Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Red Currant Glazed White Cupcakes
When once asked what sorts of regional foods abound in Cleveland, I quickly replied Hough Cakes. The bakery was a Cleveland phenomenon that turned out the most luscious, fluffy white cakes with a smooth, silky frosting. With piped pink roses and blue birds, it was the thing kindergarten dreams were made of. (The bakery has since closed but a few places in town have the recipe and make the cake.)
That recipe remains a tight-lipped secret--even the internet offers no clues. When I read the fluffy white cake recipe on the back of the King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour, I wanted to see if it could fill that void. The photograph on the website is so evocative. It made me think of a time when homemade layer cakes, and homemade preserves, were the norm; when people made preserves; when men wore hats and women gloves. In short, the cake looks like a thick slice of Americana on a plate.
I don’t own white gloves; I go to work out of the house during the day; I swear. So, I decided to update the plan a little. I made cupcakes; if the interweb is to be believed, they are the layered cake of the naughts. Instead of jam and fluffy white frosting, I made two glazes—one from homemade red currant jam and white sugar.
I didn’t mentally measure the recipe up to the Hough bakery one—it wouldn’t be fair to King Arthur or to my memories. Long ago, I decided to stop chasing food memories. Those sensations are so powerful. I can’t ever make a cake that matches up to the one I ate after an afternoon of playing pin the tail on the donkey while wearing a little lace lined dress. That bite of frosting, that rush of sugar on that sunny afternoon was much more than a recipe. No cake will transform me into a 4 year old again. So, instead, I think the test for this cupcake would be my 2 year old's reaction. Was it the kind of cupcake that would form the same sort of memories in her? Let’s just say I was washing red glaze off of my daughter’s party dress.
So King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour hats off to you again.
This entry is part of my review of the King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour. They generously donated to BloggerAid: Changing the Face of Famine. My first entry is here. There are still a couple more entries to come— expect more cupcakes, angel food cake, and chocolate.