Casting our vote for Election Cake
Sharing a slice in Salem, the “City of Peace”Up until the 1940’s, election cakes were a common item found in many cookbooks. Originating in England, it is similar to a fruitcake or sweet bread leavened with yeast. In early America, Election Cakes were used to sustain voters. Linda Stradley of What’s Cooking America has a terrific overview of the history of Election Day Cake. We learned of election cakes while doing some food related research at the Salem Public Library (much thanks to all the librarians for their wonderful assistance!) Visit the library and see their historic collections – including What Salem Dames Cooked. This 1910 cookbook is a collection of recipes from 1683 to the early 1900s. It’s full of memorable items, such as Election Day Cake and Salem Pudding!
In honor of the Election Day and celebrating our right to vote, we attempted one recipe we found online – you’ll find dozens of varying degrees of difficulty. After sharing the cake with neighbors we agree there is something delightfully unique in an old-fashioned taste. And of course, we shopped locally for our needed ingredients. Thank you to Tour Partners Milk & Honey and Salem Spice for helping to make this a sweet success!
Making a cake?Shop locally – bake happily.
Clockwise, left to right, luscious dried cranberries and organic, locally sourced items at Milk and Honey.Ground cloves, nutmeg and amazing(!) cinnamon powder atSalem Spice. Photo above: mixing our ingredients. Although many recipes called for a mixture of dried fruit, we preferred the simplicity of cranberries alone, letting the spices shine.
Below: our heart shaped tube pan was a fun alternative. We added a simple lemon glaze to the top.
Note: we welcome photos of any attempts you have made or might make at this cake and other historic New England recipes.
Email your photos with descriptions to us for a chance to be shown in an upcoming Salem Food Tour eNews.
Food + Comedy = Warm laughter to start your week
Salem Food Tours is happy to support not only the culinary arts, but all local arts. Enjoy this ‘food fun’ clip by Salem-based comic Mark Scalia, on his latest Tour.
Having some fun with a wonderful guest from Austria on a recent Salem Food Tour. Chef Doug Papows delicious sauce broke us – table manners be gone!