My First Ada Boni Fail

Last week, I began my Ada Boni challenge with her Eritrea Tart. Overall, it seemed like a simple cake; however, this first recipe opened me up to the challenges of baking from cookbooks published in the 50s. My Eritrea Tart tastes and looks okay, but I did mess up and it will probably be much better the next time I make it and fix my mistake.

The Recipe

Eritrea Tart

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds shelled almonds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 5 squares cooking chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, creamed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon potato flour
  • 6 egg whites, beaten stiff

Directions

Toast almonds, chop very fine and grind to powder. Add sugar and mix well. Add 1 egg and 4 egg yolks and blend into smooth paste. Melt chocolate over very low flame and add to creamed butter, mixing very well until thoroughly blended. Add to almond mixture. Add vanilla, potato flour and stiff egg whites and blend gently but thoroughly. Pour into a greased and floured fairly deep 12-inch cake pan. Bake in moderate oven (375oF.) 1 hour. Serves 12.

What went wrong

In 2020, as at home bakers we have a much wider range of mass produced ingredients to choose from than bakers in the 1950s. This distinction had me leave out possibly four and a half cups of almond flour from my tart (oof, I know). When reading the directions, I didn’t think I had the proper tools to turn almonds into “powder”. Instead of making my own flour, I chose to buy already processed almond flour. I decided to try and calculate how many cups I would need rather than weighing out 1 1/2 pounds because I don’t have a small scale. I put 3 cups of almond flour in my Eritrea tart which was about half of what I should have added. If you are a baker who weighs their ingredients, I would deeply appreciate any advice you can give on a scale (that is reasonably priced for a broke college graduate).

After the almond flour fiasco, potato flour was my next conundrum. One of the first things I noticed when looking over the Eritrea Tart recipe was the lack of salt, baking soda, and baking powder. So what was the rising agent in the recipe?

The potato flour aka corn starch helps the cake rise.

Thankfully the research on these two ingredients was straightforward. Potato flour, also referred to as potato starch is largely interchangeable with corn starch. In certain cases potato starch and corn starch should not replace potato flour because the flour contains more flavor from its extra proteins, and fibers compared to the bland starches. I had to replace the potato flour with corn starch because I was not able to find the flour in the store. They are not the exact same flavor; however, the reactions they cause in baking are the same for equal amounts. In the recipe, Boni calls for 1 teaspoon of potato flour so I added 1 teaspoon of corn starch.

Lesson learned from Eritrea Tart: Suck it up and start weighing ingredients

What’s Next?

Overall, the Eritrea Tart tasted good and I am excited to try it again in the future to see what it is actually supposed to look and taste like!

My next Ada Boni recipe is “Bocca Di Dama” or “Lady’s Mouth” in English. This is another type of cake; however, it includes some new twists like using a double boiler and candying orange peels…wish me luck!

I will be recording the baking process on my Instagram (@discover_with_deanna) at the end of this week. Give me a follow on WordPress (@discoverwithdeanna) or on Instagram to stay up to date with my Ada Boni baking series!

PSA: I know I said I would be comparing photos of my finished products to the most common on the internet; however, I could not find an Eritrea Tart. If anyone has made this recipe or one that is similar, I would love to hear your thoughts on my final product and your experience. Comment below!

I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend.

D

4 thoughts on “My First Ada Boni Fail

  1. This sounds like a lot of fun! I’ve never heard of an Eritrea Tart, but it looks good. I regularly use a scale to bake and have the Accuweight Kitchen Scale that hasn’t failed me yet in almost 2 years. I believe it’s under $20, and definitely worth every cent if you plan on doing a lot of weighing in the kitchen. Using a double boiler is super easy as long as you use the right size pot and bowl (the pot should be smaller), don’t add more than an inch or two of water to the pot, and keep the heat low once it starts to boil. Good luck and I look forward to reading about your next bake!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the advice, Kat! I’m hoping with this blog, I will be doing lots of baking and now weighing :). Lol, I’ve baked for the majority of my life and never used a scale, so I’m going to feel like a real professional. Thank you for the advice on the double boiler, I will definitely keep that in mind. The book I’m using has very vague instructions. Thank you thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So happy to help! I love baking and love encouraging bakers. There’s so much to learn and share. I’ve baked for most of my life, too, but only started using a scale not quite 2 years ago. It now seems easier to use one than measuring cups these days. Good luck!

        Like

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