Years ago when I first moved to California one of my morning rituals was to watch the Today show. Now that was back when Jane Pauley and Bryant Gumble were the host and Willard Scott was still doing the weather. I loved watching the dynamics of that show and well honestly I still do. I have watched it through all its incarnations. I don’t really care for the fact that they are on until 10 p.m. I always love when they have some world renowned baker or chef on there and they tell you how easy it is to make this elaborate dish or cake. The Today show cast would all gather in the studio kitchen and try their hand at being a chef and my favorite character was Willard Scott. He always had some witty repartee and something to add to the recipe.
One morning about a month before Christmas they featured Willard as the Chef. He presented a recipe for a Kentucky Bourbon Cake. He began the whole presentation complete with the half full bottle of Bourbon. (Notice I said half full? That’s because I’m a half full type of person.) Anyway as the recipe progressed, Willard kept saying “pour a cup of bourbon and set it aside, add the flour then drink the bourbon. Pour another cup of bourbon and set it aside, add the sugar then drink the bourbon. Soak the dried fruit in a cup of bourbon, drain the liquid off the fruit and drink the liquid. He then said that if you were still standing to put the cake in the oven and then pass out for an hour. The final step was to prick the cake and pour bourbon all over it then wrap it with cheesecloth and put it in a tin to sit for one month. Then drink the rest of the bottle of bourbon.”
Since this recipe was more of a fruit cake than anything else and my daddy loves fruit cake I decided to make one. I followed Willard’ directions, well all except drinking the bourbon because I had small children at home. I beat and whipped and covered and baked. I wrapped the whole thing in cheese cloth put it in a baker’s tin and let it sit for one whole month. The thing weighed 400 lbs. I went down to the post office and the postmaster put it on the scale and charged me $200 to ship it. She asked me what it was and I told her. She hefted it up on the table put her nose to the box and took a really big whiff and said “Yeah I can smell the bourbon. This should be a really good cake.” So I gave her the recipe and went on my way. About a week later I get a call from my dad. “Hey Bebe,” he started “I got your cake. What do I do with it?” I was a bit confused but answered with “You’re supposed to eat it.” He kind of laughed and said “Well I wasn’t sure since it was so heavy I thought maybe it was a weapon.” He called me again several days later and said he ate of piece of my cake and then went to the store. He said he was stopped on his way to the grocery by a policeman who immediately decided he was driving drunk. “How much have you had to drink?” the policeman asked my daddy. When my daddy replied nothing but had eaten a piece of cake the policeman in disbelief gave daddy a breathalyzer and threw him in the drunk tank. OK that’s not true. Daddy was just exaggerating, I hope.
I haven’t made that cake in years. I had written the recipe down in a cooking journal that I started when I was about 16 years old. I moved several years ago and I have not been able to find that book since. It makes me sad because I had recipes from all over and some that I created myself. My copy of Willard’s recipe was lost. This morning I received an email from my dad for another cake recipe and I thought I would share it with you.
So here it is… The Tequila Cake Recipe
1 stick butter
1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 bottle tequila
2 cups of dried fruit
Sample the tequila to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the tequila again. To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the tequila is still OK. Try another cup... just in case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 eggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.
Pick the frigging fruit up off floor. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the tequila to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Check the tequila. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you canfind. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window. Finish the tequila and wipe counter with the cat.
Iris. With some fava beans and a nice Chianti.
7 hours ago