheld the segregation of blacks and whites at bus depots, waiting rooms, lunch counters and restrooms throughout the South. The Freedom Riders were met with ignorance and violence. African-Americans couldn’t drink from the same water fountain I drank from. I never knew.
      + + + The Cakewalk played an important role in the history of America -- a long-forgotten chapter that tells the story of the struggles forced upon the enslaved, who in spite of their burdens rose above the oppression of race and found a new form of the expression of freedom.

      The seeds of the Cakewalk were sown in the segregated deep South sometime around 1850, as a parody of the way plantation owners escorted their ladies into a formal ball. The women wore long, ruffled dresses of silk and glass beads with long, white gloves that reached above the elbow. The gentlemen were outfitted with top hats and tail coats. Couples pranced and paraded into lavishly decorated ballrooms, arm-in-arm in high-stepping fashion, marching into the center of the party, often to the music played by a banjo-strumming fiddler who worked in the fields.

      The winner of the dance contest sometimes won a cake presented by the master of the house, leading many to think this is where the name the “Cakewalk” comes from.

      African-American slaves who watched the proceedings took the dance on as their own in the yards outside their shacks, mocking what they saw as the frivolous customs of the plantation owners. According to the oral histories of slaves and their descendants, the Cakewalk was a marriage of traditional African tribal dances and rhythms combined with the dance steps of the upper classes. When the land barons and ladies saw the slaves dance, they missed the satirical element entirely, but the popularity of the Cakewalk had been established among the elite and it now transcended the boundaries of class.

      Wealthy farmers went on to sponsor competitions between plantations and the dance moved to large cities in the South and then to the East where it became a staple of traveling minstrel shows and ultimately to Vaudeville, the lights of Broadway and throughout Europe.

      On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation with these humble words, “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” Inspired by the renewed freedom gifted to them through Emancipation, a freedom that allowed them to express themselves openly through dance and music, African-Americans led a creative revival that would usher in new forms of dance and music that had never before been seen or heard. The artistic contributions of former slaves and their descendants would forever change the creative landscape in America.


      From this humble beginning in the sweltering, humid heat and back-breaking work of picking cotton, African-American artists penned the notes of a new from of music called ragtime that would eventually evolve into jazz. It was the Cakewalk, unintentionally and ironically, that crossed the bounds of race and class status as it burst into the popular consciousness of America By the 1890’s, African-American actors, dancers and musicians had started forming their own production companies and staged versions of the Cakewalk became all the rage.

      Scott Joplin, (1867-1917), was an early musical pioneer of the Cakewalk style of music. Known as the “King of Ragtime,” Joplin wrote and performed in the style of rag—a combination of dance and marching music entwined with the “ragged” rhythms and soul of African music. One of Joplin’s most famous pieces was “The Ragtime Dance,” (published in 1902), that included a Cakewalk:

      “Turn left and do the “Cakewalk Prance, Turn the other way and do the “Slow drag, Now take your lady to the World’s Fair and do the ragtime dance. Cakewalk soft and sweetly, be sure your steps done neatly.”

      The vaudeville team of Mr. Egbert Williams and Mr. George Walker were two of the first African-Americans to take their musical show on the road in a grand scale. Crowds packed into The New York theatre in 1903 for 53 stunning performances of song and Cakewalk dances in William’s and Walker’s new production “In Dahomey” -- the first all-black musical to be performed on a grand scale in a major Broadway venue. After its raging success in America, “In Dahomey” crossed the Atlantic, performing for seven months of standing-room-only audiences at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London before returning to New York.

      By the turn of the century, Americans were moving off farms and into towns and cities in record numbers. Ragtime music transformed into a new genre called “Jazz,” with emerging talents like Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington playing at the Cotton Club in New York.

      By 1930, the public fascination with dance theatre began to fade as America was lured by the intrigue of other forms of entertainment like talking motion pictures. But the early concepts and the heritage established by the Cakewalk endured throughout the twentieth century and into the 21st, namely, as a contest to raise money at church socials and school functions. The Cakewalk also delivered new words into the American vocabulary-“take the cake,” and “it’s a real cakewalk,” are terms used to refer to something that is “the best,” or a job easily done. Cakewalk software is a cutting-edge firm today that produces award-winning digital audio and recording software to the music industry.

