Thursday, January 21, 2016

It's a Tea Party!

by Linda

One nice thing about grand daughters that are growing up way too quickly is that they love to have "real" tea parties. With "real" tea and "real" cake.

I am more than happy to oblige!

I do enjoy tea. Hot or iced, mostly iced because I live in an oven   On a cold winter day, is there anything better than a hot cup of tea?

No, I think not.

Of course, for a proper tea party, you must have cake.

Because who doesn't like cake?

anyone? anyone?

I think not.

Occasionally this poses a problem. What kind of cake? One grand prefers chocolate, the other prefers icing vanilla. I am a plain vanilla kind of girl but we can't always have our way now can we?

Or can we?

This recipe found it's way onto my Pinterest feed. It is simply an old-fashioned sugar cake, nothing hard or fancy about it. I thought it looked like a good cake for a tea party.

What I really loved about it was that it was baked in a cast iron pan.

Raise your hand if you have an old cast iron pan that makes everything taste better!

I inherited this one from my in-laws many years ago. My FIL always said that it made the best fried chicken. I use it exclusively to bake cornbread. It always makes perfect cornbread. Other baking pans have let me down but not this cast iron pan! Perfectly cooked cornbread with the best crispy edges ever!

So I printed out the recipe and immediately baked this cake. Because I am so patient.

This cake, baked in cast iron, bakes up very nicely and makes those crispy edges! I'll have an edge piece please! A little jam would be nice or lemon curd. Very slightly sweet, just perfect with tea. or coffee. or nothing, don't judge.

My chocolate lover has hers with Nutella and my vanilla lover just licks off the powdered sugar. Trophy husband likes this cake and he hates cake.

Come on over! I saved a piece for you! Better hurry!


Sugar Cake

1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1  cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I think almond extract would be the bomb too!)
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 large egg whites
confectioners sugar for dusting

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-cream shortening and milk for about 3 minutes
-in a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt
-add flour mixture to creamed shortening/milk in 3 batches, blend well after each addition
-add in egg whites, beat till combined

-bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, test for doneness

-cool completely, dust with powdered sugar

**I lightly oiled and heated my cast iron pan, I put a little (about 1 teaspoon) shortening in it and put it in the oven while it preheated, when the shortening was melted, I removed the pan from the oven and swirled the oil around to lightly coat the pan everywhere.



Only 10 more days for this months Focus! Faceless-selfies! Have you tried it? So much fun!

Can you tell what I like to do from mine?


Tea is quiet and our thirst for tea is never far from our craving for beauty.
~James Norwood Pratt



Dotti said...

Well now, you know I love this post! My granddaughter is a tea lover, too. I've trained her well. As the whole FOL queendom knows: I love my tea. And any excuse, or no excuse at all, is reason enough for a tea party around here. Tea, freshly baked cookies (gotta love that frozen cookie dough) and fruit is the after school snack around here in the winter. Question: what if you don't have a hefty iron skillet? That recipe sounds so good. I'd love to try it, but, alas, no skillet.

Linda said...

No cast iron skillet, no problem! Just bake it in a round cake pan!

Cathy H. said...

When I first saw this post, I thought surely its was Dotti's. Oh, but you have lovely tea parties also and granddaughters to enjoy them with. My grandsons would not appreciate a tea party! Yes, yes, yes, I love my cast iron skillet! It was given to me forty-three years ago as a wedding present already seasoned! It does makes the best cornbread. I will be trying this sugar cake in my skillet.

Carol said...

You make me wish I enjoyed cooking more ! You also made me hungry and envious of your photography!

terriporter said...

My granddaughters are still young enough that they enjoy the pretend kind of tea parties but it will be fun when we can actually have the real kind together! We had cast iron skillets when I was young and there many times when I wish I had them now (like when The Pioneer Woman says one is absolutely essential for a certain recipe). But I have a ceramic stovetop and can't use one. But this cake looks so good and the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea that I'm going to try it in a regular cake pan. Love your Fiestaware dishes!

kelly said...

i think there is something so calming about sitting down to tea...really one of life's simplest pleasures. i have never 'done a tea' myself, but i once was invited to a friend's house. it was so special. i'm going to put this (and that cake!!) on my list for these dreary winter days. thank you for sharing!!

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