Cooking with Kitch Coquette – Sponge Cake
How I Learned to be a Fluffy Goddess and Other Lessons from the Kitchen
by Kitch Coquette
While writing this food article for Pin Curl Magazine (my first), this Texas girl is feelin’ pretty fancy. I’ve been a serious cook for about five years and a serious eater for about 33. So, I’m officially declaring myself a culinary expert. But, before you try any of my recipes, I have two culinary ground rules. If you don’t agree with these ground rules, the results will be disastrous. I’m talking end-of-the world stuff here. Consider yourself duly warned.
First, NEVER trust a skinny cook in the kitchen. Sure they can be trusted to rock the stage, run a marathon, or manage to follow an all-flax seed diet, but ultimately, it is curves and curves alone that rule in the kitchen. Although I may struggle with my fluffiness in other contexts — in my cozy kitchen, rockin’ my frilly red apron, high heels, and pigtails, I feel (neh…I know) that I am a sex goddess. And if you can manage to stay skinny while living in my home, then I need to step up my game.
Second, if you are reading this magazine, you are probably one intelligent, creative, badass chick (or guy). We know our demographic. So readers, I’m speaking to you: You are too creative and too interesting to do housework. Other people are meant to do that for us. We are meant to create. So rule number two is “cooking good, clean-up bad.”
I have been known to utterly destroy my kitchen while making a cassoulet, and I have also stumbled into my dining room a few times covered head to toe in butter and flour to serve my pain au chocolat. For me, cooking is a full-contact sport. The trick is finding a good man (or woman) to clean up after your creative process, preferably one who is willing to clean dishes with a joyful attitude. Resentment is so unbecoming.
So I have about a million recipes that I want to share with y’all, but I had to pick just one for this article. I decided on a Hot Milk Sponge Cake recipe that has been passed down in my family for generations. This recipe originated in North Carolina in the late 1800s. The cake’s substantial crumb and sweet, sugary “crust” make it perfect for being served under berries, peaches, ice cream, and whipped cream. The best part of this cake, however, is the flavor, which consists of sweet vanilla, egg, and scalded milk. Trust me, the scalded milk taste will actually rock your taste buds!
What you need:
2 cups of sugar
2 ½ cups sifted flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 stick of butter
1 cup milk
Your favorite fresh berries or peaches
Vanilla Ice Cream
Whipped Cream (preferably homemade)
What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour one 13x9x3 inch baking pan. Set aside.
2. In a mixer, mix eggs and sugar until they are light yellow in color and fluffy (about 5 minutes on medium high speed). The consistency should look like slightly-runny homemade whipped cream.
4. Put butter and milk in a sauce pan and cook on high heat until the butter melts and liquid comes to a rapid boil. Stir the liquid to make sure the milk doesn’t burn on the bottom. We want a scalded milk taste, not a burned milk taste. Once it boils for about 30 seconds, take off the heat.
5. Add a small portion of the flour mixture to the egg and sugar mixture in the mixer. Mix on medium-slow until fully incorporated. Then, making sure that the mixer is turned off to avoid splashing milk, add a small portion of the milk mixture to the mixer. Mix until incorporated. Alternate adding the flour and the milk to the mixer, but make sure the last thing you add is the flour.
6. Once all the ingredients are fully incorporated, pour finished batter into greased baking pan and stick in the oven. If you are like me, and you want to “lick-the-batter,” have at it. Just remember—LICK AT YOUR OWN RISK— because the eggs are not cooked yet.
7. Cook for 1 hour. By the end, the top will look dark, golden brown (but not burned). This dark “crust” is the yummiest part of the cake.
8. Have your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend clean up the kitchen while the cake bakes. While this is being done, I suggest that you pour yourself a glass of red wine, lounge on your couch, and read Pin Curl.
9. After removing from the oven, let cool for about 30 minutes. Cut a square piece of cake, split it down the middle (removing the top from the bottom). If the cake is no longer warm, toast both sides in a toaster oven/oven until warm. Lay both halves in the bottom of a bowl and top with fresh berries or peaches, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream. Or, toast it plain for breakfast the next morning to have with your coffee on the way to work.
Kitch Coquette has recently abandoned her passions for wrestling bayou alligators and designing stylish window treatments for her time machine. She now exclusively focuses her efforts on creating amazing, life-altering food.