      + + +
      I’m nearing my 54th birthday in November, some 46 years removed from my second-grade class. I had been lost until that Cakewalk at Yoke’s, yet now I’m found. I’ve learned a lesson in respect through the Cakewalk -- a lesson that taught me how emancipation allowed the enslaved to express themselves through music and dance. A lesson that freedom is an unalienable right bestowed upon all Americans. I’ve gained a deep appreciation for the place that this little ditty we call the Cakewalk plays in the history of America, opening our eyes to a world that was color blind.

      I found my personal truth in the Cakewalk -- a truth far richer and deeper than the dreams of a boy winning a cake.

      * * *
      David Ross lives in Spokane, but works a one-hour plane ride away. When he's not tending to his day job -- or commuting -- he writes about food and reviews restaurants. He is on the eGullet Society hosting team.
    • By JohnT
      I have been asked to make Chinese Bow Tie desserts for a function. However, I have never made them, but using Mr Google, there are a number of different recipes out there. Does anybody have a decent recipe which is tried and tested? - these are for deep-fried pastry which are then soaked in sugar syrup.
    • By shain
      Makes 40 cookies, 2 loaves. 
       
      50-60 g very aromatic olive oil
      80 g honey 
      120 to 150 g sugar (I use 120 because I like it only gently sweet) 
      2 eggs
      2 teaspoons of fine lemon zest, from apx 1 lemon 
      230 g flour 
      1 teaspoon salt 
      1 teaspoon baking powder 
      75 g lightly toasted peeled pistachios
      50 g lightly toasted almonds (you can replace some with pine nuts) 
      Optional: a little rosemary or anise seed
      Optional: more olive oil for brushing
       
      Heat oven to 170 deg C.
      In mixer (or by hand), mix oil, honey, sugar, lemon, egg and if desired, the optional spices - until uniform. 
      Separately mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. 
      Add flour mixture to mixer bowel with liquids and fold until uniform. Dough will be sticky and quite stiff. Don't knead or over mix. 
      Add nuts and fold until well dispersed. 
      On a parchment lined baking tray, create two even loaves of dough. 
      With moist hands, shape each to be rectangular and somewhat flat - apx 2cm heigh, 6cm wide and 25cm long. 
      Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden and baked throughout, yet somewhat soft and sliceable. Rotate pan if needed for even baking. 
      Remove from tray and let chill slightly or completely. 
      Using a sharp serrated knife, gently slice to thin 1/2 cm thick cookies. Each loaf should yield 20 slices. 
      Lay slices on tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes until complelty dry and lightly golden. 
      Brush with extra olive oil, if desired. This will and more olive flavor. 
      Let chill completely before removing from tray. 
      Cookies keep well in a closed container and are best served with desert wines or herbal tea. 
       
        
    • By Tennessee Cowboy
      I'd like help from anyone on making the best Pistachio Ice cream.  This forum is a continuation of a conversation I started in my "introduction" post, which you can see at 
      I recently made Pistachio ice cream using the Jeni's Ice Cream Cookbook.  I love Pistachio ice cream, so I've launched an experiment to find the best recipe.  I am going to try two basic approaches:  The Modernist Cookbook gelato, which uses no cream at all, and ice cream; I'm also experimenting with two brands of pistachio paste and starting with pistachios and no paste.  Lisa Shock and other People who commented on the earlier thread said that the key is to start with the best Pistachio Paste.    
      Any advice is appreciated.  Here is where I am now:  I purchased a brand of pistachio paste through nuts.com named "Love 'n Bake."  When it arrived, it was 1/2 pistachios and 1/2 sugar and olive oil.   I purchased a second batch through Amazon from FiddleyFarms; it is 100% pistachios.  I bought raw pistachios through nuts.com.  The only raw ones were from California.  If anyone has advice on using the MC recipe or on best approaches to ice cream with this ingredient I'd appreciate them.  I will report progress on my experiment in this forum.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.