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Canter Taters

October 04, 2000|ROSE DOSTI

DEAR SOS: I am a big fan of the potato salad at Canter's Fairfax in Los Angeles. I've tried several times to duplicate it with no success. Would Canter's share the recipe?


Los Angeles

DEAR LENETTE: "The recipe is made in large quantities fresh every day," said Jacqueline Canter of Canter's Fairfax, "so we don't know if it will taste the same when made at home." We made this version in our Test Kitchen and enjoyed it. I hope you do too.

Canter's Potato Salad

Active Work Time: 20 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 45 minutes plus 1 hour chilling

10 baking potatoes

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3 small carrots, peeled and grated

* Steam potatoes 20 to 25 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel and dice into 1/2-inch pieces. Cool.

* Combine mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt and carrots. Mix well and fold into potatoes until well incorporated. Chill 1 hour.

10 servings. Each serving: 191 calories; 415 mg sodium; 6 mg cholesterol; 8 grams fat; 29 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams protein; 0.64 gram fiber.

Punching Up the Crunch

DEAR SOS: The recipe you printed for the famous Blum's Coffee Crunch Cake comes close, but it is not the full recipe. First of all, Blum's made its own cake. I am enclosing a recipe that I tried and seems close to the Blum's cake. The cake was cut into four layers, so you got much more crunch per piece. Here are the cake and crunch recipes from my yellowed card files from the '50s.


Rancho Palos Verdes

DEAR JOAN: Here is the history of the recipe we printed: Many years ago, when we requested the recipe from Blum's, we were sent the crunch frosting portion only. Blum's recommended using a store-bought cake because the Blum's recipe would be difficult to cut down to home-baking size.

But for those who want to make their own cake, the recipe from your card files would be a good choice. Thanks for sharing.

Coffee Fiesta Crunch Cake

Active Work Time: 45 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 45 minutes plus 1 hour cooling

1 1/4 cups cake flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

7 eggs, separated

1/4 cup cold water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cram of tartar

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar

* Sift together flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Add egg yolks, water, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth and thick, 2 minutes.

* In a large bowl, beat egg whites, remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, cream of tartar and salt until mixture has formed peaks that roll over at the tops when beaters are lifted. Gradually add remaining 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, until meringue is firm and forms stiff peaks. Gently pour flour-egg mixture over meringue, and fold in with slotted spoon or rubber spatula. Gently scoop batter into ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife 5 or 6 times to remove air bubbles.

* Bake at 350 degrees until cake springs back when touched, 40 to 45 minutes. Invert and cool.

* Remove from pan and cut into 4 layers. Spread Coffee Crunch Icing generously between layers and over top and sides of cake. Store cake in refrigerator until ready to serve.


1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup strong brewed coffee

1/4 cup corn syrup

3 teaspoons baking soda

2 cups whipping cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

* Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, coffee and syrup in saucepan and bring to boil over low heat. Cook until syrup registers 300 degrees on candy thermometer or reaches the hard-crack stage. Remove from heat and immediately add baking soda. Stir until mixture thickens and pulls away from sides of pan. (Mixture forms rapidly when soda is added.) Pour into greased shallow pan. Do not spread or stir. Let stand without moving until cool, 1 hour. When ready to garnish cake, knock candy out of pan and crush between 2 sheets of wax paper.

* Whip cream until foamy, gradually adding reserved sugar and vanilla. Beat on high speed until stiff, 3 to 4 minutes.

* Fold crushed crunch candy into whipped topping. Spread generously between layers and over the top and sides of the cake. Store cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

12 servings. Each serving: 444 calories; 266 mg sodium; 179 mg cholesterol; 18 grams fat; 67 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams protein; 0.02 gram fiber.

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