Little Red Hen Cake
Posted by tinako on September 19, 2009
I grew up loving the Better Homes and Gardens Storybook edited by Betty O’connor, 1950. I particularly loved the first story, “The Little Red Hen,” retold by Helen Dean Fish and cleverly illustrated by Katherine R. Bernard. I always wanted to make that cake but never did. This book was my Mom’s, and I bet she always wanted to make it, too. I wish I could ask her.
So when my daughter pointed to it and asked if we could make it sometime, I knew that we would indeed. So for her birthday we made Little Red Hen Cake. Since it was only going to be the four of us, I didn’t want to make three 9″ layers, so I sent my husband off to buy a third 8″ cake pan. He came back with a wonderful heavy-duty aluminum one from the local kitchen store. I doubt it was any more expensive than a crummy supermarket one, but this will last forever. I love that it is not non-stick. There is really no reason for cake pans to be non-stick, and it just gives them something to scratch and wear out.
I made a double recipe of Vanilla Cake and split it among the three 8″ pans. We did use sprinkles, which I’m sure the Little Red Hen would have done if she had had them. My daughter loved spreading the Vanilla Frosting “all over, very carefully.” Instead of marachino cherries, we put some red food coloring in with a bit of frosting and plopped that on top.
Unfortunately, I overcooked the cakes a bit. I tested them at 20 minutes, 5 minutes early due to their small size, and they toothpick came out clean but they were sort of pale on top. What was I thinking to put them back for 5 minutes?? Who cares what the top looks like?? So they were a little tough. Live and learn.
Lunch was a burrito with shitake mushrooms and zucchini sauted in olive oil and cajun spices, and fresh tomato and avocado; also a peach and some veggie juice.
For dinner my daughter requested Macaroni Grill. I wasn’t feeling well so we got takeout. This is my favorite restaurant. I just love the atmosphere, the enormous tumblers of wine, the focaccia, and the Make Your Own Pasta. I know it’s just pasta and sauce, but it is nice to have a style that I couldn’t make at home because others in my family wouldn’t like it. I get the whole wheat penne with arrabiata sauce (spicy! I love that arrabiata means “enraged”), broccoli, artichokes, and pine nuts. I got a salad with it, no cheese please.
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