Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin Dairy Farm’

Mid-Western Traditions

Monday, September 27th, 2010
— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique

My partner, Joan, is Midwestern girl from Brown Deer, Wisconsin… a northern suburb of Milwaukee. During many summer vacations Joan stayed on her aunt and uncle’s dairy farm about an hour west of Madison. The Lepeska farm has been in the family nearly 150 years. It was a family tradition to use lots of dairy products in meal preparation… from rich and wonderful macaroni and cheese to one of Joan’s favorite desserts… her mother’s Hot Milk Cake. I wasn’t really sure whether the cake was really as good as Joan remembered or whether she thought it was so good because she and her mom spent time together making it. Either way, however, it was a moot point… that Hot Milk Cake recipe was lost to a bygone era.

RecipeNow it just so happens that Joan has a big birthday coming up, so I thought I’d try to quietly recreate that Hot Milk Cake to surprise her. I turned to all my trusty sources and a few of Joan’s family members, each giving me their recollections of what they thought the recipe might have been. I guess my secretive efforts were discovered because I when came into the test kitchen one afternoon there stood Joan—with flour on her nose (and everywhere else)—holding up the luscious cake of her youth. She said she saw the recipe peeking out of a folder on my desk and she just had to try it. As she pulled the cake pan from the oven she stated confidently that it looked like the original, smelled like the original and after cutting herself a giant piece declared it was indeed the original. I must admit—it was perfect in its simplicity.

While Joan’s family is in the dairy business we’re in the chocolate business. So we decided to see if we could in enrich her mother’s Hot Milk Cake recipe with the addition of a little chocolate. After a couple of tests we came up with what everyone thought was a winner.

Either cake—without or without chocolate—can be enjoyed with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar or with or without frosting. I don’t think anyone would say one was any better than the other—after all it’s hard to improve on perfection. To my taste they are different but equally scrumptious.

I’ve appended these two recipes to our Choclatique recipe collection. Try them both and let me know what you think.

Hot Milk Cake

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for the pan)
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk
10 tablespoons butter or margarine (Oh, go ahead and splurge and use real butter)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and flour two 8 or 9-inch cake pans or a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder; set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat eggs at high speed until thick and lemony colored for 10 minutes (Set a timer! This step is very important, do not under-beat the eggs or the cake will fail to rise). Gradually beat in sugar and vanilla until mixture is light and fluffy.
  5. Gradually fold in flour mixture just until combined.
  6. In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter until hot, but not boiling, stirring occasionally. Add hot milk mixture to cake batter, stirring until combined.
  7. Pour cake batter into prepared baking pan.
  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tests done when a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. Cool on wire rack. Frost as desired.

ChefsNote: The success of the cake depends on beating the eggs until they are thick and lemon-colored. Under-beating will result in the cake failing to rise.

Hot Milk Chocolate Cake

This is a play on an old-fashioned mid-western farm cake that has gone to the “dark side.” Joan and I took her mother’s recently recreated hot milk cake recipe and added the Choclatique touch. As with the original recipe the success of the cake depends on beating the eggs until they are thick and lemon-colored. Under-beating will result in the cake failing to rise. You can frost with a chocolate ganache buttercream frosting or simply sift a little confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder on the top.

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup *Choclatique Rouge Cocoa Powder (plus extra for the pan)
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoon chocolate extract (Star Kay White Chocolate Extract)
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk
10 tablespoons butter
3 ounces **Private Reserve Dark Chocolate (64%), coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and dredge with cocoa powder two 8 or 9-inch cake pans or a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat eggs at high speed until thick and lemony colored for 10 minutes (Set a timer! This step is very important, do not under-beat the eggs or the cake will fail to rise).
  5. Gradually beat in sugar, vanilla and chocolate extracts until mixture is light and fluffy.
  6. Gradually fold in flour mixture just until combined.
  7. In a small saucepan, heat milk, butter and chocolate until hot, but not boiling, stirring occasionally. Add hot milk mixture to cake batter, stirring until combined.
  8. Pour cake batter into prepared baking pan.
  9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tests done when a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. Cool on wire rack. Frost as desired.

ChefsNote: When you dredge your baking pans with cocoa powder there won’t be any white flour streaks on your beautiful baked chocolate cakes.

Choclatique ProductNotes: *Choclatique Rouge Cocoa Powder is our unsweetened lightly alkalized cocoa powder
**Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate (64%) or Choclatique Ebony Dark Chocolate (72%)

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