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Let them eat cake and more cake!

You may or may not have heard of the Epiphany Cake that is traditionally served right after Christmas, It has three items baked in it – a thimble signifying that the finder will have an industrious year; a dime, signifying wealth to the finder; and a ring. The one who finds the ring is named Epiphany Queen or King and must bake the Epiphany cake for the next year.
From down South and New Orleans comes another festive cake, the Mardi Gras King Cake which is a traditional dessert of the carnival season. The King cake is a braided cinnamon bread, sprinkled with purple (justice), green (faith) and gold (power) colored sugars. Usually a plastic miniature baby is baked in the cake and the finder is to bake the next year’s King Cake.
Here is the recipe from the Jan 20, 1999, Mobridge Tribune.

King Cake
4 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 ½ tsps salt
2 pkgs Fleischmann’s Rapidrise yeast
¾ cups milk
½ cup water
½ cup butter of margarine
2 large eggs
¼ cup melted butter or margarine
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
In large bowl, combine 1 ½ cups flour, ¼ cup sugar, salt and undissolved yeast. Heat milk, water and butter until very warm (120 to 130 degrees).Add to dry ingredients and beat for 2 minutes. Annd eggs and 1/2 cup flour and beat. Stir in remaining flour to make a stiff batter. Cover batter tightly with plastic wrap: refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.
Add baby figurine during following process.
Punch dough down. Remove dough to lightly floured surface. Divide into 3 equal pieces. Roll each to 28×4 inch rectangle. Brush melted butter over each rectangle. Sprinkle evenly with remaining ¾ cup sugar and ground cinnamon. Beginning at long end, roll each tightly as for jellyroll, pinch seams to seal to form ropes. Braid ropes, form braid into oval. Pinch ends together to seal. Place on greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise in warm draft free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Remove from baking sheet; let cool on wire rack. Brush with Powdered Sugar Glaze; sprinkle with colored sugars.
Powdered sugar glaze
In medium bowl, combine 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted, and 2 to 3 Tbsps milk. Stir until smooth.
Colored sugars
Combine ½ cup sugar and 8 drops of green food coloring in a covered jar or resealable plastic bag. Shake vigorously to evenly mix color with sugar. Repeat procedure with yellow food coloring. For purple mix 8 drops blue and 16 drops red food coloring.

The 1-2-3-4 pound cake is a recipe I have used for years, Even my husband has made it.
It would make a good Epiphany Cake.

1-2-3-4 Pound Cake
1 cup butter softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 cups cake flour
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 cup milk
2 teas. Vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Grease or use baking spray with flour in your cake pans (two 9 inch rounds or one 9 x 13)
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating after each addition. Mix together dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk mixed with vanilla.
Bake for 28 to 30 minutes or until done depending on pans.

If you like chocolate instead, try this chocolate cake of Amy Thue’s from the April 9, 2008, Mobridge Tribune.

Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
½ cup cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Mix above ingredients together. Make a dip in the center and add the following ingredients:
1 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
Add to dry ingredients and beat until well mixed.
Add 1 cup boiling water and mix again
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes
Frosting
1 cup sugar
¼ cup margarine
¼ cup milk
Mix in pan on stove. Boil 1 minute. Remove from stove; add ½ cup chocolate chips and 1 tsp vanilla. Beat until smooth and thick. Pour on cake and spread. Let sit until frosting is set.

For brunch or just a get together with friends for coffee or a game of cards, DeLila Bezenek’s coffee cake is a great addition.

Coffee Cake
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
4 Tbsps melted shortening
Mix above ingredients together, then add:
2 cups flour
4 tsps. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Pour into greased 9×13 pan. Top with:
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsps. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
Combine and sprinkle over batter. Top with about 1 stick of sliced margarine.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm.
Note: This was my children’s favorite after school treat.

When Cordelia Borth was a girl her mother would always shoo her out of the kitchen when she was cooking, telling Cordelia to “go practice your piano lessons.”
She learned to cook after she was married and learned to be a good cook. She shared a cake recipe with us in 2005.

Summer Upside-Down Cake
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
6 fresh ripe apricots (3/4 lb.) cut in half and pitted
1/4 lb. fresh cherries, cut in half and pitted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsps. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sour cream
Heat oven to 350°. In a 2-qt. saucepan, melt 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter and brown sugar over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Pour into a 9×2-in. round cake pan. Tilt the pan to spread the brown sugar mixture evenly. Arrange 3 apricot halves in the center of the pan, cut side up. Arrange the remaining apricot halves around the others. Fill the spaces between the apricots with the cherry halves. Set aside.
Melt remaining 1/2 cup butter (1 stick). In a medium bowl, combine butter, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla. With a mixer, beat at high speed until smooth – about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add the flour, baking powder and salt, mixing just until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for about 15 seconds. Add sour cream and mix until combined. Pour batter over top of fruit in cake pan. Smooth gently.
Bake cake until lightly brown and the center of the cake is clean when a cake tester is inserted – about 1 hour. Cool on wire rack exactly 5 minutes. Place a cake stand or serving plate onto the cake pan and turn the cake upside down onto the cake stand. Carefully lift the cake pan stright up and away. Let cool 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 8 servings.