This cake won't spoil your diet but WILL satisfy your sweet tooth!
I was craving for this cake for a while. I baked it once and it turned out delicious. It is not very sweet, and the aroma is just superb! If you control your portions, it can even be good for your diet. I decided to share it today because we are celebrating George Washington's birthday and this recipe is from Martha Washington, his wife who, by the way, was an amazing pastry chef. Hope you like it.
Martha Washington's Birthday Cake
Yield 2 cake loafs
1 ½ cups golden raisins
1 cup raisins
1 cup water
4 ounces candied orange peel
4 ounces candied lemon peel
4 ounces candied citron
3 ½ ounces candied red and/or green cherries
¼ cup brandy
8 ounces butter, softened
1 cup sugar
5 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 ¼ cups sifted unbleached flour
½ teaspoon ground mace
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons Sherry or brandy for soaking Candied cherries, optional
Soak the raisins and currants overnight in water in a small bowl. Combine the orange peel, lemon peel, citron and cherries in a medium-size bowl; sprinkle with brandy and marinate overnight.
Beat the butter, three-quarters of a cup of the sugar, egg yolks and lemon juice at high speed in electric mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy, about five minutes.
Sift the flour, mace and nutmeg on wax paper. Stir into the batter alternately with the Sherry, blending well.
Drain the raisins and currants. Add them to the batter with the candied fruits and brandy, mixing well.
Beat the egg whites until they are foamy. Beat in the remaining one-quarter cup of sugar slowly until stiff peaks form. Fold into the batter.
Grease two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch pans. Spoon the batter into the pans. Place a large pan filled halfway up with boiling water on the lowest oven rack. Place the cakes on the middle oven rack.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes; reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake 55 minutes longer or until the cake centers spring back when lightly touched. Cool the cakes on wire racks for 15 minutes. Remove from pans.
Wrap the cooled cakes in Sherry- or brandy-soaked cheesecloth. Place in tightly covered containers or wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Check the cheesecloth occasionally. If it dries out, add more Sherry or brandy.
Image via Enriqueta Lemoine