Martha's virginia cake

Yield: 16 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 Stick soft butter
½ cup Sugar
3 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking powder
⅛ teaspoon Fresh grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon Mace
1 cup Sweet port wine
¼ cup Brandy
1½ cup Diced dried mixed fruit (like for fruitcake)
6 Eggs; separated
1 cup Whiskey

The General had a special fondness for this cake. The family referred to it as "Virginia whiskey cake," but the only recipes that I could find used red wine and brandy...not whiskey. This recipe came from the hand of Mrs.

Washington's granddaughter and it did not mention whiskey at all. I expect that Ms. Curtis, the step-granddaughter of General Washington, was not too keen on the fact that the old boy had a large rye whiskey still and traded whiskey in the West Indies for special food products that he loved to eat at Mount Vernon, products such as bananas and coconut. He also drank the rye whiskey. So, in a fit of questionable historical research, I have restored the whiskey to this cake. I believe that the father of our land would approve.

This is an unusual type of fruit cake and it keeps for a good time, thus offering Mrs. Washington another course for those unexpected visitors who constantly appeared at her front door. It should have lasted; her recipe calls for 40 eggs, 4 pounds of butter, 5 pounds of flour, and an equal amount of fruit.

Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in the yolks.

Mix the flour, baking powder, and spices together. Stir the flour mixture into the egg/sugar mixture. Mix in the port and the brandy. Stir in the dried fruit.

Whip the egg whites until they form very soft peaks. Stir in about a quarter of them to lighten the batter. Fold in the remaining egg whites very gently.

Bake in a preheated 325ø oven in 2 loaf pans for 1 hour, or until a toothpick stuck into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Cool the cakes and pour half of the whiskey over each. Cover each pan with aluminum foil and allow to sit for a day before serving.

From <The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American>. Downloaded from Glen's MM Recipe Archive, .

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