I'll tell you what though, it was worth it. This week's retro recipe comes from one of my little McAlpin's Test Kitchen Recipe booklets, of which I have a couple. They're not dated, but the Mixmaster in the test kitchen picture is the same 1950s model that I have at home and judging from the ovens and stoves, I'd say we're looking at the mid 1950s. You want to see what this test kitchen looks like - trust me.
This is basically a coffee cake, flavoured with cinnamon and coffee essence, with a gorgeous pink swirl running right through. The Test Kitchen tops this marvel off with a frosting flavoured with raspberry essence that is tinted pink. I realised this week - with ensuing shame - that I had never made a marble cake before, or indeed anything 'swirled' or 'marbled', so it was this that I was most excited about. I decided to go with the cake recipe mostly as it was originally written; I only swapped the coffee essence for some espresso powder and added a little more milk, because the batter seemed a little thick. The resulting was light and moist, with just a pretty whisper of cinnamon and coffee flavours. And yes, swirling pink batter through coffee-coloured batter with a knife was as exciting as I'd hoped it would be.
The real excitement in the end though, was the frosting. I kept an eye out this week for raspberry essence but the closest I came was Queen's Strawberry Essence. This is just didn't seem right. And actually, I realised, I wanted a bright and punchy raspberry flavour to liven up a relatively plain coffee cake. So, I used fresh raspberries in my frosting. And Quincy nodded in her small puffy way, the sun came out and the birds began to sing.
Another excellent retro recipe vamp experiment. I'd do this for a living, I reckon.
Cinnamon Scroll Cake with Fresh Raspberry Frosting
Cake recipe adapted from McAlpin's Test Kitchen Recipes (circa 1955)
Frosting recipe adapted from makinglifedelicious.com
230g plain flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
200g caster sugar
115g butter, softened
7 tbsp milk
1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
a few drops of rose (or cochineal) food colouring
1 quantity of Fresh Raspberry Frosting (recipe below)
1. Heat oven to 180C. Prepare a 7 inch square cake tin by greasing and lining bottom with baking paper.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a medium bowl.
3. Add the espresso powder to 1 tbsp of the milk, mix to dissolve and set aside.
3. In the large bowl of your stand mixer, or a larger bowl, beat the butter until soft and creamy. Sift in the dry ingredients, add 4 tbsp of milk, and mix at medium speed until well combined. Don't worry if your batter looks a little dry and lumpy at this point.
4. Add the eggs and 2 remaining tbsp of milk and mix to make a smooth batter.
5. Pour or spoon 1/4 of the batter into a medium bowl. To this smaller quantity, add a few drop of food colouring. Beat to incorporate. Pretty!
6. To the remaining mixture, add the dissolved espresso mixture and the cinnamon. Beat to combine.
7. Pour or spoon the cinnamon batter into your prepared cake tin. Add the pink batter to the top of this and with a butter knife, swirl the pink mixture through until it looks pleasantly marbled.
8. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes (or until a cake tester poked into the middle comes out clean; mine took 45.)
9. Sit on a cake rack to cool for 10 minutes, then carefully remove cake from tin. Allow to cool completely on rack before frosting.
3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1/4 - 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
a little milk to loosen, if needed
1. Heat raspberries in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon to break up. When the berries are no longer whole and look more like a coulis or sauce, strain to remove the seeds. Return the seedless liquid to the saucepan and look a little longer until reduced by nearly half. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
2. In the small bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand-held mixer, beat butter a little. Add 1 cup of icing sugar, 1/2 tsp lemon juice and raspberry puree. Beat until well combined, then add remaining icing sugar. If the mixture seems too stiff, add the extra lemon juice. Check again and if you still want it softer, add milk a teaspoon at a time until you reach desired consistency.
3. Put on your cooking-lab coat, and spread artfully onto your cake.