Festive cake, dried tomatoes make for sunnier days

Recipe Finder

February 14, 1996|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,SUN STAFF

Sounds outstanding, this cake that Rose Strine of Elkridge requested. She wrote "I could just cry because I lost my recipe for festive cake. What I remember about the cake, other than the usual flour, baking powder etc., is it had almonds, almond flavoring, pineapple and a cream cheese icing."

Say no more. It had to be found and it was. Mrs. Robert Gummer of Baltimore sent in Chef Gilles Syglowski's choice.

Gummer's festive cake

Makes 12 to 16 servings

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup chopped almonds

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups chopped firm, ripe bananas

1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained

cream cheese frosting

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix and sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and stir in almonds. Beat eggs slightly and combine with oil, almond extract, bananas and pineapple. Add to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Do not beat. Spoon into an oiled

10-inch tube pan. Bake 1 hour and 20 to 25 min

utes. Remove from pan and let stand 10 to 15 minutes. Invert pan on wire cake rack and remove pan. Cool thoroughly before frosting.

Cream cheese frosting

1 8-ounce package cream cheese

1/2 cup butter or margarine at room temperature

1 pound confectioners' sugar

1 tablespoon powdered cocoa

Soften cream cheese and butter and cream together with confectioners' sugar and the cocoa. Place cooled cake on plate and frost top and sides. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Marjorie Nelson of Longmont, Colo., offered a variation for frosting. She used 1 envelope Dream Whip prepared with 1/2 cup pineapple juice, 1/4 cup powdered milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

Tomatoes in the sun

How to sun-dry tomatoes was the request of Bill Effinger of Baltimore. There were many responses from those who enjoy sun-drying tomatoes but the easiest was from Beverly Roberts of Baltimore who wrote: "Please tell him all he has to do is slice tomatoes, place them on an aluminum tray (buy disposable trays because the tomato acid will ruin a nice cookie sheet) and place them in the oven at its lowest setting for at least 7 to 8 hours or until the tomatoes are dry and crispy. If he leaves them with soft spots, they will not keep as well. I store mine in a jar of olive oil in the refrigerator. They're yummy."

Some similar recipes advised washing and using plum tomatoes cut in half lengthwise or large round tomatoes cut in half widthwise. Some recipes called for using spray oil on the baking sheet. Some sprinkled tomatoes with kosher salt, pepper and minced garlic, drizzled olive oil on them and baked at 200-degrees for 12 to 14 hours or until shrunken, wrinkled and almost dry. All were stored in jars with olive oil.

Individual oven temperatures vary, so check to be sure tomatoes do not get brown which means they are burned.

Recipe requests

* Margaret Tysinger of Aberdeen, N.C., writes that she is looking for a "50-year-old recipe for a candy. A dough was made of butter and powdered sugar and rolled into a rectangular shape and spread with peanut butter then rolled up again to form a log and cut into pinwheels. I don't remember the amounts."

* Joyce Holloway of Spring Lake, N.C., writes: "I had some Tampico chicken at a Morrison's Cafeteria and have never been able to find a recipe. It was so delicious, coated in some kind of chips like a Frito chip, but was soft, not crunchy, with green pepper, onion. It was a light golden color. Seemed to be baked."

* Joyce Sebian of Finksburg is from New Jersey and wants to celebrate Easter with an Italian Easter pie. "It's made with cheese and prosciutto or Italian hot ham and eggs. Please find the recipe for me."

* Eleanor M. Bruchey of Baltimore wants a recipe she had years ago for a bread that was baked over a bowl and which made a bread basket. "Then you can eat the basket. Hope you can help."

Chef Syglowski, with the help of chefs and students at the Baltimore International Culinary College, tested these recipes.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a long-gone recipe, maybe we can help. Write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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