Have you ever had anyone in your family say “she/he made the best _____, if only I had the recipe” and then extolled the virtues of said food goodness? I’m sure you have. Everyone has someone that makes the best something or other… So In my family there are a few such as Frito Pie, Cheesecake, fudge, tamales… recipes that we could come close to, but never quite do right. But there is one that always eluded the fam. Sister’s cake.
Sister passed on when my mother was a kid, but she helped raise my mother, and she was a very large part of the family, though no one is exactly sure how or why… one of those old southern adoption mythologies. So for years I’ve heard about Sister’s cake, and had no idea what was in it… or even what it was. This week it got brought up again, and a recipe was found.
Yeah, you know these too. The ones that list all the ingredients but don't actually say how much of each. Yeah. That's the one. And it turns out that Sister’s cake was really only a red devils food cake (red velvet cake), with a bit of a twist, but it was the FROSTING that was so important, and that it apparently has to be a 3 layer cake. Here is the list for the frosting:
2 c milk
2 c sug
heat milk till hard, beat for a long time.
Um. yeah that doesn't help. So I did some digging, turns out that the popular frosting in her time, in that area was a roux frosting. Ok, I have never in my whole life heard of using a roux in frosting… but I looked in the old Joy and found a written note. The complete roux frosting, or Ermine frosting! But oh my god is it good! So here is the penultimate frosting.
2 cups milk
6 tbl flour
2 cups sugar
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Wisk together flour and milk until well blended (you might want to strain it to get out any lumps), and heat on med until thick, whisking constantly. add salt and remove from heat, let cool to room temp.
Beat together sugar and butter until light and fluffy, add vanilla.
Beat in milk one tablespoon at a time. viola!
Side note, you want a nice thick roux, it should be almost golden, but not quite. Secondly, make sure it is unsalted butter, and that it is real butter, not margarine or butter substitute because it needs to be something that firms up at least a little bit at room temp,(I would think butter flavored Crisco would work, but I haven’t got the courage to try it) it is much more important then you would think… and yes, I did mean 2 cups of it. This is super runny and frothy when its done, but hardens up a bit once you let it sit, if you want an added “crunch” factor, sprinkle a very light dusting of granulated sugar over the top.
So here is the cake in all its glory:
I love that it looks like something right out of the 50’s or 60’s. Hooray for Retro cake goodness!
One extra thing, I did finish the awesome skully scarf, and it should arrive in Ohio tomorrow… I can’t wait any longer to share it, and fortunately for me Michael probably wont check here before he gets his mail tomorrow…. so here is a little sneak peek at the skully scarf
and here is me looking like a dork wearing it