A treat with appeal: Candied rind sweetens up the tart taste of grapefruit


August 18, 1993|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,Staff Writer

Readers responded with some Finder keepers when requests went out for candied grapefruit rind, a Russian honey spice cake and a cake made without milk or eggs.

Amy Lucas of Sunbury, Pa., made her request short and sweet. "I would like the recipe for candied grapefruit rind," she wrote.

Chef Syglowski chose one from the Women's Board of Montgomery General Hospital (1980) in Olney, which was sent in by Mrs. John F. Wilson of Royal Oak.

Candied grapefruit rind

2 grapefruit

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 cup water

Wash grapefruit, cut in half, remove pulp and scrape out white membrane with a spoon. Cut peel into 1/4 -inch-wide strips. Place in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and cook 20 minutes. Drain off water. Repeat the procedure using fresh cold water.

In another saucepan, combine sugar, syrup and 1 cup water. Heat to boiling, stir until sugar is dissolved and add peel. Cook to 230 degrees or until a little of the syrup forms a soft ball when dropped in cold water. The peel will become transparent and most of the syrup will be absorbed. Remove peel, drain on brown paper and toss it in granulated sugar sprinkled on the brown paper. Store in a tightly covered container.

* Caroline C. Smith of Baltimore asked for a Russian honey cake which she noted was published in The Sun about six years ago. "I want it for my husband's 65th birthday. A gourmet cook, he made it and raved about it," she wrote, noting "he put [the recipe] safely away and we haven't seen it since."

Thomas W. Ford Jr. of Cockeysville responded with a recipe which the chef chose.

Russian spiced honey cake

Serves 8

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

1 cup honey

2 eggs, separated

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon each baking soda and baking powder

1/8 teaspoon each salt, ground cloves and ground nutmeg

1/2 cup each raisins and walnuts

1/4 cup currants

Cream butter in large bowl and gradually beat in honey until smooth and creamy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Reserve 2 tablespoons flour. Combine remaining flour with cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cloves and nutmeg and add to the honey mixture, about 1/3 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Toss the reserved 2 tablespoons of flour over the raisins, walnuts and currants. Fold this into the batter. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and stir 1/4 of the whites into the batter then fold in the remaining whites.

Grease and line an 8 1/2 -by-4 1/2 -3-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, grease surface of the paper. Pour in batter and bake in a 300-degree oven for 1 1/2 hours or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake stand on a cake rack for 5 minutes. Then remove from pan, remove paper and cool on rack. Wrap in aluminum foil and store at room temperature. Flavor improves after 1 to 2 days aging.

Barbara Farber of McClure, Pa., likes to cover the cake with a glaze made by mixing 1/2 cup confectioners sugar with 2 tablespoons water and then sprinkling on nuts.

* A cake made without milk or eggs was the request of Catherine Calabrese of Baltimore. There was a tremendous response of recipes, most of which were similar. They were called crazy cake, wacky cake or dump cake. Joan C. Molesworth of Parkville remembers it as a victory or war cake, created in response to shortages during the Second World War.

The chef chose two recipes. One was from Barbara C. Reier of Towson called a Dump Cake, which she says comes from the "Joy of Cooking" cookbook and also offers the option of being a fruit cake. The other recipe is from Mary Kramer of Crystal Lake, Ill., who calls it a Wacky Cake.

Reier's dump cake

1 cup water or beer

2 cups raisins

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, allspice and salt

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon each baking powder and baking soda

1 cup chopped almonds

Mix first four ingredients with the spices and salt and boil for three minutes. Then cool. Sift the flour once before measuring. Then sift again with the baking powder and baking soda. Add to the cooled liquid batter, mixing until it is smooth. Add the almonds and put in a greased 7-inch tube pan. Bake for about 1 hour in a 325-degree oven.

Mrs. Reier offers the option of an acceptable fruit cake. "I toss iflour, 1 cup each chopped dates, figs and citron and add to the batter," she says.

Kramer's wacky

cocoa cake

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cocoa

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

6 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup cold water

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda into an ungreased 10-by-10-inch baking dish. Stir with a fork to combine evenly.

Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture and pour in oil, vinegar, vanilla and water. Stir well with a fork.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool before serving.

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