The frosting is much pinker than the photo has it look.
I know, the cakes keep getting more and more retro.
I had some aging cherries sitting in the door of the fridge. Other than a Manhattan, I don't really have much use for them so I baked a cake-but not just any old cake-a Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook cake from the 1950's. I have standards, you know.
The frosting was really interesting. Normally, I favour buttercream because I've mastered it and pretty much know what to expect. I admit, beating hot sugar syrup into beaten egg whites sounded a bit scary, but it went well. It was only as I was beating the frosting that I realised why the smell was so familiar-it smelled like The Lynnway. OK, I guess that needs explanation for people not from Massachusetts.
I used to commute home to Boston by way of Lynn, Massachusetts ("Lynn, Lynn city of sin, never come out the way you went in")*. The marshmallow fluff factory was located nearby and as I sat in traffic, I would sit there daydreaming about how fantastic my life was sitting there with all the sensory delight of marshmallow Fluff and the marine smell of low tide. Anyway, no sooner I began making the frosting than I realised it was going to be like a fancy Fluff.
You Will Need:
For The Cake:
2 9 inch pans, greased and floured
1/3 cup soft butter
1/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cherry juice from jar
3/4 cup milk
20 maraschino cherries cut in 8ths
5 egg whites, stiffly beaten
Cream together the butter, shortening and sugar. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift dry ingredients together, and combine milk and cherry juice. Add alternately in three additions to the creamed mixture. Fold in the cherries. Fold in the egg whites. Transfer to pans and bake 30-35 minutes or until they test done. Cool 15 minutes in pan, then cool completely on racks.
For the Frosting:
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cherry juice from maraschino cherries
1/3 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 egg whites, beaten stiff
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a small saucepan, heat the sugar, juice and cream of tartar with the lid on over medium heat for three minutes. Remove lid, and cook until it reaches 242 degrees F.
Beat egg whites until they hold stiff peaks.
Beat the syrup very slowly into the egg whites beating constantly. Add vanilla extract and keep beating until fluffy and makes a spreading consistency. Frost cake generously (because heaven knows, there is a whole lot of this stuff to use up).
*Because that rhyme is so well known, a few years back some local politicians thought changing the name of the city to "Ocean City" would get children to stop chanting it. The public wasn't too excited at the thought of changing the name of the city, so Lynn it remains.