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Emily Dickinson's Black Cake Recipe

Emily Dickinson's Black Cake Recipe

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Published by vrrry
During her time on Earth, Emily Dickinson's cooking prowess was known by many residents of Amherst as evidenced by this excerpt from her obituary: "...Very few in the village, except among the older inhabitants, knew Miss Emily personally, although the facts of her seclusion and her intellectual brilliancy were familiar Amherst traditions. There are many houses among all classes into which her treasures of fruit and flowers and ambrosial dishes for the sick and well were constantly sent, that will forever miss those evidences of her unselfish consideration...". This is one of her recipes.
During her time on Earth, Emily Dickinson's cooking prowess was known by many residents of Amherst as evidenced by this excerpt from her obituary: "...Very few in the village, except among the older inhabitants, knew Miss Emily personally, although the facts of her seclusion and her intellectual brilliancy were familiar Amherst traditions. There are many houses among all classes into which her treasures of fruit and flowers and ambrosial dishes for the sick and well were constantly sent, that will forever miss those evidences of her unselfish consideration...". This is one of her recipes.

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Published by: vrrry on Dec 11, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/09/2014

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Emily Dickinson'sBlack Cake Recipeupdated for modern kitchensPlace a shallow pan of water on the bottom of the oven. Preheat oven to 225 F.2 cups sugar1/2 pound butter5 eggs1/4 cup molasses2 cups sifted flour1/2 tsp baking soda1 tsp cloves1 tsp mace1 tsp cinnamon1/2 nutmeg, ground1/4-1/2 cup brandy1 pound raisins2/3 pound currants2/3 pound citronAdd sugar gradually to butter; blend until light and creamy. Add unbeaten eggs &molasses. Beat well. Resift flour with soda and spices. If you're using unsaltedbutter, add 1/2 tsp salt.Beat sifted ingredients into mixture, alternately adding brandy. Stir in raisins,currants, and citron.Pour batter into two loaf pans lined with waxed paper.Bake at 225 F for 3 hours (this is not a typo). Remove pan of water for last 1/2hour. Let loaves cool before removing from pans.Remove paper and wrap in fresh paper.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------The submitter's notes from experience:Keep the water pan 1 inch full; otherwise, you'll have a black brick.I find that kitchen parchment works better than waxed paper. This cake is so rich,you'll think you're tasting heaven (well, of course you are). I usually use onlyhalf the listed amounts of raisins, currants, and citron -- and the cake stillweighs a ton.The longer the cake sits (in a cool, dark spot), the better it will taste. ED usedto put hers in the cellar for a month, but I think 19th century people had adifferent attitude toward mold than we do ... :-)I've had great success with this recipe and make it every year on ED's birthday.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Originally posted to the emweb e-mail discussion group in 1995.

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