Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring Bonnet Cake

This delightful spring cake is from the Better Homes and Gardens Birthdays and Family Celebrations book, c1963. While it does have elaborate gumdrop and marshmallow art like a lot of my vintage books, it really is charming.

Chiffon Layer Cake
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup salad oil
1 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 egg yolks

Beat eggs till foamy.  Gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar.  Continue beating till very stiff and glossy.  Sift remaining dry ingredients into another bowl; add salad oil, half of the milk, and the vanilla.  Beat 1 minute at medium speed on mixer or 150 strokes by hand, scraping sides and bottom of bowl constantly. 
Add remaining milk and egg yolks.  Beat 1 minute longer, scraping bowl constantly.  Gently fold in egg-white mixture with down-up-and-over motion, turning bowl. 
Bake in 2 paper-lined 9x1 1/2 inch round pans in moderate oven (350F) 25 - 30 minutes.  Cool thoroughly; remove from pans.

7 minute frosting
2 unbeaten egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons light corn syrup or 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/3 cup cold water
Dash salt
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Place all ingredients except vanilla in top of double boiler (not over heat); beat 1 minute with electric or rotary beater to blend.  Place over boiling water and cook, beating constantly, till frosting forms stiff peaks, about 7 minutes (don't overcook).  Remove from boiling water.  Pour into mixing bowl, if you wish.  Add vanilla; beat till of spreading consistency, about 2 minutes.  Frosts two 8 or 9 inch layers.
Pineapple 7-minute Frosting (for Spring Bonnet Cake):  Substitute canned unsweetened pineapple juice for water in 7-minute Frosting.  Tint frosting pale yellow with yellow food coloring.

Spring Bonnet Cake
Fill and frost layers of Chiffon Layer Cake with Pineapple 7-minute frosting. 
Marshmallow Daisies:  Press big soft marshmallows lightly to flatten a bit; snip petals; center with small yellow gumdrops (toothpicks tack them in place).
Gumdrop Bows:  Between sheets of waxed paper, roll out 2 large green gumdrops in long strips (have sugar on both sides of candy).  Cut strips lengthwise in half; trip 1/2 inch wide.  For each loop of bow, bend one end of strip back and tuck behind Marshmallow Daisy in center of hat brim (frosting will hold in place).  Complete bow by adding two strips with pointed ends.

That gumdrop process is insane, but I see it a lot in my vintage cookbooks. Just get some spearmint gummy leaves. Although if any of you want to make gumdrops into a bow, I'd love to see it - please send along photos!

We could use some spring here. The weather is cold and rainy, and after my older son was sick all week, now my little guy has a high fever. I got up early to do some writing this morning and he was up a few minutes after me. I could use a cake like this!

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