Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Red Currant Glazed White Cupcakes

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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.

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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.

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28 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Hell yes for Cleveland eats!! Represent :-D


Those cupcakes are a work of art - stunning!!

chakhlere said...

OMG!! Those are super preety!
I have never seen such a gorgeous food before.

Great work!

glamah16 said...

I love this glaze. Currants are so beautiful to work with.

Justin said...

these are so cool looking

Justin said...

ooh, sorry if I double-post, but not sure if my last one went though... these are so cool looking

Talita said...

How beautiful those cupcakes! Love the color!

~~louise~~ said...

Oh my heavens, absolutely stunning!!!

Oh those childhood memories...{sigh}

I suppose the next best thing is to make new ones. Your cupcakes are indeed, memorable!

Joanne said...

These cupcakes are quite beautiful. It is hard to measure things against childhood memories. My memories of foods are probably more intense than the foods actually were so any comparison would just be unrealistic. It's so great that you are trying to foster these feelings in your child, though.

Dhanggit said...

OMG!! what an early Christmas treat for all of us!! Will definitely keep this recipe ...secret too!!love the photos if only my hands could reach out :-)

Grace said...

okay, so no, i don't wear gloves, but i do make preserves! and i do find your cupcakes very attractive (although i'd certainly prefer the lovely glaze in my mouth rather than on my clothes...). :)

FoodJunkie said...

I am mesmerised by your cupcakes. The glaze is so glossy and I cannot even think of how fluffy they will be... Don't worry about failing to reproduce food memories. In the process one might discover new favourites!

Pam said...

That first picture is staggeringly awesome!

Anita said...

I love the glaze! I've never seen one so vibrant and beautifully red before. I think these would make any adult feel like a child again :P

Linda said...

oh wow that is just visionally stunning! I want to make these for a party, I was just wondering how do you make the white and red swirls?

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

They look beautifully striking. I'm trying to imagine the original cake too which sounds lovely! :)

Cinnamon Girl aka Reeni♥ said...

These are just gorgeous! I imagine they taste just as divine as they look! If not better.

shaz said...

Hi there,

Came across your blog from NQN...these cupcakes look so beautiful! Have you ever tried the white cake recipe from The Cake Bible - maybe that would help? (I love that book).

cheers from sydney

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Those are soooo pretty! I love the glazing!

Cheers,

Rosa

Ellie said...

I have never seen anything like that!! they look so amazing gorgeous. Love the red and white!!!

Zita said...

Aww...pretty little red cupcakes and stuningly arranged :)

Julia @ Mélanger said...

These look amazing. How did you make the glaze? I know what you mean about not wanting to chase food memories. I have a few from my childhood. Probably best to leave them that way....as memories. Will no doubt disappoint otherwise. But I've never seen or heard of Hough Cakes before. That aside, these look great!

Foodycat said...

Such a luscious glaze! I think you are very wise not to chase after food memories. I do it sometimes and it never goes well. Roses Lime Marmalade just isn't as delicious as it was in my memories.

5 Star Foodie said...

Wow, these cupcakes are gorgeous, I just love the look of this red currant glaze!

lisaiscooking said...

Your cupcakes look delicious! I love the two glazes together.

m.e (Cathie) said...

they look absolutely fabulous!! love the colours.

anna said...

Those are so beautiful. Now I want currants!

abby said...

very, very pretty cakes!

Sophie said...

Oooh, these look so artsy and classy. My kind of cucpakes :), a true work of edible art!