In last Sunday's Food section, the recipe for Sharon Roslund's Whacky Cake listed the incorrect amount of salad oil. It should be 3/4 cup. SHARON ROSLUND'S WHACKY CAKE 3 cups flour 2 cups sugar 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons cocoa 2 teaspoons vanilla 2 tablespoons white vinegar 3/4 cup salad oil 2 cups cold water Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa into a mixing bowl. Bore 3 holes in the mixture. In one, pour the vanilla. In the second, pour the vinegar. In the third, pour the salad oil. Then pour the water over all and beat until well mixed. Turn into a 9 1/2-by-13-inch (ungreased) pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake tests done. Remove the cake from the oven, let it sit on a rack for 10 minutes and turn it out to cool. Frost with any chocolate frosting.
SO IT SHOULDN'T be a total loss, culinarily speaking, some of the Renwick Gallery's friends and admirers brought a dozen or so homemade birthday cakes to the opening last week of "The Inedible Renwick Birthday Cakes" show. The inedible cakes, ungustatory but delicious and enduring, made as they are of clay, ceramic, neon, steel, cloth or yarn, will remain on display until April 28 in celebration of the Renwick's 10th birthday. The homemade cakes, in a stunning demonstration of why sic transit gloria could be the motto of cooks, were totally demolished minutes after the tap dancers had done their stuff.
The edible-cake bakers were driven to their mixing bowls and decorating stands mostly by love but also, for some, by a desire to be exhibited, however fleetingly, at the museum. They included artists, craftsmen, docents, Smithsonian staff and a group of Western Michigan University students who, as interns at various federal agencies, discovered the warmth of the Renwick and got together to say thank you in red lettering on white icing.
B.J. Adams, a fiber sculptor, created a "quilted cake" of great beauty, using a recipe clipped from a West Coast newspaper 15 years ago. A banana-almond-pineapple batter was baked into a large rectangle and then decorated with cream cheese icing in various colors in the traditional Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern to make an extraordinary patchwork quilt.
Elliott Levy, a Commerce Department employe whose hobby of decorating cakes was born of the desire to make his son's birthday special, created a spectacular Thunderbird totem pole. The pole's bird, fish, bear and snake came from two frozen yellow cakes, baked in Pyrex pans from a Crisco cookbook recipe, sculpted with a sharp paring knife and a chef's knife. The cakes were then put together on a board and frosted. Levy carried pictures of the sensational seven-car freight train he made for his son last year. This Feb. 18, it will be a passenger train.
Nelson Wurz, of Nelson Beck of Washington, a firm that worked on restoring the Renwick more than 10 years ago, made, with his wife's help, a three-foot replica of the huge pink poufs that sit and are sat upon at each end of the Grand Salon. Dorothy Wurz spent a full day at the Renwick "upholstering" a wooden base, built by her husband to scale from the original blueprints, with store-bought sheet cake and pink icing colored to match a swatch of the original fabric.
Sophie Danish, a docent at the National Museum of American Art, turned her sheet cake into a painting by Wayne Thieboud because "he made a birthday poster for the Renwick and his paintings look edible." Danish, who specializes in cakes that replicate paintings, uses the 1-2-3-4 cake recipe on the back of the Swan's Down Cake Flour box. The white background, made from the icing recipe on the Domino 10X confectioners' sugar box, was decorated with three splendid spiral lollipops. According to Danish, who has in the past recreated "Nude Descending A Staircase," Sears has the best cake decorating department among area stores, stocking, among other hard-to-find supplies, black and dark brown food coloring.
Tom Bower, an assistant registrar at the National Museum of American Art, brought a burnt-sugar cake made from a family recipe well over 100 years old. The recipe came from Bower's Hoosier grandmother, Mary Vandivier, who got it from her mother-in-law, who got it from her brother-in-law in Kansas. When Bower asked his grandmother for permission to print her recipe, she answered, "Might as well. There isn't a church basement in southern Indiana that hasn't had one of these cakes move through it in a bake sale."
