A lingering memory of luscious layer cake


January 14, 1998|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,SUN STAFF

A memory of a long-gone restaurant and a delicious cake served there prompted this week's request and response.

Ginny Spittell of Ellicott City requested a recipe for Box Tree Inn cake. "Some years ago on Franklin Street near Charles, the little Box Tree Inn Restaurant was in the same location as the Tio Pepe Restaurant is now," she wrote. "They made an unbelievably popular yellow layer cake with an unusual chocolate icing, which was a little bittersweet with a granular side. Absolutely delicious. Would anyone be lucky enough to have this recipe?"

Ernestine "Ernie" Willinghan of Millersville answered Spittell's request. She wrote: "I have had this recipe for many years, having found it in The Evening Sun in Jacques Kelly's column. It's delicious!

Box Tree Inn's Chocolate Cake

Serves 12

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 eggs

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar, beat thoroughly. Add vanilla and eggs (well beaten). Add flour, salt and baking powder, alternating with the milk. Spread batter into two greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Let cake cool on racks.

Chocolate Icing

3/4 cup milk

1 1/2 cups sugar

pinch salt

1/4 pound semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

1/4 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cook milk, sugar and salt until mixture boils. Add chocolate and butter. Continue boiling until small amount forms a soft ball in cold water. Remove from heat and cool. Add vanilla and beat until creamy. Sit bowl containing chocolate in a larger mixing bowl filled with ice water. Use a large spoon to beat chocolate until its shine dulls. Ice cake immediately.

Tester Laura Reiley notes that "the frosting is very tasty but temperamental. Cook it to no more than 230 degrees. It will make a hard fudge if cooked to 240. Also, it is not quite enough icing for a generous covering, so be skimpy with the icing in between the two layers."

Recipe requests

John Sparenberg of Baltimore would like to have a recipe for something "that my mom used to buy when I was a kid. It was called chow chow, and it was sold in a tall and slim jar like those that held butter pickles. It had a yellow color and was much the same texture and shape as relish. I remember it in the dairy section of the supermarket."

Sharon Dickerson of Walla Walla, Wash., also remembers a mother's cooking. She's looking for a recipe for a rice dish with curry that her mother "made in the '40s and '50s. When she passed away, there was no recipe for it in her recipe boxes. All I can remember is rice, a mild tomato flavor and no green peppers."

Kim M. Hajduk of Fox River Grove, Ill., writes that "there is a restaurant in Story, Ind., about 1 1/2 hours from Indianapolis," to which people come from all over. "They make the most wonderful seafood lasagna that I have ever had; just the thought makes my mouth water. I haven't been there in about six years and have been searching and searching for this recipe. I hope you can help."

Marilyn Shapiro of Owings Mills is seeking the recipe for "Silber's bakery's chocolate-topped cookies. I believe the bakery closed in the '80s, but my son and his friends -- now in their early 40s -- would like me to bake these cookies for a reunion. Can you help us out?"

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278. If you send in more than one recipe, put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Please note the number of servings each recipe makes.

Pub Date: 1/14/98

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