Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Little Chocolate Cakes

Little Chocolate Cakes

This recipe is adapted from 'The Royal Baker and Pastry Cook: A Manual of Practical Receipts for Home Baking and Cooking' by the Royal Baking Powder Company.

This paperpack was published in 1911, and here is a picture of my copy.

The paperback book also includes (at least my copy) a flyer entitled 'Facts Worth Knowing' that describes in detail the three different types of baking powders on the market then: Mineral Acid or Alum, Bone Acid or Phospate or Cream of Tartar from Grapes. Back then the baking powders made from cream of tartar was the most expensive:

And if cost isn't prohibitive enough to discourage one from buying other types of baking powders:
"...remember this rule: Baking powders selling from 10 to 25 cents a pound are made of Mineral-Acids; those selling from 20 to 30 cents of Bone-Acid; and those from 40 to 50 cents of Cream of Tartar derived from grapes."

"The use of alum in whiskey is absolutely prohibited; why not equally protect the food of our women and children?"

This book has a great number of cakes, breads, cookies, doughnuts, puddings, sweet dumplings, icings & frostings, sauces, pies and frozen desserts. It also has, despite its title, recipes for savory items (which incidently don't have baking powder at all) such as Scotch Woodcock, Walnut Catsup, Mutton Haricot and Ox-tail Soup.

The recipe calls for baking the batter in 'patty-pans'. In case they are unfamiliar to you, read the definition from this blog, and just use any mini paper baking cups, or muffin molds.

The picuture above is a patty pan from the book "The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan" by Beatrix Potter.

When I was doing research for this recipe and was looking for the history of patty pans, I found this book. It references a tin patty pan for baking a pie in.

The kids were excited that a 'new' Beatrix Potter book was found (ie- never read by them). Actually, it is an old book that was first published in 1905. They liked the story immensely.

The Little Chocolate Cakes Recipe
The Recipe:
The original recipe uses water and melted chocolate in the mix. This recipe was formulated for someone who wasn't in the mood for dark chocolate (grade-schoolers are picky that way). I used milk and cocoa powder and stirred in white chocolate chips. The result is a very light chocolate-vanilla flavor.

Little Chocolate Cakes
The original recipe:
2 tablespoons butter, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1 1/2 cups flour, pinch salt, 1 teaspoon Royal Baking Powder, 2 eggs, 4 tablespoons grated chocolate melted over hot water, 1 teaspoon extract vanilla. Put together as for cake with butter; bake in patty-pans in moderate oven.

Here is my revised version:

Little White Chocolate Cakes
1 oz. unsalted butter, softened
7-1/2 oz. granulated sugar
2 large eggs, separated
Pinch salt
1/2 c milk
8 oz. all purpose flour
1-1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 oz. white chocolate chips (or use chopped chocolate)

Cream the butter until light. Add in the sugar and blend well. Mixture will resemble sand. Add in the yolks. Stir the cocoa powder and baking powder into the flour. Add in half of the milk into the yolk/butter mixture. Add in half of the dry ingredients. Add in rest of the milk with vanilla, and then last of dry ingredients. Scrape the bottom well after each addition. Fold in the chocolate chips. Whip the whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaked, then sacrafice one-third into the batter to lighten the mix. Then add the rest of the whites, folding gently. Spoon into mini disposable baking cups. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 to 12 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar if desired or ice as desired.

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