Been awhile since I've written in the blog so I thought I'd let you all in on my latest. My eldest son's birthday just past, but instead of baking him a boxed cake I decided to use a scratch recipe using actaul cake flour. I bought the stuff so I might as well use it, right? First of all, I had no luck on the company's website finding recipes or even the product itself which I thought was odd. Google was no help so I went on old, reliable ask.com. and got hit after hit for recipes. While I was looking those over saying -nope, no, nope, I realized that my grandmother's recipe for Happy Day Cake and Seven Minute Icing were probably in her recipe card box. (And it wasn't even Saturday! My usual day to think!) There they were. I mixed up the cake batter and got that going in the oven. They turned out quite well. As I cooled them on my enclosed, unheated back porch I gathered all the ingredients and utensils to make the icing. That included a Revereware double boiler that probably hasn't gotten used for that purpose in 15 years. So the icing is supposed to have everything mixed except the vanilla before it gets put over the boiling water. No problem. I mixed it about a minute and then put it over the boiler and set the timer to 7 minutes. I kept the water boiling steadily and the mixer, too. I'd turn off the mixer and taste it periodically and it was so gritty from the sugar. I kept mixing it thinking it hadn't reached the melting point yet. No such luck. I took it off the heat and let it set and iced the cake.
I wasn't happy. It was my son's cake and every time I tasted the icing it was horribly textured. So what do I do? I scrape all the icing back off the cake and put it back in the double boiler. I don't know if you know it or not, but that stuff shrinks! I don't know why, but it does. By the time I gave up on it it was about 1/4 the size I started with. So I cooled it off slightly and into the garbage it went. I got everything back out again and washed everything up so I could try it again. First I caught myself seperating the 2 eggs into the wrong bowl. I needed the whites, not the yolks. Those went into meatballs the next day with the other 2 from the first batch. I washed out the bowl and dumped the whites in there and added everythig else. As soon as I dumped the 1/3 cup of water in the mix that little light bulb over "Allry, my brain cell" lit up. I must have left it out the first time somehow! So I continued with the mixing and cooling and it was wonderful. I wasn't going to let a little icing get the better of me!
So when we had the cake later on I told my son that was the same recipe that his great grandma used to make. He said it was "peculiar." I looked up and said, "Ya hear that, grandma? He said your cake is peculiar." That's okay, he still ate it and his brother finally came over and he liked it. I had enough icing left over that I just blurped about a dozen plops on waxed paper like divinity and I've been munching those one in awhile. I remember years and years ago having about the same thing happen with the icing, but I don't remember details other than it was gritty, too, so I'm so proud of myself that I conquered the icing finally.
Next stop will be grandma's made from scratch German Chocolate Cake. She put the Seven Minute Icing on that, too. :)