14 December 2013

Favorite Torte and Cake Recipes

Favorite Torte and Cake Recipes is a lovely homage to 1950's baking, where every woman can, "know the joy of making a perfect cake."

Published in 1951, Favorite Torte and Cake Recipes was published the same year that ConAgra, then the Nebraska Consolidated Mills, bought the rights to Duncan Heinz cake mixes as a way to use more flour. Pillsbury was making a few mixes in the late 40's, but it was the Duncan Heinz brand that pushed boxed cake mix into the American kitchen. Duncan Heinz, a popular food writer at the time, received a penny a box for the use of his name.

Rose Oller Harbaugh knew what readers wanted, having spent years as the manager of the book department at Marshall Field's. Mary Adams was an immagrant who came with her family from Hungary. The cookbook was informatuive, packed with recipes and easy instructions. It featured nifty fifties drawings to accompany the recipes.

Since it is that holiday season and since we love some fruitcake, we were fascinated with this recipe. It is a Hungarian spin on fruitcake.
Hungarian Fruit Layer Cake
3 cups flour
1/4 pound butter
6 tablespoons sugar
1 1/3 cups grated walnuts
2 eggs
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
Sift the flower in a bowl. Cut in the butter thoroughly.
Add sugar, lemon rind, and nuts, and mix well.
Beat eggs until lemon-colored and add to the above mixture.
Mix well and shape into a ball.
Roll dough on floured board with light strokes.
Roll pastry into circular shape about 15 inches in diameter.
Place in buttered torte pan, trimming edges like pie.
Prick dough with fork and bake for few minutes and 375F oven to make firm.
Then fill shell first with Apple Filling, then with Poppyseed Filling, and last with Walnut Torte Filling.
Decorate with strips of remaining pastry.
Brush with egg and sprinkle with nuts.
Bake in 325F oven 1 hour.

A very different take on the traditional fruitcake from a very traditional 50's classic.


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