Requests for my Mom’s melt-in-your-mouth orange loaf recipe and her moist, rich chocolate cake have been pulsing to me through the electronic chat waves. Just writing these down transported me to my childhood days, rich aromas from the kitchen, family gatherings, basking in the love of those held dear, and learning to cook from one of the best–my Mom. So these are a tribute to you Mom, with thanks and fond memories.
Orange Loaf Cake
a recipe from Betty Crocker
This recipe must date back to the 1940s when Betty Crocker used to put recipes in their flour bags. I think that’s where my Mom got this. At the top, it says Series 47. I try to make it each year when we reap the harvest from our orange tree. However, our orange tree has the Sweet Arizona orange variety, which I think is milder and somewhat sweeter. I think that the loaf would be tangier with California Valencia or probably Florida oranges.
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.Cut 2 thicknesses of plain paper the width of the pan, and 2 the length of the pan, each long enough to extend 1 in” above the sides. Line a greased bread pan, 5x10x3″ with cut paper (corners need not be completely covered; grease paper. (I usually use wax paper, but this year I did it without the paper in a stone loaf pan. It seemed to cook faster, and not quite as light–but time was of the essence, and it was still tasty.)
3.Sift flour, then spoon lightly into cup and level off. Do not pack.
4.Sift together into bowl
a. 1 and 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp. sifted flour
b. 1 and 1/4 cup sugar
c. 1 and 1/2 tsp. double-action baking powder
d. 1/2 tsp. salt
a. 1/2 cup liquid orange juice with some grated rind
b. 1/2 cup high grade vegetable shortening (I use real butter)
c. 2 large eggs
Beat vigorously with electric mixer on slow to medium speed for 4 minutes. scrape sides and bottom of bowl frequently. Pour batter into prepared pan. (This recipe is so old, it first lists beating by hand at about 150 strokes per minute for 4 minutes. And it says you may rest a moment when beating by hand! Our baking life is much easier)
Bake 60 to 65 min. Cakes of this type often rise slightly in the center and “crack” When cake is cool, frost with any desired icing.
Usually, I serve just as is, but this year I drizzled a light powdered sugar glaze–just some powdered sugar, 1 tbs of milk, 1 tsp. of orange juice, 1 tsp. of vanilla.
The chocolate cake recipe I have is from Hershey’s. I’ve made this several times–it’s the closest to what Mom made. In my teen and college years, when I would ask my Mom for a recipe, she would say, “I just put some of this and some of that in. I don’t know how much.” And it always turned out delicious. Me–I need a detailed guide. Perhaps, at another time, I’ll share our family’s recipe for Italian Spaghetti sauce and Lasagna.
Hershey’s Fudge Cake
2 1/4 Cups of Sifted Flour
1 tsp of Baking Soda
1 tsp of Baking Powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 Cup of shortening (I always use real butter)
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 well beaten eggs
1 Cup of Sour Milk (take a cup of milk, add 1 tsp of lemon juice, and let sit an hour)
1/3 Cup hot water
1/2 Cup Hershey’s Cocoa (unsweetened)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease well and dust with flour either 3, 8″ cake pans or 2, 9″ cake pans
1) Sift together the flour, soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2) Cram shortening; add sugar gradually, beating thoroughly after each addition.
3) Add vanilla, then the well-beaten eggs
4) Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the sour milk.
5) Mix cocoa and hot wter to form a smooth paste. Beat into the batter.
6) Pour into the pans and bake for 30 to 35 min. Until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Frost with your favorite chocolate icing.
From My Heart to Yours,
“How sweet are your promises to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 119:103