Spice Cake! Looks good, doesn’t it?
Add some cream cheese frosting and you might just create one of life’s greatest little joys. But wait there’s more to this spice cake than “meats” the eye. Pork! Yep…Pork!
Or even better…Pork Fat!
I’m working on a couple blog posts using pork ribs and in my research I came across a recipe for Pork Cake. And because it’s pork AND cake I really had little choice but to change direction and do a little baking.
The secret to this recipe is, believe it or not, salt pork. I’ve used salt pork before to add some wonderful flavor to pinto beans, but never in baking. And even though I’ve come up with some pretty crazy ingredient combinations while playing around in the kitchen, I can honestly say that salt pork, as a baking ingredient, has never occurred to me.
Now before you discount the value of Pork Spice Cake in world of baking. The use of salt pork makes a great deal of sense. Most cakes have shortening, butter, oil or some other type of fat. In his case the salt pork is your fat. The first step is rinsing all the salt off. Make sure you rinse it well. Then cut the pork into 1 inch cubes (left picture). The next step is to whip the salt pork (right picture). I used my food processor.
Next is to render (melt) all the fat. Pour the boiling water into the bowl with the whipped fat and stir a couple of times. Make sure all the fat melts. You don’t want chunks of fat in your batter. I took the extra step of putting the fat and water back in the food processor after it had cooled and whipped it a little more. One can never be too careful when dealing with chunks of pork fat.
To answer your next question. Yes, it tasted good and doesn’t take like Pork.
Pork Spice Cake
- 1lb salt pork
- 1 pint boiling water
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 well beaten egg
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 6 cups flour
- 1 pound raisins
Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Prepare two floured loaf pans.
Rinse as much salt off the salt pork as possible. Pat dry with paper towel. Cut salt pork into 1 inch cubes and using a food processor turn the salt pork into a fine puree. Place pureed pork into a large bowl and pour the boiling water over the top. Let pork sit for several minutes, stirring occasionally, while all the fat renders from the boiling water. Don’t shortcut this process. Stir in the sugar, spices, baking soda egg and molasses. Add flour and raisins to pork mixture, stirring until all the ingredients are incorporated. No lumps! Pour into well greased and floured loaf pans. Bake 2 hours (this is not a misprint) or until done. A toothpick or cake tester should come out clean.