January 11, 2009

if you're gonna eat raisins...

...this is the way you should do it.


Dense (in a good way), moist, chock-full of textures and tastes--I think you need this cake in your repertoire.

Funny story: The recipe originated as one that made use of pork fat. A friend of mine had recently obtained a whole pig and thought a pork cake would be a good way to use some of said porker. As one might expect, there are different types of fat on the pig, and apparently my friend picked the wrong one--belly fat. He ended up spending quite a bit of time trying to incorporate the fat into the hot coffee, all the while becoming more and more verklempt.


Needless to say, his next batch was made with butter. And it was splendid. My advice--save your pork belly for other things.

Pork Cake (or, in this instance, Cow Cake)

1/2 cup strong coffee
1/2 pound pork fat (or unsalted butter)
1 pound brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup walnuts or pecans, tossed in flour
1 pound raisins, tossed in flour
4 cups flour

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

Pour the hot coffee over the pork fat and mix until the fat melts. Add brown sugar, baking soda, nuts, raisins, and flour; mix thoroughly. Pour into tube pans or loaf pans and bake for at least an hour, using the toothpick test to ensure doneness.

56 comments:

The Blonde Duck said...

I've never heard of cow cake, but it looks delicious! How do you find this stuff?

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

Grace, I had no idea you were Jewish.

kat said...

I wonder if it has a porky flavor when made with pork fat?

Madison Song said...

blegh! (to the pork fat)
the cake looks awesome!!

Sara said...

This sounds great! I've heard of incorporating lard, duck fat, etc. into savory pastry before, but I can't imagine it would work that well in a sweet application.

toontz said...

Since pork fat is something that is not hanging around in my kitchen, I guess I will have to go with the butter. Yum, yum.

Sophie said...

Wow, what a story. Can't say I've ever thought of using pork fat in a cake, but I imagine it's a great flavor enhancer..pork fat, lard, shortening, same difference; if it works, it works!

Maria said...

Interesting recipe! We love our raisins but I have never had them like this!

Dawn said...

Pork fat rules! You know Emeril would be very proud of you!
I love this...must try this as I love new creative recipes.

Heather said...

i have never heard of using animal fat in cakes. what an intriguing idea. i think i like the butter better though :) this looks delicious!

Lorraine E said...

Oh wow, I was just looking at a similar recipe and wondering if I should do it as it sounded so unusual. Sounds like I definitely should! :P

Rachael said...

I have no problem with the butter...but pork fat??

This recipe looks delicious and I could definitely see myself making it (sans pork fat of course)!!

MaryBeth said...

A cake made from pork fat..that is a bit odd. I really think I like the sound of the cow cake better. I love cows and this cake looks very yummy.

Sharon said...

Anything with a lb of raisins and some animal fat sounds like heaven to me! :)

Bellini Valli said...

Maybe Cow Cake is the best way to go:D

Laura said...

Oh... Wow...

Lori said...

I'll take it either way.. Itlooks so yummy!

OhioMom said...

I love all the ingredients, except for the porky pig :)

Bunny said...

WOW! a pound of brown sugar and raisins! THis should be called sugar pound cake! It does look good!

Ingrid said...

not sure what to say about pork, er cow cake! LOL!
~ingrid

noble pig said...

How very, very bizarre. I love it...I think.

Neha said...

Intresenting recipe, Pic is awesome..

pigpigscorner said...

Pork cake?! This is the first time I heard of using pork fats in sweet stuff. Interesting!

Robin Sue said...

I'll go with the cow cake. I do love butter better than pork fat unless the pork fat tasted like bacon and not just some slimy fat.

Culinarywannabe said...

Wow, I never thought that you would put pork fat into a cake! I mean I guess it makes sense, it just took me off guard. And mixing it with the coffee - whole new world of baking to me!

Albany Jane said...

Hey, I bet a little bacony tasting raisin cake never really hurt anyone... At first I thought this was fudge, though!

Manger La Ville said...

This sounds delicious. I bet the lard provides a different flavor. But I like the taste of butter best of all.

Marjie said...

I've seen recipes similar to this before; I've been meaning to try one now that the holidays are over. After all, don't we need something to look forward to in January?

Katie said...

I don't know about the pork fat but this with butter looks fantastic.

Pam said...

Wow. I've never used pork fat in baking. The cake looks moist and tasty.

LyB said...

"Cow Cake"! Too funny! I much prefer the "butter" version of this cake, it looks perfectly dense and delicious. :)

Peabody said...

Cake with pork fat! Now that is one that Weight Watchers surely would ban! Love it!!!

Lore said...

Ahaaa, the secret of the title was in the fat! Thought it sounded a bit strange but I'm now enlightened. Looks delish and pork fat is the way to go for most savoury scones too, yum!

lisaiscooking said...

I'll opt for butter! Your cake looks so moist, and I'm loving all those raisins.

Peter M said...

Dense is good when it's moist. Conversely, dense is not good when one describes a BF/GF!

PS, Oy-vey!

Bridgett said...

Pork fat, huh? Interesting! Looks delicious and I am up for a different cake than the usual.

Vera said...

The cake looks yummy, Grace! Just the right amount of raisins!

Emily said...

I don't doubt you. This looks splendid. You're indeed a southern girl.

nicisme said...

That really is chock full of goodies for sure!
(I'll take the butter version too!)

Theresa said...

Pork Cake, Cow Cake? Never knew there was such a thing. Looks good to me.

foodhoe said...

the name alone makes me want some...

Ann said...

The name kills me. Love it when desserts contain coffee.

I just do NOT get how you are able to bake so often - you never cease to amaze me, girlio.

The Blonde Duck said...

You've got your comments turned off on the cinnamon contest. Can I enter my Ode to Cinnamon Toast?

KJ said...

Oh my, I cannot imagine eating a cake made with pork fat. Definitely cow cake for me!!

Kevin said...

I like the sound of the butter version better. :) It looks nice and moist and dense and good!

Kristen said...

Pork Belly fat cake... ugh!
Your version sounds quite delicious!

Y said...

Cow cake! You certainly have a way with names :) Have you tried this with pork fat as well? I'm just curious as to how to turns out.

Y said...

Nice to see cinnamon back in the list of ingredients, by the way! ;)

Jacque said...

I gotta go with the butter on this one. I don't see any pork fat in my immediate future (except when I look at my own rear, LOL).

Mmmm, it looks sinfully good! Love those raisins.

Sandy said...

oh my goodness, we ARE a raisin family and that looks to die for, grace! :)

Jaime said...

pork fat? hmmm...never heard of this in a cake before!

Tiffany said...

Great story and name for a delicious cake. It looks and sounds wonderful, Grace.

Deborah said...

I don't think I'd be brave enough to try the pork fat - but I'd definitely have a slice of yours!!

kellypea said...

I do have me some pork fat in the fridge I bought to maybe make tamales, but I haven't. There's no way I can even imagine putting it in cake. Really? Whoa. Okay, I guess it would be like bacon pieces in a corn muffin. With sugar. Nawwwww....but I do love raisins. And cinnamon. And dense cake.

Jeanne said...

Cow cake - you crack me up! I do love the look of that cake with almost as much fruit as batter!

Stef said...

Cute! I'd love to try it with the pork fat if I ever got my hands on some.