Andrea Uravitch, a fiber sculptor whose crochet and fiber "Spirit of the Renwick" will be exhibited in a spring show, collaborated with her mother-in-law, Helen, to make a Hungarian walnut-coffee torte from "Hungarian Recipes," published by the Dorcas Guild of the Magyar United Church of Christ in Elyria, Ohio. The Uravitches added fresh strawberries to the shiny chocolate icing.
Sharon Roslund, who "makes porcelain dolls and food, all from scratch and all in the kitchen," used her mother's Whacky Cake recipe, which contains no eggs. The cake, which Roslund says children love to make, was presided over by a charming 27-inch high red-headed doll with head, arms and legs of porcelain.
Peter and Anne Marie Fendrick, whose parents own the Fendrick Gallery, brought a coffee spice sponge cake, an original creation of Peter, formerly a professional chef. Ann Marie acted as sous-chef in charge of measuring out ingredients. The cake had been a last-minute inspiration and was turned out of its pan rather too quickly, which accounted for a slight flaw in its appearance.
The catering firm of Sue Fischer and Jeanne Fleming made enough of a glorious Tia Maria cake and a Stephanie cake to feed the hordes early in the evening. Only those few who peeked into the kitchen where they were being cut were able to appreciate the fabulous icing flower decorations.
B.J. ADAM'S FESTIVE CAKE 3 cups flour 2 cups sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 cup chopped almonds 3 eggs 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil 1 teaspoon almond extract 2 cups chopped ripe but firm bananas 8-ounce can crushed pineapple
Cream Cheese Frosting: 8-ounce package cream cheese 1/2 cup butter 1 pound confectioners' sugar 1 tablespoon cocoa or 1 teaspoon powdered instant coffee
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir the almonds into the mixture. In another bowl, beat the eggs slightly and combine with oil, almond extract, bananas and the pineapple, undrained. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly, but do not beat. Spoon into a well-oiled 10-inch tube pan, bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 20 to 25 minutes. When the cake tests done, remove, let it stand for 10 minutes and invert onto wire rack. Frost when cool.
To prepare frosting, soften the cream cheese and butter to room temperature. Cream them together with the sugar and cocoa or instant coffee. Frost the cake and refrigerate until serving.
MARY VANDIVIER'S MOTHER-IN-LAW'S BROTHER-IN-LAW'S INDIANA-BY-WAY-OF-KANSAS BURNT-SUGAR CAKE
For the burnt-sugar syrup: 1 cup sugar 3/4 cup water For the cake: 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 stick butter 2 eggs, separated 2 1/2 cups flour 1 cup milk 7 tablespoons burnt-sugar syrup 2 teaspoons baking powder
For the icing: 2 cups sugar 1 cup heavy cream 3 tablespoons burnt-sugar syrup
Make the syrup by placing the sugar in a heavy saucepan and cooking it until it is first caramelized and then black. Remove from heat, quickly add the water and stand back. When the spitting has subsided, stir. Set aside.
Beat 1 cup of the sugar and butter together until light. Add the egg yolks and beat until thick. Measure off 2 cups of the flour and add it, alternating with the milk, to the batter. Add the burnt-sugar syrup and beat for 5 minutes. Mix together the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and the baking powder and stir it into the batter. Beat the egg whites with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar until stiff but not dry. Fold the whites into the batter.
Grease two 9-inch cake-pans, swirl flour around them and knock out excess flour. Turn batter into the prepared cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the layers test done. Remove the layers from the oven, let them sit for 10 minutes and turn out to cool on cake racks.
To make the icing, combine the sugar, cream and burnt-sugar syrup in a heavy saucepan, bring to a boil and cook to the soft ball stage (234 degrees on a candy thermometer). This will take from 5 to 10 minutes. Set the mixture aside to cool. It will stiffen as it cools. Then beat the mixture with an electric hand mixer until it becomes creamy. If the mixture remains too stiff to spread, add a few drops of water; if it is too loose, add a little confectioners' sugar. Frost the cake when it is cool.
