Brownstone Front Cake (1886)
Bapopik at AOL.COM
Bapopik at AOL.COM
Thu Nov 29 22:36:18 UTC 2001
Brownstone Front Cake is not in DARE.
However, Jean Anderson's THE AMERICAN CENTURY COOKBOOK (1997) discusses it for three pages.
From Pg. 460, col. 1:
BROWNSTONE FRONT CAKE
THERE'S PLENTY of controversy about this cake. When and where it originated. What goes into the batter. Whether or not it's frosted.
Much to my surprise, I could find no references to Brownstone Front Cake before 1964, the year the recipe appeared in _The American Heritage Cookbook and Illustrated History of American Eating and Drinking_--alas, without a shred of documentation.
Tehn I called food historian Meryle Evans, who's spent much of her adult life digging into the origins of recipes.
A week or so after this discussion, Meryle called to say she'd located three earlier versions of Brownstone Front Cake, two in community cookbooks dated 1910 (with caramel icing) and 1903 (with a vanilla cream). The third--and earliest--appeared in the _Atlanta Exposition Cook Book_ of 1895. That recipe, submitted by Mrs. Samuel Martin Inman of Atlanta, called for seven squares of Baker's chocolate (Pg. 461--ed.) and was baked in jelly-roll pans.
As if more proof was needed that John Mariani is completely unreliable on just about everything, he reads the above passage and writes in his ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN FOOD & DRINK (1999):
_brownstone front cake._ A rich chocolate cake, with a vanilla or caramel icing. According to culinary historian Meryl Evans, recipes for the cake date back at least to 1903, but the origin of the name is unknown, but would seem to refer to the reddish-brown color of brownstone buildings' facades.
Ignore that Mariani uses two "buts." He misspells Meryle Evans. And he gets her work wrong, not reading one sentence more, that she found it in 1895.
So I'm flying home from Miami, and this imbecile Mariani or course has a regular column in the American Airlines magazine, and he's murdering "Bloody Mary" once again...but I digress.
"THE SARATOGA FAVORITE,"
PUBLISHED BY THE
YOUNG WOMEN'S MISSION CIRCLE
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH,
SARATOGA SPRING, N. Y.
A Revised and Enlarged Edition of "Our Home Favorite," published in 1882.
THE DAILY SARATOGIAN STEAM BOOK AND JOB PRINT.
BROWN STONE FRONT.
1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 2 eggs, 1 cup sweet milk, 3 cups flour, 3 teaspoonfuls baking powder; flavor with vanilla. For the dark part use 1 1/2 squares grated chocolate, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 3 tablespoonfuls milk; add 7 spoonfuls of the white part and stir well. Bake the dark in 2 layers and the white in 3.
FILLING.--Melt 1/4 cake of chocolate in a very little water; boil, then thicken with powdered sugar.
E. LENA CURTIS.
(I haven't checked the 1882 book yet. Here are some random other items in the book.--ed.)
Pg. 10: TOGUS BREAD.
Pg. 19: SPIDER CAKE.
Pg. 58: TOMATO PIE.
Pg. 72: GARFIELD PIE...MARLBOROUGH PIE.
Pg. 96: PINE-APPLE ICE-CREAM.
Pg. 105: ANGEL'S FOOD.
Pg. 107: SNAP DOODLE. (1 egg, 1 cup pulverized sugar, butter size of a walnut, 2 cups flour, 1 cup sweet milk, 3 teaspoonfuls baking powder. Beat very light, turn into a dripping pan; over the top dift powdered sugar, and over that either chocolate or cocoanut. Bake quickly. Serve square pieces while hot. M. E. LEGGETT.)
Pg. 112: WHITE MOUNTAIN CAKE...COCOANUT CAKE.
Pg. 115: VARIETY CAKE...MINNEHAHA CAKE.
Pg. 122: CREAM PUFFS...CORNUCOPIAS...PRUNELLA DROPS...SPONGE DROPS.
Pg. 124: SAND COOKIES.
Pg. 125: VANITIES...CRULLERS...DOUGHNUTS...COMFORTS.
Pg. 126: MOLASSES COOKIES.
Pg. 133: BUTTER SCOTCH...MOLASSES CANDY...CHOCOLATE CARAMELS.
Pg. 134: SUGAR KISSES...COCOANUT PUFFS...POPPED CORN BALLS.
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