July 9, 2009
By Ginger Isham
With the season of strawberries being extended because of Mother Nature’s weather, here is a simple sponge cake from a long-time family friend found in an old cookbook.
Loaf Sponge Cake
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon lemon extract (or 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
Cream sugar, eggs and lemon extract. Place butter in milk and heat just until butter melts. Pour into creamed mix and stir in dry ingredients and beat well. Pour into 2 8-inch oiled and floured loaf pans. Bake at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes. Cool for 5 to 8 minutes and turn out of pan. Serve slices with vanilla ice cream and slightly sweetened strawberries on top.
Peanut Butter Cake
This is another favorite from a country cookbook from long ago — it’s great for picnics.
1 2/3 cups sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups milk, divided
3 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups cake flour (if cake flour is unavailable, remove 2 tablespoons from each cup of all purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
In a pan, whisk 1 egg and stir in 2/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup milk and the chocolate. Cook and stir over medium heat until chocolate is melted and mix comes to a boil. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. In a bowl, cream remaining sugar and shortening, adding other 2 eggs one at a time along with vanilla. Beat well. Combine dry ingredients and add alternately with rest of milk and beat well. Add chocolate mixture. Beat well. Pour batter into 3 8- or 9-inch round baking pans that have been oiled and floured. Bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes on rack before turning out cake layers.
Frosting for Peanut Butter Cake
In a bowl, beat 16 ounces of soft cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually add 14 ounces of condensed sweetened milk and 1 1/2 cups peanut butter and beat well. Spread between cake layers and top and sides of cake.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts around outer edge and top of cake. Place squares of dark or milk chocolate around bottom of cake.
Ginger Isham was the co-owner of Maple Grove Farm Bed & Breakfast in Williston, a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road where she still lives.