Fiction-Food Café

January 21, 2018

Sugar-Topped Cake | The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe

(Recipe originally published December 2014 for Fiction Kitchen Podcast Episode 3.)

"There was a nice brown egg, lightly boiled, for each of them, and then sardines on toast, and then buttered toast, and then toast with honey, and then a sugar-topped cake. And when Lucy was tired of eating, the Faun began to talk. He had wonderful tales to tell of life in the forest." 
The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

     This recipe was created in large part with consideration to WWII rationing in England, going with the theme that Narnia was, in a way, a reflection of the "real world" and the trials there. Mr. Tumnus specifically says "sugar-topped" cake, which the children would have been familiar with in WWII Europe because sugar was scarce and instead of using a large amount in the cake batter, a little would have been sprinkled on top (molasses was used as a sweetener and moist-maker in the batter). There were always exceptions, of course, but this recipe was put together with my understanding of how things were at certain times and places during the war. The cake is dense and good sliced, toasted (which Mr. Tumnus loves), and spread with butter (a decadence) and had with tea. Well, and a bunch of other toasts, and some eggs. ;)

Mr. Tumnus' Sugar-Topped Cake

1/2 Cup Molasses
1/4 Cup Oil or Applesauce
1 Cup Water OR Orange Juice OR Apple juice (OR split 1/2C water, 1/2C juice)
2 Cups Flour
4 tsp. Baking Powder
2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
Pinch of Salt
1 Cup Raisins (OR split 1/2C raisins, 1/2C craisins–dried cranberries)
1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
Granulated Sugar

Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Grease & flour your cake pan (9" round, or I used 3 mini springform pans from Wilton). In a large bowl, whisk together the molasses, oil, & water or juice.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices, & salt. Stir the flour mixture into the molasses mixture & then fold in the raisins (or raisins & craisins) & walnuts.

Scoop the batter into the pan & spread evenly. Bake for about 50 minutes, sprinkling the tops with granulated sugar about halfway through.

Remove the pan from the oven & remove the cake from the pan to cool for a few minutes on a wire rack. If you'd like to sift on some powdered sugar for a more snow effect, go right ahead. Serve warm with tea, preferably next to a roaring fire, but mind the pan-pipes!

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 3: THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE

*For more Narnia recipes try my Dwarven Scotch Eggs  & White Witch's Creamy Drink & Turkish Delight!*

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