Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Winnipeg desserts are a piece of cake

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Irene Ellis of Toronto had asked for a copy of the recipe that was in the Free Press some years ago for Jeanne's cake, with shortbread base, marble cake and icing.

It turns out that this recipe has been published several times over the years, and also under the name Winnipeg birthday cake. Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond: Carol Hogue, Marilyn Bobby, Linda Koley, Gwen Litke, Leanne Landriault, Florence Bouchard, Avril Kousof, Sue Feldman, Jan Gudz, and to Kathleen Mihaychuk, who had the marble version in her collection.

Dorothy Albrecht had lost a recipe that was published in a magazine years ago for Joanna Kattenfeld's warm chocolate poppy seed cake that was served at Victor's and Tavern in the Park. Thanks to Eileen Hilderman, who had the copy from the magazine, and also to Valli Marcoe, Ruth Billinkoff and Sylvia Cassie, who all had similar versions.

Further to last week's column and Karen Latimer's Rice-A-Roni request, thanks to Heather Jensen who found it currently being sold in Winnipeg at Giant Tiger stores.

A new request to fill comes from Russell Pastuch of Ottawa who writes that he would love to find the recipe for the spaghetti sauce that was served at the Original Spaghetti House on Main Street. He recalls that it contained beef and pork and that "there was just something about the seasoning."

If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an e-mail to, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Darlene Henderson, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.


Jeanne's cake


80 ml (1/3 cup) shortening

60 ml (1/4 cup) icing sugar

250 ml (1 cup) all purpose flour

1.5 ml (1/3 tsp) baking powder

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla

Cut shortening into dry ingredients then add vanilla; mix well. Pat firmly and evenly into a 20 cm (8-inch) square pan. Bake at 175 C (350 F) for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool.



125 ml (1/2 cup) shortening

175 ml (3/4 cup) sugar

2 eggs

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla

375 ml (11/2 cups) all purpose flour

10 ml (2 tsp) baking powder

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

125 ml (1/2 cup) milk

Cream shortening and sugar; add eggs and vanilla, beating well until fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Pour batter into a greased and floured 20 cm (8-inch) square pan. Bake at 175 C (350 F) for 35 to 40 minutes.

For marble cake: Reserve 250 ml (1 cup) cake batter and add 1 heaping tablespoon of cocoa and 15 ml (1 tbsp) of milk. Mix until smooth. Pour some of the white batter into the pan, then chocolate batter. Top with remaining white batter. Cut into batter with knife and swirl.



125 ml (1/2 cup) milk

30 ml (2 tbsp) all purpose flour

125 ml (1/2 cup) butter

60 ml (1/4 cup) shortening

2 ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla

250 ml (1 cup) icing sugar

Dash salt

In small saucepan, stir together milk and flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and smooth. Cool.

On highest speed of mixer, beat cooled flour mixture with butter, shortening and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Blend in icing sugar and salt; continue beating until frosting is very fluffy. This will take at least 15 minutes.



Place shortbread base on serving plate; spread with small amount of frosting. Place cake on base. Cover top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. If desired, garnish sides of cake with shaved semi-sweet chocolate.


Taste Tester Notes: A stand mixer will come in handy for the long beating time for the fluffy frosting. The batter is a bit thick, but just smooth it out as evenly as you can. Baking time will depend on the pan you use and your oven; check cake before suggested baking time to ensure it does not get overdone (mine was ready in 30 minutes).


Joanna's poppy seed cake

155 ml (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) sugar

155 ml (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) soft, unsalted butter

175 ml (3/4 cup) ground poppy seeds

5 eggs, separated

5 squares (140 g or 5 oz) semi-sweet chocolate, melted

125 ml (1/2 cup) sifted bread crumbs

Icing sugar

Whipped cream

Combine sugar, butter, poppy seeds and egg yolks in a mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Add melted chocolate and beat 5 minutes. Mix in sifted bread crumbs and fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.

Pour batter into a buttered and floured 22 cm (9-inch) cake pan. Bake in a preheated 190 C (375 F) oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm, each portion sprinkled with icing sugar and topped with unsweetened whipped cream. Serves 9.

Taste Tester Notes: This short list of ingredients makes a very moist and outstanding cake that is absolutely delicious, and serving it warm further enhances the flavour. If you don't have a grinder for the poppy seed, a small mini-processor will grind this amount nicely (a regular size processor will not work -- it will just spin the seeds around). I used finely processed fresh bread crumbs. One recipe used a springform pan for baking, and another said to line the pan bottom with parchment paper, and both are good suggestions for easier release. I used a buttered and floured pan and while the cake did not come out as a whole easily, cutting out a small wedge first enabled me to get a lifter underneath the remainder for serving.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 27, 2010 d4

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