Cake's a lot of work but it's impressive

RECIPE FINDER

May 02, 2001|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,SUN STAFF

Peggy Swift of Locust Point is seeking a recipe for a seven-layer-cake that was served at either Hochschild-Kohn or Hutzler's department stores. Her 91-year-old friend wants the recipe, she says.

Her response came from Clausen Kelly of Arnold, who noted, "This is the seven-layer cake I make for my wonderful son-in-law. He's special. I purchased tinfoil pans for the seven pans I needed. This recipe is in the `Woman's Day Cookbook of Favorite Recipes,' copyright 1958."

Seven-Layer Cake

Serves 8 to 10

CAKE:

6 eggs, separated

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4 cup sifted flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

CHOCOLATE FROSTING:

4 squares unsweetened chocolate

4 egg yolks

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups butter

Line 8-inch round tinfoil pans with wax paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored. Add sugar gradually, beating constantly with an electric mixer. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Sift in dry ingredients, alternating with remaining lemon juice, beating until smooth. Beat egg whites separately until stiff and fold them gently into egg-yolk mixture without deflating the egg whites overly. Spread a few tablespoons of batter in each pan.

Bake 2 or 3 pans at a time (enough to fill one rack) in a 450-degree preheated oven about 5 minutes or until lightly brown. Turn out on racks to cool. Remove paper. Repeat until all layers are baked.

To make frosting, melt chocolate in top part of double boiler over hot water. In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar, then add heavy cream and salt. Pour egg-yolk mixture slowly over chocolate, stirring constantly. Cook over hot water for 5 minutes, or until thickened, stirring constantly. Cool slightly. Cream butter, add chocolate mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until blended. Chill until of spreading consistency. When frosting is spreadable, assemble the layers, icing sparingly in between layers and ice the sides and top.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "These layers are about the texture and thickness of oversized pancakes, so they are somewhat difficult to work with. Cool the cakes on wire racks or on lengths of waxed paper (which can help you to pick up the layers and maneuver the cakes into position). While this icing is delicious, it's a little skimpy to cover the cake fully, so be very sparing in the layers, leaving lots of icing for the sides and top. Because there is no leavening in these cakes other than egg white, be sure not to overwork the batter or the air will go out of it and make the cakes leaden. Like any genoise cake, it is a lot of work and there is some uncertainty about how it will all turn out, but the end result is an impressive dessert that kids and adults `ooh' and `ah' over."

Recipe requests

Jean Blackburn of Hereford wants a recipe like the cream-of-crab soup that Gibby's Restaurant in Timonium serves. "It is an absolute favorite of my family and I have not been successful in duplicating it at home."

Nancy Holmes Watson of Atwater, Calif., who writes that she lived in Baltimore during the 1940s, would like to have a recipe she remembers called Butterscotch Cookies. They became her all-time favorite cookie, but she has lost the recipe and would appreciate help in finding it.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. If you send more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

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