ANDREA AND HELEN URAVITCH'S WALNUT-COFFEE TORTE
For the cake: 6 eggs, separated 2 cups sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup cold coffee 3 teaspoons baking powder 2 cups sifted flour 1 cup ground walnuts
Creamy Chocolate-Walnut Frosting:
% ounces unsweetened chocolate 1 cup sugar 3 tablespoons cornstarch 3/4 cup boiling water 1 tablespoon butter 1 teaspoon vanilla Pinch of salt
1/2 cup crushed walnuts
Combine the egg yolks with the sugar, vanilla and 1/4 cup of the coffee and beat until very thick. Sift the flour and baking powder together and combine with the ground walnuts. Add the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture, alternating with the remaining coffee. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold into the cake mixture.
Prepare two 9-inch pans by buttering and flouring them and knocking out the excess flour. Divide batter between the two pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, let the layers sit for 10 minutes and turn out of the pans. Let cool before frosting.
To prepare frosting, combine the chocolate, sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan and mix. Stir in the boiling water and cook, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is thick and smooth. Beat in the butter, vanilla and salt. Let set for about 3 minutes and frost the cake. Pat the crushed walnuts around the side of the cake.
SHARON ROSLUND'S WHACKY DOLL CAKE 3 cups flour 2 cups sugar 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons cocoa 2 teaspoons vanilla 2 tablespoons white vinegar 6 tablespoons salad oil 2 cups cold water
Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl. Bore 3 holes in the mixture. In one, pour the vanilla. In the second, pour the vinegar. In the third, pour the salad oil. Then pour the water over all and beat until well mixed. Turn into a 9 1/2-by-13-inch (ungreased) pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake tests done.
Remove the cake from the oven, let it sit on a rack for 10 minutes and turn it out to cool. Frost with any chocolate frosting.
PETER AND ANNE MARIE FENDRICK'S COFFEE SPICE SPONGE CAKE
% eggs, separated 2 teaspoons grated orange rind 7/8 cup sugar 1/4 cup coffee 1 teaspoon vanilla 7/8 cup cake flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon ground cinammon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Remove the eggs from the refrigerator at least half an hour before the cake is to be made, separate them and set aside. Beat the yolks until light and slowly beat in the orange rind and the sugar. Beat until thick, about 5 minutes or more. Bring the coffee to a boil and beat it into the batter along with the vanilla. Sift the cake flour with all the remaining ingredients and stir into the batter. Whip the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Stir 1/4 of the beaten whites into the batter and fold the remaining whites into it. Turn the batter into an unbuttered angel food pan, 9 or 10 inches in diamater. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the cake tests done. Remove from the oven, invert on a cake rack immediately and leave the pan on the cake. Remove the pan when the cake is cool.
SUE FISCHER/JEANNE FLEMING CATERER'S STEPHANIE CAKE 6 eggs 1 cup superfine sugar 1 cup cake flour 4 tablespoons melted clarified butter 1 cup silvered almonds 1 ounce semisweet chocolate, grated
Filling and frosting: 4 packages frozen raspberries, defrosted and drained in a sieve over a bowl 1/4 cup Grand Marnier 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 quart whipping cream 1/2 cup superfine sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine the eggs and the 1 cup superfine sugar in a mixing bowl and set the bowl over a pot of boiling water. Do not allow the bowl to touch the water. With a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar for 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat at high speed for 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low and beat for another 10 minutes. The mixture should triple in volume. Turn the flour into a sieve and shake the flour into the egg-sugar mixture. Fold the flour in. Then fold in the butter, the almonds and the chocolate.
Butter and flour three 8-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Divide batter among the prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn the layers out immediately onto racks and cool.
Combine the drained raspberries with the Grand Marnier and granulated sugar and allow to steep for 1 hour.
Whip the cream until stiff with the 1/2 cup superfine sugar and vanilla. Place one half of the raspberries and liquid on the bottom layer, pipe on whipped cream and place second layer on it. Repeat and top with third layer. Frost the entire cake with the remaining whipped cream. Can be frozen for up to two months.