The Scarlet Letter
To this end, I have spent many hours experimenting with the infamously vague cake recipe. The first task was to find a grain that would hold together and still taste good. Wheat flour contains a lot of gluten, making it wonderful for bread, but makes the cakes too chewy. Corn is too crunchy, and, being a new world grain, seemed to me to be inappropriate. Rice had possibilities, but the resulting cake was rather like a hard chip.
The best cakes I've made were made with what is termed "old world" grains. Teff is the world's smallest grain and comes from Ethiopia. It is high in calcium, makes a dark, crunchy cake, and was the second favorite by my team of cake testers.
The cakes that received the most rave reviews from both my testers and communicants were those made with Kamut flour, which originates from the Tigress/Euphrates valley in modern-day Iraq. It is available in bulk at Sun Harvest, and prepackaged at Whole Foods.
Mix all ingredients except the conditioners in a medium bowl until crumbly. Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Remove about a quarter of the dough, rolling out the remainder to 1/8" thickness. These will be your type "C" cakes1.
Using the leftover dough, add the "conditioner," then roll out as before, making sure to keep the two separate.
Cut into cake shapes using a bottle lid or lipstick tube. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Mark the type "A" cakes with a cross so they can be distinguished from the type "C".
Bake at 300°F for two minutes. DO NOT LEAVE THE KITCHEN while baking, they cook fast and if overcooked, will be tough and taste burned! The dough can be mixed in advance and frozen for later use.
Yield: 93 type "C" cakes, and 31 type "A" cakes.
**Also per Frater Sharash, remember, dough conditioners are NOT available at the corner store...methods for collecting this delectable addition have been the subject of conversation at many a camp gathering, but that's another article!
Many thanks to my lovers, S.Oroboros and Omega, and my children for being the guinea pigs for all my baking efforts, Soror Lillith for her documentation assistance, and Frater Kestrel for nibbling on neck while cooking up the latest batch!