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A Simple Cake & Downton Spoiler

Pom Diggity flagrantly violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Pom Diggity flagrantly violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

This is a humble little cake, good for breakfast/teatime/Matthew Crawley's funeral.  I should have known when Mary survived the birth that it was all too good to be true.  This cake is so easy that even Isobel Crawley's scandalous cook Ethel could make it.  It is delicious enough that you should run out and buy some amaranth flour, but not the muscovado sugar because it is:

  1. hard to find
  2. ridiculously expensive
  3. likely not worth the effort when dark brown sugar is available

I also did not make my own apple butter.  That just seems a little over the top for such a plain cake, but don't let me hold you back.  Here is the recipe from "Good to the Grain":

Muscovado Sugar Cake

Dry mix:

1/2 cup amaranth flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup muscovado sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

Wet Mix:

2 oz. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" pieces

2 eggs, separated

1/2 cup whole milk

2 TBS apple butter

1 TBS sugar

Position  a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to  350F.  Butter a 9" round pan.  Sift the dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl.  Add the cubes of butter and cut in using a pastry cutter/fingers until it resembles cornmeal.  Place egg whites in bowl of a standing mixer fitted with whip attachment.  Whisk the yolks/apple butter and milk together in another bowl.  Scrape into the dry mixture with a spatula and stir to combine.  Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Add the TBS of sugar gradually and whip until the whites are shiny and hold their peaks.  Use the spatula to scrape 1/2 of the whites into the flour mixture and gently fold them in.  Add the rest of the whites and gently fold them in until the pockets of white have been incorporated.  Scrape into prepared pan, smoothing top with the spatula.  Bake for 32-36 min. rotating pan halfway through.  The cake is ready when it springs back when pressed gently and it the edges are beginning to pull away from sides of pan.  Cool in pan.  Cut in wedges.  Keeps for several days at room temp if wrapped well.

Sophie's food and nutrition class had a "breadstick fail" (direct quote) the other day when they dumped the ingredients directly into the bread machine without the pan in place.  They cleaned up, and subsequently the breadsticks were delicious.  I am really glad I am not teaching a bunch of 8th graders how to cook.  I am watching Season 10 of "Top Chef" on the treadmill these days, and ABC's "The Taste" every week.  At times the contestants' behavior seems even worse than a bunch of middle schoolers.  If you are looking for a classy cooking competition, check out "Kings of Pastry."  Breathtaking, thrilling and even more tragic than Downton.


The Carrot and The Whip

The Movie Star!