I love Grocery Outlet, you never know what you’ll find there. Today I found, of all things, Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cakes. I had never heard of it until a few weeks ago when I started researching my upcoming Cayman menu. Apparently, these cakes are a very famous Cayman product, known throughout the Caribbean. I was planning on making a rum cake myself (from this recipe), but I’m thrilled at finding the real thing. And at Grocery Outlet, no less!
Of course, the price is also unbeatable – $1.50 for the 4oz cake. Not cheap in the abstract, but Amazon sells the 16-Ounce cake for over $13, twice the per-ounce price. The cake gets great reviews at Amazon and other places. I’m not sure if I’ll save it for when I serve my Cayman menu or whether I should just eat it and buy more if I like it.
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.