Thursday, February 19, 2015

Fat Tuesday via 1914 Boston

Just in time to celebrate Fat Tuesday or what the Pennsylvania Dutch know as Fastnacht Day, this week's #tbt has everything to do with sweet batter, deep frying, and powdered sugar.  It's the last hurrah before Lent, one last opportunity to overindulge if sweets are what you're giving up for the next few weeks.

A well-worn, well-loved, and much used 1914 copy of 'The Boston Cooking School Cook Book' by F. M. Farmer provided this week's recipe.  You may recognize the cookbook by what most people know it as today, 'The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.'  Originally I was eyeing bread recipes, even more so when I came home from the deli the other night with a brick of fresh yeast, but on the sixth or seventh go-through of the fragile pages, I spotted the recipe for Fried Drop Cakes.  When I realized they were similar to donuts (without the yeast) and it was Fat Tuesday, there was no doubt this was the recipe to make.

The batter is easy to throw together, and once mixed, it's thick and sticky.  I suggest that you make them on the smaller size--using a teaspoon to drop the dough into the oil, instead of a tablespoon.  The first few larger ones I made, upon breaking them open, were still nothing but batter in the very center.  I don't doubt that the issues laid with me--a pan with not enough oil, and a pan with thin walls that kept the oil a little too hot, so they were browning quickly and I didn't want to burn them.  The smaller cakes were very good.  Chewy, cakey, and airy at once.

I'm not going to re-type the recipe here since I didn't stray from the original.  The skewer comes in handy to turn the frying dough, like flipping abelskivers.

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