Welcome to An Adventure in Reading! It's been quiet around here this year, but I'm definitely coming out of hibernation for the Virtual Advent Tour, hosted by sprite writes. Everyone is welcome to contribute- head to Sprite's and sign up for a day to share a little something in the lead up to the holiday.
We are into our second pandemic Christmas, and the topic of 'supply lines' has come home for many home bakers and their traditional bakes. Peanut butter balls, which are a particular favourite of mine, made by my sister, might be a rare commodity this year as Rice Krispies can be very hard to find in our neck of the woods. I know I was looking for them last month to make my Frying Pan Cookies, (Advent Tour 2019) and I had to go to several stores to find a box. Of Rice Krispies, the plainest and blandest of the morning cereals! I think most people eventually find them, but it's a moment of panic for the shopper as they have to go to more than one store.
I have always enjoyed Gum Drop Cake, and a few years ago, started making one every year and sharing a section of the Bundt cake with my family. Last year, baking gum drops were impossible to find. Literally impossible. The company in Canada which made the baking gums, which are different from candy gum drops, had a piece of machinery break, and there were no gum drops to be found. I tried a number of small obscure shops, hoping for a wayward dish of missed gum drops, but no luck. I made a cake anyway, but had to use the candy gum drops from Gagnon cut up into bite size pieces.
This year, I kept my eyes out, starting in the fall, for my baking gum drops. I did find Bulk Barn stocked one day in early October, and filled a bag with enough to make my cake. Yay! However, flush with my stash, I started noticing recipes for a Gum Drop Nougat that I really wanted to try. I decided to use my gum drops in a nougat, and hope to find some more for the cake. The nougat turned out well, but still no gum drops by the time I wanted to make my cake, so I had to use the candy again this year.
My cousin sent me a text yesterday morning from Walmart - Are these the gum drops you want? She had the last couple of bags in her cart and brought them over, having heard my sad story of searching a few weeks earlier. So now I can make another cake, or maybe more nougat, or ...
Gum Drop Cake (a Newfoundland Tradition)Ingredients
1 ½ cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp finely minced lemon zest, optional
3 cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
3/4 cup undiluted evaporated milk
2 1/2 cups baking gums + an additional ¼ cup flour
Cream together the butter and sugar well.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until light and fluffy.
Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest.
Sift together the flour and baking powder.
Fold dry ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with the evaporated milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. As a general rule, I add the dry ingredients in 3 portions and the milk in 2 portions.
Fold in the baking gums that have been tossed at the last minute in the ¼ cup flour.
Bake in greased and floured bundt pan or in a spring form pan, tube pan, or two 9x5 inch loaf pans lightly greased and lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 300 degrees F for 1 to 1 3/4 hours depending upon the size of your pan. Small loaf pans may be done just under an hour so test them after 50 minutes. My bundt pan cake took the full hour and 45 minutes in my oven
Baking times vary greatly on this recipe so rely on the toothpick test to ensure that it is properly baked. When a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, its done. Be careful not to go past this stage or the cake will be dry.
Let the cake cool in the pan/s for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.