Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chocolate Marble Cake, a Vintage Recipe

So today is Frank's Birthday and what could be more fitting than a Vintage Cake for a vintage man. Found this ad in a 1939 Life Magazine. Frank's not that old, but it's the perfect cake. This cake is simple to make and delicious. Of course, I've substituted other products.  For instance, I don't have Swans Down Cake Flour. Do they even still make it? I know it was a staple in my grandmother's pantry. And, although they still make Baker's Chocolate, I'm more apt to use a dark baking chocolate from a specialty chocolate company. In 1939, it was unique to make marble cake in layers according to this ad. Usually marble cake was a coffee cake.

I love this advertisement because it's so period. Don't miss the sexist comic strip on the bottom. If you can't read the fine print, "How Fran got first nibble from the season's best 'Catch.' She baked him this cake! Well, as they used to say, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach! Update that to "The way to your lover's heart is through his/her stomach" and that will bring it up to 2010.

Happy Birthday, Frank!

Here's the exact recipe in case your eyesight is vintage.


3 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour
3 tsp Calumet Baking Powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter or other shortening
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
6 egg whites, stiffly beaten
3 squares Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate, melted
4 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup boiling water
1/4 tsp soda

Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder and salt, and sift together three times.
Cream butter thoroughly, add sugar gradually, and cream together until light and fluffy.
Add flour, alternately with milk, in small amounts, beating well after each. Add vanilla. Fold in egg whites quickly and thoroughly.
To melted chocolate, add sugar and boiling water, stirring until blended. Then add soda and stir until thickened. Cool slightly.
Divide batter in two parts. To one part add chocolate mixture.
Put by tablespoons into two greased 9-inch layer pans, alternating light and dark misture. Then with knife cut carefully through batter once in a wife zigzag course.
Bake in moderate oven (375F) 30 to 35 minutes.
Spread Hungarian Chocolate Frosing between layers and over cake.
*This recipe has been developed with Calumet Baking Powder. If another baking powder is used, adjust the proportions as recommended by the manufacturers.

HUNGARIAN CHOCOLATE FROSTING (Using egg yolks). Combine 3 squares Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate, melted, 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, and 2 1/2 tablespoons hot water; belend. Add 3 egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each. Add 4 tablespoons butter, a tablespoon at a time, beating thoroughly after each amount. (All measurements are level.)


Anonymous said...

My eyes are keen. My sense of smell works fine. My taste buds work well. And yet, I licked my computer screen and I could smell nothing, taste nothing, but I could see it.

Janet Rudolph said...

This is a vintage cake from 1939. The Birthday Cake is yet to come. :-)

modern office furniture said...

Wow! Looks so yummy and sweet. Thanks for such amazing recipe. I would like to make this cake at my birth day.

Susan Arnout Smith said...

"Oh, this sounds good. Bringing the recipe up to date reminds me of something I haven't thought of in years. My dad--an Alaskan raised on a island his parents homesteaded--yearned bigtime to get his family back to Alaska and ultimately got us as far as the mountains of Colorado. We lived for awhile with no running water or electricity. We had to stoke a stove with firewood to bake anything, and Mom--ever putting a good spin on it--made a joke about trying to 'preheat the oven to 350 degrees.' Happy birthday, Frank."