Monday, September 15, 2014

Eliza Leslie's Chocolate Cake, c. 1847

Cake Made with Grated Chocolate

Cake Made with Cocoa Powder

This is one of the earliest recipes for a cake flavored with chocolate; in this case, either pure chocolate or cocoa powder (which was relatively new to the market in 1847, made available in 1828 by van Houten of Holland).

I have made this recipe with both cocoa powder and finely grated chocolate.

Recipe Source:  Chocolate Cake by Eliza Leslie, The Lady’s Receipt Book, 1847:

Scrape down three ounces of the best and purest chocolate, or prepared cocoa. Cut up, into a deep pan, three-quarters of a pound of fresh butter; add to it a pound of powdered loaf-sugar; and stir the butter and sugar together till very light and white. Have ready fourteen ounces (two ounces less than a pound) of sifted flour; a powdered nutmeg; and a tea-spoonful of powdered cinnamon--mixed together. Beat the whites of ten eggs till they stand alone; then the yolk still they are very thick and smooth. Then mix the yolks and whites gradually together, beating very hard when they are all mixed. Add the eggs, by degrees, to the beaten butter and sugar, in turn with the flour and the scraped chocolate,--a little at a time of each; also the spice. Stir the whole very hard. Put the mixture into a buttered tin pan with straight sides, and bake it at least four hours. If nothing is to be baked afterwards, let it remain in till the oven becomes cool. When cold, ice it.

14 ounces flour (about 3 cups)
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 ounces cocoa powder (about 1/2 cup) or equivalent weight of finely grated chocolate
3 sticks salted butter, softened
1 pound powdered sugar
10 eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 375° F.

1.  Grease a tube pan with butter or spray oil.
2.  In a medium-size bowl, mix together the flour, spices, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
3.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks.  In another bowl, beat the egg whites until they become very foamy but not stiff.  Mix the egg yolks into the egg whites and set aside. 
4.  In a large bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar.  Then, add the beaten eggs alternately with the flour mixture.
5.  Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan.
6.  Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Cool and ice with  your favorite chocolate icing, frosting, or glaze. 

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