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More Harvest Cakes to delight bakers

Thursday, October 18, 2001

Last week's Kitchen Mailbox promised more Harvest Cake recipes, and Kitchen Mailbox always keeps its promises.

 

Today's first recipe, Harvest Loaf Cake, comes to us courtesy of Helen Lamison of Carnegie. Helen, a contributor to Kitchen Mailbox on several occasions, recently won the Grand Prize in the Taste of Home Hearty Meat Pies Contest. You will find Helen's recipe -- Chicken Pies in Potato Crusts -- and her photo in the October/November issue of Taste of Home magazine and the hardcover cookbook "Taste of Home Annual Recipes 2002." Congratulations, Helen!

Now on to the recipes. There are two main ingredients in Harvest Loaf Cake -- pumpkin and chocolate. Pumpkin and chocolate are two of Kitchen Mailbox's favorite foods, so needless to say we devoured this cake. The spice glaze added a nice touch to this already flavorful and moist cake.

The second recipe did not call for pumpkin. The flavor in this cake comes from brown sugar. The cake is moist and not overly sweet. The Harvest Moon Frosting is a sea foam icing made with brown sugar and it takes about seven minutes of constant beating to achieve the fluffy, meringue-like results. The mixture is placed over a double boiler so the eggs are cooked. But if you feel uncomfortable using fresh egg whites, try powdered egg whites or the liquid pasteurized version found near the eggs and butter at the grocery store.

Harvest Loaf Cake

1 3/4 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup cooked pumpkin (we used canned pure pumpkin)
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan.

Combine flour, soda, salt and spices. Set aside.

Cream butter in a large bowl, then add sugar, beating at high speed until fluffy.

Blend in eggs and beat well.

Add dry ingredients alternately with pumpkin -- beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Blend well after each addition.

Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Cool and drizzle with Spice Glaze.

Note: 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice can be substituted for the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.

Spice Glaze

1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 or 2 tablespoons cream (we used heavy cream)

Blend all ingredients until desired consistency is reached.

Margaret Meyers of Mt. Lebanon and Dorothy Vogeley of Plum sent in the following recipe.

Harvest Cake

2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs, separated
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder and salt and sift three times. Set aside.

Cream butter, then add sugar gradually. Cream together until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and beat well.

Add flour alternately with milk. Beat after each addition until smooth. Add vanilla.

Spoon batter into a 9-by-9-inch square pan. Bake for about 25 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Remove pan from oven -- place on rack.

Cool completely before frosting.

Harvest Moon Frosting

2 egg whites or the equivalent powdered egg whites
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
Dash salt
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup almonds, blanched, toasted and chopped

Beat egg whites, sugar, salt and water until thoroughly mixed. Place ingredients in top of double boiler filled with boiling water or a stainless steel bowl set in a deep skillet filled with about 1 inch of boiling water.

Beat constantly (if you don't, the egg whites will be overcooked) for seven minutes until frosting peaks. Remove from heat, add vanilla, then beat on high for 2 to 3 minutes more to cool and so frosting is thick enough to spread.

Spread over cooled cake. Sprinkle frosted cake with the almonds.

Requests

A letter and a request from Alex Tuttle of Squirrel Hill: "Two wonderful meals at Shadyside restaurants left me wanting more at both. The french fries at Le Perroquet taste exactly as they do in France. Can you find out how they make them? At Sunnyledge, I had a delicious, very hearty red pepper soup with cheese in it. Would they share the recipe?"

Dana Carney of Baldwin needs help in finding the recipe for Cap City's Balsamic Chicken. "I absolutely can't get enough of this chicken dish and have never tasted anything like it. The key to this dish seems to be the two different sauces used. Can anyone help me get the recipe or try to find something similar to it?"

Jane Halin of Punxsutawney wonders if anyone has a recipe for microwave vanilla fudge.

Carol B. of the Hill District: "I'm looking for a recipe that I believe is called Pat Nixon's Meatloaf. I remember that it was more involved than most meatloaf recipes that I am used to, but it was very good."

If you want to answer a recipe request from a reader or are looking for a recipe yourself, please write to Kitchen Mailbox, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222, or e-mail to aburnett@post-gazette.com. Please include a name, neighborhood and a daytime phone number on all correspondence.

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