This year , 2009 , is the bicentennial of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln. Lexington , Kentucky has some rich culinary history ties to Lincoln that I thought worth mentioning . In 1825, a local confectioner Monsieur Mathurin Giron prepared a special vanilla-almond cake to commemorate the visit of the Marquis de Lafayette ( for whom Fayette County was named ) . The cake was a big hit and Mary Todd , who was one of Monsieur Giron's best customers , talked him into sharing the recipe with her . In later years , when Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln were courting in Springfield , Ill she would often make that very cake . The cake became a part of the culinary tradition in the Lincoln household all the way to the White House .
Mary Todd Lincoln's White Cake(adapted from Lincoln's Table by Donna D. McCreary)
1 cup blanched almonds, chopped in a food processor until they resemble a coarse flour1 cup butter2 cups sugar3 cups flour3 teaspoons baking powder1 cup milk6 egg whites1 teaspoon vanilla extractconfectionary sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan.
Cream butter and sugar. Sift flour and baking powder 3 times. Add to creamed butter and sugar, alternating with milk. Stir in almonds and beat well.
Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter. Stir in vanilla extract.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Turn out on a wire rack and cool. When cool, sift confectionary sugar over top