Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Secret Ingredients

When we were first dating, I remember being served this birthday cake at Mr. Hunting Creek’s house, When I asked for the recipe, his mom said, “oh it’s on the back of the Galliano bottle.” So I dutifully asked my dad to buy some Galliano, not being 21 at the time and made the cake. It was really good, but not as good as Mr. Hunting Creek’s mom’s cake. I grilled her about her recipe and technique. She claimed she “followed the recipe”.
Years passed. Mr. Hunting Creek continued to request the Harvey Wallbanger Cake for his birthday.I continued to make it, tweaking the recipe, adding freshly squeezed orange juice and freshly grated peel,  more glaze, less glaze,  but still Mr. hunting Creek claimed it wasn’t the same as his mother’s. This annoyed me. It would annoy a saint. I am a better cook than his mother, and a better baker. so I was nettled by this. so much so that when he brought home her recipes after he closed her kitchen, the first thing I looked for was that recipe. :
You know those cooks who pass on recipes but who leave out that secret ingredient or technique so that your version is never quite what their version is? Mr. Hunting Creek’s mom was one of those cooks. Her recipe for Harvey Wallbanger Cake was , in her own writing, different from the standard one in only one way, but the difference was huge. Instead of half a cup of oil, she used one cup. No other recipe for this cake that I have seen uses one cup of oil, but it makes an indecently moist cake.

Harvey Wallbanger Cake
1 box Duncan Hines Orange Cake mix (you can use yellow in a pinch, but it’s not the same)
1 packages Instant vanilla Pudding mix, 3 ¾ oz size
4 eggs
½ cup oil for Galliano’s version, 1 Cup for Mr. Hunting Creek’s Mom’s Version
½ cup galliano
1 oz vodka
½ cup orange juice

Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, cooking oil, Galliano, vodka, orange joice Mix until smooth, about two minutes if using a hand beater.
I use my Cuisinart and it takes a few pulses
Pour into greased and floured 10” tube pan or bundt pan Bake 45-50 minutesat 350 degrees
Cool and glaze.

Glaze recipe
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 oz Galliano
1 oz vodka
1 oz orange juice in a bowl, blend, drizzle over cake

We won’t even mention that eating this cake as a child just shows how highly unusual Mr. Hunting Creek’s childhood was. When we were first married we used to argue about whose family was , shall we say., the most dysfunctional. When I learned that he had been eating this booze monster of a cake since early childhood, I proclaimed him the winner.

1 comment:

Beangirl said...

psshst. it only has 2 ounces of vodka in the whole thing.


probably I could compete with the two of you for Strange Family Night.

(This sounds YUMMY and I'm probably going to have to break my No Bake Zone rule and make one sometime.)