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mamones de anis/anise cakes - baker's expertise needed!

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mamones de anis/anise cakes - baker's expertise needed!

ks | Sep 30, 2004 11:57 PM

There's a new translation of CA's earliest Spanish language cookbook called Encarnacion's Kitchen - a really interesting compilation of CA rancho cooking. It was written by Encarnacion Pinedo in 1898 and has been translated by Dan Strehl, published by U.C. Press.

So, I'm trying to plan a meal using recipes from it. The thing is that the recipes haven't been updated - they're as originally written. And anyone who's cooked from historic cookbooks knows this can be tricky. Very minimal direction and sketchy amounts. But I will rise to the challenge! And I'd love some help on the dessert end.

There's a recipe for anise cakes that I'm thinking of for dessert possibly w/o the anise, along with a pear & apple marmalade, I think. I don't want to repeat the recipe word for word, but here are the ingredients:

Separated whites and yolks of 11 eggs
A pound of sifted sugar
ten ounces of corn flour and a little anise.

So apparently the whites are beaten till stiff and yolks are added. Then the sugar, then the corn flour. Then they are baked in small cake molds (I'm thinking muffin tins).

This is unlike any cake recipe I've ever seen! The only leavening is eggs? What do people think I'll end up with? Could it be like a pound cake (but where's the butter)? And corn flour instead of wheat flour also sounds interesting.

I'll definitely try it before the dinner party (maybe a half recipe), but any thoughts on what manner/texture/flavor of cake this would produce?

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