Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Baa Baaa

Do you have one of these lamb molds?  I had two.  One was my grandma's and one a friend gave me.  Daughter took Grandma's.  My grandma made this lamb cake every year for Easter but we never, ever got to eat it.  She ate it all by herself, a slice a day till it was gone, but only after Easter.  It was her prized centerpiece.

I researched recipes and found one a few years ago, taking great pains to make it look cute.  Elizabeth walked in the door and said, "Grandma, why is there a cow on your table?"  So I abandoned the lamb cake idea.  Till this year.

You see, someone out there in blogland  did a lot of work testing recipes for eight days. Every day a different lamb cake recipe.  Her husband, dear boy, agreed to be the taste tester and ate lamb cake for eight days! And then he rated them. She then blogged about it(her blog is called Midcentury Menu).  I can't get her site to come up on my site but if you google "eight days of lamb cakes" it comes right up.  Do so, it's great fun.  I decided, based on her dear husband's judgement to do the Pope family's cake recipe (day 4.)

 Grease and flour the inside like you just don't want to have to do this again. Especially get the deep nose and ears.

 After the ingredients have been whipped into a luscious batter you fill the mold.
I learned two new things.  New thing #1 fill just the one half (the front half).  Put the lid on and the cake will rise to fill the mold.  Honestly, I didn't know this!  I tried this cake about 25 years ago using a boxed mix (big mistake, box mixes are too fluffy.  You need pound cake consistency) and again when Elizabeth said it looked like a cow.  What I had done was baked the two halves and cemented them together with frosting.  So this filling the half was big news.  And SO much easier.

New thing #2.  Use toothpicks to stabilize the ears and a popsicle stick to stabilize the neck.  Bake them right in.  A headless lamb is not impressive on the dinner table.
 Mine is a cast iron pan so I didn't need to clamp the two molds together but if your pan is aluminum you MUST clamp the sides so the cake doesn't spill all over the oven.  Use a cookie sheet, it's safer.
 You will have enough batter left for a dozen cupcakes as a bonus!
 The moment of truth was anti-climatic.  It popped right off very nicely.  I didn't like that the popsicle stick just rose with the batter so I took it out.  I knew this would mean possible headless lamb when I took the other half of the mold off but I wasn't in a hurry and it was a well greased and floured mold.
 Look! It worked like a charm!  I took my time, the cake was cold and it came out just fine. Even the ears which are always a problem.

The cupcakes gave me a good excuse to taste this cake before Sunday.  I can see why it was rated the best of the eight test cakes.  It was very slightly dense yet light and moist and had good flavor.  Everything is now sitting in the freezer till frosting time on Saturday.  If there is a lamb mold in your family somewhere, dust it off, grease it up and try it! 

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