I have always loved the idea of the favorite. Everyone has a favorite flavor (vanilla or chocolate is one of the first distinctions we’re asked to make as children) or a favorite color, sometimes a favorite book or song or poem. It’s the most simple, basic way we define ourselves.
I especially like the favorite birthday cake, because it is longstanding and personal and sentimental. Will you please make me my favorite birthday cake this year?
I joined my old friend to celebrate her birthday and her mother made her longtime request: angel food cake with a custard filling and warm chocolate sauce poured over the top.
Basically an improved Boston Cream Pie. This piece has tumbled over slightly but you can see how luscious it is.
In my family we have a favorite, too: Strawberry Cake. It comes from my Tennessee grandmother’s collection of recipes, and visually and taste-wise is a shock to the senses.
One package white cake mix
One tablespoon flour
One package strawberry gelatin
Three-fourths cup vegetable oil
One half cup water
One half cup frozen strawberries, thawed til mushy
Mix cake mix, flour and jello. Add oil, water and strawberries. Lastly, add one at a time four eggs, beating after each addition.
Divide batter into two nine inch pans, well greased and floured. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes
For the icing, blend one-fourth pound butter (or margarine, in my grandmother’s recipe), one box confectioners sugar and one half cup thawed, mashed up strawberries.
Some of your guests will demand seconds. Others will run away from the table. Your teeth will ache and you will fall over with sugar shock. It is the most artificial looking cake in the world, and the most delicious.
That is, if it’s your favorite.