My food website now has a new section: Granny’s and Gladys’ Recipe Book. This new section will consist of the typed-up recipes from the notebook that my paternal grandmother and aunt left me when they passed away. I tasted some of these recipes as a child, and some never at all, but I will try to make them all at some point. There aren’t that many. To start, I’ve typed up this recipe for Apple Sauce Cake a la Lacabe that my sister has been asking me for. I guess I’ll have to make it as well 🙂
Last night, to celebrate Mika’s 7th birthday (which we are celebrating again today, and celebrated before on Wednesday), I made my grandmother’s sponge cake. It has been over 25 years since I’ve had it, but I think what I made was pretty close to the original. The cake, perhaps, wasn’t as light – and the lemon curd was too creamy-looking (I remember my grandmother’s as being more translucent). But it tasted quite close to what my grandmother made, and it was very yummy.
At first I thought the recipe she used came from the Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook that she used, but then I found a recipe typed up into my aunt Gladys’ recipe notebook, so that’s the one I made. Here is the recipe.
August 2011 update
Mika wanted sponge cake for a tea we were hosting yesterday so I revisited this recipe with her. It was fun making it together, though a bit messy giving all the sifting and we used up lots of bowls. This time I didn’t make the lemon curd (even as a child I preferred with with whipped cream as a frosting), but rather served it along side fresh strawberries and blueberries and whipped cream. It was a big success with kids and adults alike. Thanks Granny!
Granny’s Sponge Cake
- 2 cups sifted flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1 cup cold water
- 2 tsp. lemon rind, grated
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350F
Mix sifted flour with the baking powder and the salt. Sift three additional times. Set aside.
Beat together 4 yolks with the cold water and lemon rind until light and frothy. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups sugar and then the flour. Set aside.
In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the sugar and lemon juice and beat until it has stiff peaks.
Fold the egg whites into the flour mixture. Pour into ungreased 8″ baking pans. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool, unmold and frost.
Granny’s Lemon Frosting
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 1/3 cup water
- 4 tsp. butter
- 2 tsp. lemon rind
- 2 cups whipped cream
Combine the sugar, flour, eggs, lemon juice, water and butter in a medium pot. Put pot on top of a double boiler, or directly under a very low heat, and cook stirring constantly until it thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove and cool completely.
Fold in the lemon rind and 1/2 cup of whipped cream. Spread between cake layers. Fold in the remaining 1 1/2 cups whipped cream, and frost top and sides of cake.
Yesterday was my birthday and my mom got me (by proxy) an ice cream cake from Safeway. It was a simple affair, a matter of vanilla ice cream sandwiched by white cake, and it wasn’t the most delicious thing ever, but pretty satisfying. I do think that I like their regular cakes better. They cost about the same, I think.
As I mentioned in my last post, yesterday was Mika’s 6th birthday party and as usual I got her a Safeway cake. I’d been going with Safeway cakes for several years – ever since I got a horrible cake from Just Desserts for her welcoming ceremony. Why pay $60+ dollars for something that in the end doesn’t taste good?
Part of the reason I go with Safeway is that there aren’t many choices for cakes in San Leandro. Costco has cheap cakes, but I dislike the frostings (which you know most likely have hydrogenated oils in them) and they only have basic designs, OK when your kid is very young but a problem by the time they are into cartoon characters. (Yes, I’m one of those parents that gives into commercialism and let’s her kids have character parties – I also buy Bratz for Mika! shoot me).
The chinese bakery
has nicely decorated cakes, with cartoon characters and all, but I find their cakes not to be sweet enough. This is a plus for some people, but I’m just not into them.
There is, of course, Marita’s, whom I like to support as they are locally and minority owned -, but while I like their cakes (in particualr their frostings), they don’t offer decorations. Plus I’m not sure you can get a rectangular cake that is less than a 1/2 or full sheet.
Then there is Baskin Robbins. We’ve gotten cakes from there before, and they are usually pretty good – if extremely expensive. Indeed, we were planning to get Mika one of them – but they didn’t have the Bratz decorations she wanted.
So we went for our tried and true Safeway cake. They didn’t have Bratz decorations but they did have Bratz pets decorations (I didn’t even know they existed!) and that was OK with Mika – who by then realized there weren’t many other choices. Plus the good thing about Safeway is that if you don’t want such a junky cake you can order it with whipped cream and strawberries (or another fruit). I usually get the white cake, which is very light, and the results are very good. For Camila’s birthday I actually got the whipped cream and banana cake, and I may have liked it even more. Best of all, the kids love it and I don’t feel they are eating too much sugar.
The one minus about Safeway cakes is that they aren’t cheap. A small, 1/4 sheet cake is about $21! You can get a half-sheet cake for about $16 at Costco. But hey, I’m willing to pay for whipped cream and fresh strawberries (and nice decorations). You can order the cakes just one day in advance, good for us procrastinators.
One thing to keep in mind is that the cake book that they have outside does not include all the decoration options. I was bummed when we didn’t find the Bratz there, but Mika insisted that we ask if they had Bratz anyway. I thought it was futile, but once again my 6-yo proved to be smarter than her mother. They indeed have other cake books under the counter – and usually they carry a Bratz cake. Unfortunately, there is a backorder on Bratz decorations and that’s why we had to go for the Bratz pets, but the point is that even if you don’t see what you want in the book, you should ask.
Anyway, this is a long posting to say that I like Safeway cake.