Friday, March 14, 2008

The Bundt Cake Paradox

IMG_0001 bundt 1973

There are apparently 300 ways to use Bundt pans - at least they were up to 300 in 1973, when this strange little book came out. It is a little later in time than most of the cookbooks I collect, but I couldn't resist this one. And I don't think that the copyright was renewed (I just checked, and I was right). This was a one-off, and this recipe will help explain why. There are some mighty odd things these people wanted to put in their Bundt pans. I was very nearly going to present the Bean Bread (which involves hot roll mix and a can of pork and beans) but then I saw the following and knew I had my subject for today.

Sausage Cake

1 cup raisins
1 lb. pork sausage
1 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. soda
1 cup strong coffee
3 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. ginger
1 cup chopped walnuts


Pour boiling water over raisins and let stand 5 minutes; drain well and dry raisins on paper towelling. In large bowls, combine meat and sugars; mix well. Add eggs and beat. Stir soda into coffee. Sift together dry ingredients and add to meat mixture alternatively with coffee. Beat well. Fold in raisins and walnut. Bake in greased and floured Mini-Bundt Pan or Fiesta Party Pan at 350 for 1 1/2 hours or until cake tests done. Cool in pan 10-15 minutes; turn out on wire rack or serving plate to complete cooling. Top with thin Vanilla Glaze and decorate with whole almonds.

The cookbook says "you won't believe how fast this cake will go!" I'll bet I will though. And I think I know where it is going. Right down the garbage disposal, that's where. Or to the pig trough, if you happen to be baking this on a farm. I think they might like it all right.

"The combination of flavors is spicy rich!" I suppose it is definitely spicy. And with all the fat from the sausage, it will definitely be rich. Doesn't it sound like the Essex Meat Packers have a hand in this though? The ambiguously-worded, manically cheery commentary. And of course the meat - the meat! What is meat doing in a cake?! Never ever do I want to read the directions "combine meat and sugars" in a recipe - not just one sugar but two sugars. The meat must be well sugared! The meat is spicy and rich and no one will ever forget this cake. No matter how far they - or the cake - go, or how quickly. Though they might want to.

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