Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Abraham and Mary's sweet tooth!

                                                              Mary Lincoln white cake.

     Tis the season of baking, so I thought my readers may want to know what tantalized Mr. Lincoln’s nose and made him drool.
     What better way to woo a man than through a delicious cake?  Mary Lincoln knew her husband liked sweets and he was particularly fond of a white cake, as well as apple pie.
       The cake recipe was supposedly created when Mary was young and part of the Todd legacy. She treasured the recipe and served it on special occasions in Springfield and at the White House. Mr. Lincoln would always comment, “Mary’s white cake is the best I have ever eaten.”
     President Lincoln also loved apples, and he enjoyed them served in a dish popular at the time: apple pie.  It appears he also had an affinity with rum because he liked a dollop of rum sauce on top of it.  Virginia Greening was the choice of apples.
     The Lincolns often had cookies in the cookie jar. When they were hosting a big party, they purchased macaroon pyramids (macaroon cookies stacked in a pyramid and covered with caramelized sugar drizzle) from local confectioners. Mary also served strawberries and cream, probably with cookies.
      Mrs. Lincoln baked cookies or doughnuts for the neighborhood children when they’d play with her boys.  She’d put copious amounts of sugar in them. During the course of one week in 1849, historians note that Mary purchased 13 pounds of sugar.

Mary Todd Lincoln’s White Cake 
(Recipe from Lincoln’s Table by Donna D. McCreary was adapted by Janice  Cooke Newman)
1 cup blanched almonds, chopped in a food processor until they
resemble a coarse flour
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
6 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
confectionary sugar
  • Preheat  oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt cake pan.
  • Cream  butter and sugar. Sift flour and baking powder 3 times. Add to creamed butter  and sugar, alternating with milk. Stir in almonds and beat well.
  • Beat  egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter. Stir in vanilla extract.
  • Pour  into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out  clean. Turn  out on a wire rack and cool. When cool, sift confectionary sugar over top
A basic white frosting sprinkled with almonds was also popular.

                                                                 Apple pie alamode