Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A cookbook full of memories

Here is a cookbook that can take you back. At least that's what it does for me. Many of the dishes I remember fondly as a child came either from a grandmother, or the back of a box or package. Some time ago, I ran across this book and found that thumbing through the pages is definitely like watching an episode of the Andy Griffith Show.

Now that summer is upon us, I wanted to share my favorite recipe from Best Recipes From the Backs of Boxes, Bottles, Cans and Jars, by Cecil Dyer. This recipe was originally given to me by my mother-in-law from the back of a Swans Down flour box and I bake it often when eggs are reasonably priced, as they are now.

This cake always gets rave reviews because it is moister, and tastier than the grocery store variety. It's great with strawberries and whipped cream, plus there is no fat in this cake and that makes it a great choice for summer. I do want to caution you about one thing. DO NOT make this cake during a rain storm. The moisture in the air can cause it to fall or become spongy. Otherwise, it is surprisingly easy to make.

Swans Down Angel Food Cake

1 cups sifted Swans Down cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1 1/2 cups (about 12) egg whites (at room temperature)
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

Sift flour with 1/2 cup sugar four times.

Combine egg whites, salt, cream of tartar and flavorings in large bowl. Beat on high speed of electric mixer until soft peaks begin to form.

Add 1 1/3 cups sugar, 1/3 cup at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. With mixer on lowest setting, add flour mixture in four additions.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and invert pan until cake is cold. Loosen cake from pan by running a knife around the edges and center. Turn out of pan onto a serving plate.

There are so many ways to serve this cake. One of my favorites is with a Banana Praline Pudding sauce topping.


  1. This sounds like a great cookbook! Is the banana sauce recipe in there too?

  2. The banana sauce recipe is one of my own concoctions and I plan to put it online tomorrow.