Molly was my husband’s mother. Even though I’ve known my husband for 61 years, I never got to know her. I may have met her briefly one time, but I mostly heard stories about what a wonderful woman she was and an exceptional baker. She was known for her strudel and sponge cake, whether it be made with flour or Passover ingredients. The recipe was passed around and daughters-in-law and cousins also made it.
To back track a little, after going in different directions (much to my mother’s disappointment), my husband and I married each other later in life. Mom did know we were together, but she passed away, not knowing we got married.
All I heard during the beginning of our marriage was how good of a baker Molly was. And, of course, as families go, I was given the “famous” recipe for Molly’s Sponge Cake.
Each year, I was asked to make the cake. My first attempt was a failure, and probably the next few too. But when I did get the taste down, I was told that, albeit good, it was not “Molly’s cake” because it didn’t get as high. Truthfully, after hearing this so many times, I decided I wasn’t making this cake again.
A couple of months ago I agreed, after being pestered, to try the cake once more. And this time, it not only tasted like her cake, it looked like her cake too. I’m not sure what I did different, but I finally mastered the cake. This accomplishment only took 37 years!!!
Molly’s Sponge Cake Directions
9 large eggs, separated
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 cup orange juice
1 peel from an orange
Whisk the eggs and salt until you have stiff peaks. I used my Kitchen Aid and the peaks were better (which may be the secret) than when using my hand-held mixer.
Make a circle of parchment paper and put that in the bottom of your tube pan.
Mix yolks with sugar and then add dry ingredients as well as OJ. Fold in egg whites and pour into high tube pan. Do not grease the pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Invert on plate until completely cool and remove pan carefully. Enjoy!
By the way, this also makes a great strawberry short cake. Use one container of Cool Whip and sliced strawberries for the center. Top with Cool Whip and whole strawberries.