Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pantry Baking: Vinegar Cake

Sometimes, I get hit with a need to bake, but find my fridge is letting me down. How's a person to make a cake if the eggs have gone...or gone off? Favourite Kentish Recipes offers this option:
Vinegar Cake

12 oz. self-raising flour
4 oz. butter or dripping
8 oz. mixed fruit
2 oz. candied peel, cut fine
8 oz. demerara sugar
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3 teaspoons vinegar
1/2 pint milk

Set oven to 350°F or Mark 4. Rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then add the rest of the dry ingredients except the bicarbonate of soda. When well blended add the bicarbonate of soda mixed with the milk and vinegar. Put into a greased and lined 8 1/2 inch cake tin and bake for approximately 1 3/4 - 2 hours.

A cake suitable for those who do not eat eggs.

Also suitable for those who can not keep proper groceries in their fridges. Dribs and drabs of things, thrown together with the remnants of a junior high science fair volcano, somehow creating a cake?

Why not?

I will let my prejudices show. I am perfectly fine using suet in mincemeat or a pudding, but the idea of using drippings as my fat in a cake makes me wince. Thankfully, there's never a time I don't have at least one stick of butter in the freezer, so I don't think I'll ever be so hard up for cake that I whip out the drippings jar.

Shameful confession: I do not keep a drippings jar. My family taught me to keep my drippings, they did, but I've fallen off that traditional wagon. It's a shame, too, as meat drippings are the best for cooking up eggs. Of course, I've already admitted to not keeping a ready supply of eggs in the house, so perhaps this cake has just got my brain fizzing like bicarb and vinegar.

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