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Note: This edition of Cakes & Tortes has been updated to include Metric equivalents.
A cake, more than any other creation of the culinary art, truly expresses the spirit of festivity. And the magic of a cake extends beyond the festive occasion, into the cozy family world of everyday. The cake that Mother whips up for a family dinner gives something of a party air to the most modest meal.
A delicious cake (or its first cousin, a torte) is a real work of art. Obey that creative impulse. Bake that cake, that luscious torte. Give to that family meal, that party, picnic, or celebration, the air of festivity which only a cake can give. The recipes in the following pages will guide you on the way to success every time.
And don’t stop when you have produced one of the cakes and covered it with your favorite frosting, or with the one the recipe recommends. From that same recipe, the next time you use it, you can make an entirely different cake—by using a different frosting; by adding a filling between the layers; by splitting two layers to make four, filling them all, and perhaps frosting the whole with whipped cream; by transforming the cake into a cake dessert.
You can make a cottage pudding from almost any cake, with a dessert sauce; or you can serve it à la mode, plus a dessert sauce if you wish, or à la shortcake, with sweetened fresh fruit and whipped cream. Or you can make an old-fashioned trifle, soaking the cake with sherry, rum or brandy, adding a layer of strawberry or raspberry preserves, and pouring creamy soft custard over all. And what about a glamorous baked Alaska—a thick slice of pound or yellow or sponge cake topped with firm ice cream, the whole covered thickly with meringue and baked quickly till the meringue is browned?
There’s so much you can do with a cake!