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Ebinger's Blackout Cake Recipe in Cooks Country Magazine

Not new news. This is the recipe I was talking about, above, 5 years ago. The Cooks Country recipe bears no resemblance to the NPR and NYT pieces--both of which are from Molly O'Neill, with whom I spoke some 20+ years ago. She was able to do adequate research (probably in preparation for her forthcoming book), and it was she who told me about how the Ebinger descendants wouldn't publish the recipes, SO, NO ONE HAS IT AND NO ONE KNOWS IT. I repeat, to what end? For my memory, Ms. O'Neil's recipe is as close to the original as one will get.

May 07, 2014
Duspin in Home Cooking

Sorry - For Cafones Only [Il Mulino, Roslyn]

Not a new practice. I live in Boston and NONE of the North End Italian restaurants do it, and most other fine dining establishments will have it if you ask for it, while some will offer it based on what you're wearing. The point of mentioning this above is based on the price to service ratio where one feels that value for price paid is relatively low, but more particularly the dichotomy between the white-tie attired waiters who don't know jack about wine service where moderate bottles are upwards of $110. Picky? Haughty? Hardly. Just give me value for the price I'm paying. Is that too much to ask?

Sorry - For Cafones Only [Il Mulino, Roslyn]

I agree as well. Give me a Jean-Georges restaurant any day. How sad. And I agree with wincountrygirl about Felidia. That's where I wanted to celebrate Mom's 95th, but the logistics of getting everyone from Nassau to Manhattan at rush hour proved prohibitive. When I lived on LI I never worked, shopped or ate there for similar reasons.

I did like Rialto in Westbury, but they changed hands and I wanted a safe haven. I picked wrong.

Sorry - For Cafones Only [Il Mulino, Roslyn]

Cafone to me means unsophisticated and hillbilly-like. That's how I meant it. Suffice to say, if you think this is dining in the superlative on Long Island you're a cafone.

Sorry - For Cafones Only [Il Mulino, Roslyn]

Premise: Celebrating a rare milestone in relative's life. 10 People for dinner--each very fortunate enough to have knowledge of and experience with good food.

BOTTOM LINE: Ridiculously expensive for bland surroundings, unintelligent service and "OK" food.

Surroundings: Cane chairs, really? My butt ached after 2 hours. The general decor was ho-hum and blah. No offer of black napkins for persons wearing dark clothing. Wine decanter (wine discussed below) laden with fingerprints. Service was attentive, but...

...Unintelligent: Asked for bottle of Barolo to be decanted and white wine served with apps/amuse bouche. What does he do? Immediately asks a guest if she'd like "red or white." Concept of wine breathing is lost on this guy. Who trained this fool? Asked a week in advance for menus without prices on them so guests wouldn't be put off by the gouging. No tengo. Never hear of it, don't have it, so now what.

"OK" food: Amuse bouche is a nice touch, when done well; this wasn't. generous chunks of what they called Parmigianno Reggiano was too cold when served. When the kitchen serves some kind of sauteed zucchini swimming in oil in this course, what does that portend for the rest of the meal? Hideously salty mussels appetizer! But everything else was good--not great, but good.

Sorry folks, I've read all the reviews on Zagat's and Open Table and if you think this is the best Long Island has to offer, you're sadly mistaken and my title says it all.

$1300 for 10 people, 3 bottles of wine, an audacious plate charge for cake, with tip.

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Il Mulino - Long Island
1042 Northern Blvd, Roslyn, NY 11576

Ebinger's Blackout Cake Recipe in Cooks Country Magazine

Back in the early '90's (1992 or '93) one of the NY newspapers published the Ebinger's recipe for the Blackout Cake. The 3 components are cake, filling and frosting. I made the recipe and thought 2 of the processes for these components (cake & filling) were rather bizarre. While my first attempt was sort of successful, I had questions about the results I was getting. I got in touch with the author of the article and she told me that the results I was getting were right on target. At the time I was a new pastry chef (2d career) in a New England city having transplanted myself from NY. I am of suitable age and origin and I can tell you I'm not old enough yet to have memory failure. I made the cake again and again (including the single marischino cherry on top, thank you) and was able to perfect it for service in the restaurant at which I worked (owned by a Brooklyn transplant). Each time I trotted this cake out on my dessert menu it was a hit. Nevertheless, in a nod to authenticity, I believe the recipe I have is as authentic as you can get. In researching this reply, I came across Molly O'Neill's recipe from her "New York Cookbook" (1992). To my suprise I compared the recipe I have with her's and it's identical, leading me to believe that it may have been her I spoke with way back when. The bottom line is, the net result of O'Neill's recipe matches my memory of what this cake tasted and looked like. The Cook's Country recipe frosts a cake with pudding. While that process is not unheard of, I don't remember the Ebinger's Black Out cake being that way, texturally. By secreting the Ebingers' recipes, the heirs to this legendary baking company may be thinking they're protecting their legacy for future generations; but if there's no one left with a frame of reference to appreciate it, what is the point? Just like the famous bakery products, there's a shelf-life to the recipes that is generational. The heirs should get a clue and publish this for all to enjoy while there's still some of us alive who would appreciate a book. Time is running out.

Apr 01, 2009
Duspin in Home Cooking