Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Very First Tree Cake

I've got a new recipe for you! Well, an old recipe. An old, old, old recipe. This is from 1582, written by Susanna Harsdörfer of Nuremberg. Katherine Barich of the "Cooking Rumpolt" Yahoo! group did a word-for-word translation that I tried modernizing. She also has a great set of medieval-baumkuchen-related thoughts, a lot of which came in handy during my current studies of Fritz Hahn. Anyway, the recipe!

To bake a cake on a spit

Beat 14-16 eggs in a pot. Add 1 maß [about 1.5 L] of thick milk [i.e. cream]. Next, take a scoop of wheat flour and add some ginger. Take a knobbed spit, crush ginger on it, then dust evenly with flour. In the pot add crushed mace and (if you wish) salt, pepper, and more ginger. Make the batter as thick as for milk toast [e.g. gulden schnitten]. Take the spit and put it next to the fire. Leave it there for half an hour, to ensure it is hot enough. Smear it with lard once or twice, being careful not to let the spit cool. To dribble the batter on, turn the spit and, with an iron spoon, pour the batter liberally onto the spit. Turn continually for a while, until there is a bit of a crust, then pour more batter on. Move the spoon carefully back and forth so the cake remains cylindrical. When the pot is almost empty, pour a bit more batter on the prongs, then bake the cake for 2 more hours until it is roasted through. When it has almost finished, baste with butter so it will be soft and succulent. Sprinkle sugar on it and serve.
And there's lots more details on my website!