|Everywoman's Magazine - April 1952|
Inspired by the cover of Everywoman's Magazine from April 1952 (doesn't every man have back issues of Everywoman's lying around?), I decided that enough time had passed since my last cake-baking fiasco to give the whole thing another go. I didn't even have to "See pages 50-51 for Everywoman's April Cover Cake Recipe;" all I had to do was flip the magazine over to find a recipe perfectly suited to my abilities (fingers crossed).
I am in love with Technicolor. I find it hard to articulate but in my mind the whole world used to appear in Technicolor. I don't mean that in reference to a popular color palette; I mean that, based on the countless movies I've seen, I would expect that, given the opportunity to go back in time, I would find a world of texture and color much like the advertisement above - saturated but soft, intense but hazy, bold but bashful. I know it isn't so; I know that the colors and textures we this year are the same as yesteryear but it's nice to dream! I figured the closest I'd get to my bold vision of color was a Technicolor cake in the form of Betty Crocker's ColorVision Cake.
Feeling a bit like a hypocrite, having just preached an entire sermon on my preference for scratch cakes, I decided to be true to Betty Crocker circa '52 - prepared cake mix to the rescue! Using one box of cake mix and one box of Jell-O, I followed the instructions to the tee.
|I read somewhere that creating an aluminum foil snuggie around the cake|
pans results in cake layers that are less-domed...I thought I'd give it a shot.
The original icing recipe is as follows:
The remaining powder from the Jell-O packet
2 egg whites
1 C. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar (I had to eyeball that one. Is there an 1/8 tsp. measure? If there is, it wasn't on my measuring spoon ring.)
1/4 C. Water
Combine all ingredients in the top of a double boiler and beat on the high speed of an electric mixer or with rotary beater until icing holds stiff peaks. Remove from over boiling water and beat about one minute longer.
|That's what we in the business call a "stiff peak." |
The icing ends up being a frothy hybrid of meringue and
marshmallow creme - kind of interesting, kind of unusual.
|So much for the aluminum foil "snuggie"|
Exaggerated only slightly by the angle of the photo and the hack job
I did with the icing, this ColorVision Cake was seriously doming.
|What better to treat you with|
than candy peach rings?
|For the filling I went rogue. |
Determined to use what I had on hand (a cup of white chocolate morsels and some sweetened condensed
milk), I created a faux ganache, adding both food coloring and some of the dissolved peach Jell-O.
|If there is a theme, in this instance "processed and peachy," I'll run with it.|
I served the cake with a dollop of whipped cream and some sliced, canned peaches.
1. It takes a lot more than a few scoops of powered gelatin to make something a ColorVision Cake. Disappointed with the colors (partially my fault for choosing peach), I added a heck of a lot of food coloring to every step (cake, filling, and icing) and still wasn't amazed by the color.
2. I am not a frosting guy anyway, but the foamy meringue/marshmallow creme thing really wasn't doing it for me.
3. Next time (although I have it on good authority that there will not be a ColorVision Cake next time) get wild. There are unusual flavors, colors, and combinations that can be achieved with Jell-O and I went with something pretty mundane - next time green apple or nothing!
4. Cakes never look as great as they do in the pictures.
5. One should always bake cakes from scratch.
Have you tried any old recipes lately? Have you had any baking disasters/triumphs about which we should know? What's your favorite flavor of Jell-O? Will you give the ColorVision Cake a try? If you do, please let us know how it turns out.