Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hot Milk Sponge Cake

Since I grew up with this, I assumed everyone knew about hot milk sponge cake, but after a friend said she'd never heard of it, I thought I should probably pass along the recipe.  Then I rethought.  I'm not sure if Mom would kill me, or if one of my sisters would kill me, or if some other distant relative would kill me.  I mean, it's not a state secret, but it's a family recipe I don't have permission to post online, so here's a comparable recipe, if you're interested.

Anyway, I have many fond memories of eating this, and watching Mom make it, and of making it myself.  Or rather, I have fond memories of Mom having made it and myself having made it.  The memories of actually making it are gone.  Weird.  :shrug:

So, I've made this tons of times.  I know I have.  By myself.  In my own home.  In Michigan.  After I moved out of the state, I couldn't make this damn thing work for love nor money.  It came out weird in Florida.  It came out like a thick, flat, weirdly-textured cookie in Colorado and Utah.  The only thing I could think of as a culprit was the altitude.  The last time I tried - because I wanted to impress my new husband with the awesomeness of hot milk sponge cake depressed me so bad, I didn't try again until yesterday.  (Yeah, he was new at the time, so about 11 years.)

I was VERY careful.  I measured everything out precisely.  I followed the directions exactly.  And after I discovered that I couldn't actually remember the steps to KNOW that I was doing it right, I hoped like hell I was doing it right.  I almost called Mom, but she was in the middle of her own Mother's Day thing, so I bit the bullet and forged ahead. 

Thirty minutes went by.  I peeked.  It looked right but too light and the toothpick was wet.  Three minutes later, checked again.  Not yet.  Three minutes, three minutes, three minutes...  I don't know how many three minute increments later, the top was a lovely golden brown and the damn toothpick was clean!  Hallelujah! 

But would it taste right?  I waited as long as I could - which means it was still pretty warm - but I sliced into it.  I don't remember it being that dense... but I don't remember a lot of shit, so that wasn't a big deal.  I do remember the crunchy edges and the spongy goodness of the soft center.  HUZZAH!  I did it!  Took me 14 freakin' years, but I did it!

I made strawberries with sugar to create shortcake later.  And it was awesome. 

I know I shouldn't be so weirdly excited about this, but I am.  I won!  Yay!

And since the strawberry thing isn't a family recipe here goes:

2-3 lbs strawberries, washed and hulled
1 cup sugar

Slice berries to about 1/4 to 1/2" thick into a big bowl.  Sprinkle cup of sugar all over the berry slices.  Stir with big spoon.  Cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.  (The longer you have them in the fridge, the more the sugar has a chance to make juice with the strawberries.)  Stir every once in a while.  Taste test, and if they don't taste sweet enough, add more sugar.  If you like less sweet, start with a half cup of sugar and add from there.


  1. Well done! You know my mum used to make a dinner with sausage meat & eggs, with a little onion thrown in for crunch, kind of like a breakfast casserole. It doesn't sound like much, but we loved it as kids. I've wanted to know how she did it for ages but since she died in 2000 it's just a fond memory. I might just have to have an experimentation day!!

  2. And I just harvested a ton of strawberries. I might have to try this.

    PS I have a milk candy recipe that NEVER worked in SE Texas. I tried it again in north Texas and it came out!

    In my case, I think it was the high humidity in SE Texas that kept it from setting properly.

  3. B.E. I'll have to give the sponge cake a try one of these days. Awesome that you got it work! :D

    Fran, your mention of sausage and egg casserole reminded me of my mother-in-law's brunch casserole. Not sure if it's the same (or close) but here's the recipe:
    4 slices bread, cubed
    1 lb fried sausage, drained (to get rid of grease)
    2 cups grated cheddar cheese
    4 large eggs
    2 cups milk
    1 teaspoon dry mustard
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    Place cubed bread in greased 9x13 baking dish. Layer cooked/drained sausage and then cheese. Beat eggs, milk and mustard together. Pour over top. Refigerate overnight. Bake at 375° F for 45 minutes or until browned. Sprinkle onions over the top halfway through baking. Let stand a few minutes before cutting.

    1. Thanks Silver. It might not be the same but it sounds delicious. I'll give it a try this weekend.