In this modern-day-take-it-out-of-the-freezer-and shove-it-in-the-microwave world, we often lose sight of what real food tastes like. Not too surprising, when you look at the ingredient lists on most prepared foods. I figure if you can’t even pronounce half the ingredients, you shouldn’t rely on it as a major food source. Many so-called foods have more chemicals than food ingredients. Just think about beef stew or chili simmering slowly through the day, ready to warm the cockles of your heart – not to mention your cold hands – come dinner time. Or home-made breakfast burritos or Cornish pasties, stored in the freezer for those mornings when you can barely find the kitchen, let alone think up a menu.
When you have lots of chickens, you usually have lots of eggs. Sometimes, you have LOTS of eggs. During the spring and summer, when it’s not uncommon to get a dozen eggs a day (and often more), angel food cake used to appear on the tables of many ranch wives. It doesn’t usually appear on my table, because my husband says eating angel food cake is like sitting on a fence post eating fog. However, this cake, which was invented as a companion cake for angel food to help use up the egg yolks, is something he considers acceptable. Certainly not as good as red velvet cake, mind you, but it will do in a pinch. This can be baked in a tube pan, in round pans for a frosted layer cake or in cupcake liners (don’t try to bake it in a muffin pan without the liners, it will stick no matter how well you grease the pan). Great-Grandmother Toothaker was my father’s great-grandmother, so this cake is at least 120 years old. Commercial baking powder became available in the late 1860s, so it may be even older. If angel food cake isn’t an option on your table, either, you can use the egg whites to make meringue cookies or add them to scrambled eggs or omelets.
Great-Grandmother Toothaker’s Gold Cake
12 egg yolks
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
Grease and flour the pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift flour and baking powder. Beat egg yolks until very light yellow, gradually beat in sugar, then add sifted dry ingredients alternately with liquids. Bake at 325 for 60 minutes (tube pan) or 350 for 25 minutes (2 9-inch round pans). Good with poured fondant frosting, buttercream frosting or chocolate fudge frosting.