My 7-layer cake
Posted: 15 March 2010 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m a beginner—this was only the third cake I’ve ever made—so I was happy with the results.  I read about Smith Island cakes in the Washington Post and wanted to try to make one.  I couldn’t find a recipe, so I used a yellow cake recipe and a chocolate icing recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.  If I were to do things over, I’d cut the baking time for each layer in half—they were too dry.  But it tasted quite good, so I was happy with it.

I’ve never tried to compress a picture file, so I hope it looks OK.

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Posted: 15 March 2010 12:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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John, it’s hard to believe you’re a beginner, your seven-layer cake looks scrumptious.  I wonder if a Smith Island cake is related to a Dobos Torte? 

We are all fans of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s baking books, if you’re looking to become a skilled scratch cake baker, her books, The Cake Bible and Rose’s Heavenly Cakes can’t be beat.

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Posted: 16 March 2010 01:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hi John,
I read about Smith Island cakes when I saw yours. Interesting history and I like the idea of bakers toiling in their kitchens on a small island. Thanks for sharing.

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Posted: 16 March 2010 09:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Great job.  Looks delicious.

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Posted: 19 March 2010 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Looks great! I love the idea of these thin-layer cakes but haven’t tried one yet. Apparently they are traditional in some other areas as well.

Some references I found interesting for Smith Cake:
Wikipedia (some history and folklore): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_Island,_Maryland
Recipe using cake mix: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Smith-Island-Cake
Article and recipe from NPR: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88412262
Recipe from Smith Island Cultural Alliance: http://www.smithisland.org/cakerecipe.html
Article and links to recipes (using cake mixes) from Maryland Traditions: http://www.marylandtraditions.org/index.php?categoryid=39
Washington Post article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/22/AR2008042200701.html
Washington Post recipe: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/recipes/2008/04/23/smith-island-ten-layer-cake/

And here’s an article about the up to 17-layer cakes of southeastern Alabama:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/16/dining/16Bake.html?_r=1

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