“Bring a dessert.” My oven is on the fritz (bottom heat coil thingy is refusing to heat up – I’ll have to get it looked at) so my options were limited. My mother-in-law came to the rescue [again] with her Snowball Cake recipe that she hand-wrote for me some 33 years ago. I included her recipe in my photo at left as a tribute. The Snowball Cake feeds 24 or more guests and is a beauty to behold. I added cloth holly leaves and red maraschino cherries to Yule it up.
Claire Surprenant’s Snowball Cake
1 lg Angel food or Chiffon Cake (2 1/2 small Angel food cakes from Trucchi’s)
4 tbls cold water
1 tbls plain gelatin + 2 tsp
1 c boiling water
dash salt (I don’t add any salt)
1 c orange juice
2/3 c sugar (can use Splenda)
3 tbls lemon juice
1 1/2 pt heavy cream, whipped
1/4 tsp orange extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/3 c Cointreau (optional)
Soften gelatin in cold water. Add boiling water + mix throughly. Add salt, orange juice, sugar, lemon juice + orange & lemon extract to gelatine mixture. Fold in 1 pint of whipped cream. Tear cake into 1″ pieces. Line a large round bowl (like large Pyrex mixing bowl) with wax paper (Claire wrote: “I prefer double Saran Wrap & leave a lot of overlapping so you can pull it out of bowl, when bowl is set or inverted over platter, you will be serving from.”) Spoon in a layer of the mixture, then a layer of cake. Alternate layers, making sure cake is moistened by the mixture. End with a layer of the mixture. Refrigerate overnight.
Just before serving turn cake into a platter & frost with remaining [whipped] cream (Note: I whip it at this time not with the ‘mixture’ pint). Decorate with halved strawberries or cherries or blueberries. Enjoy.
For a Christmas cake I pat on sweet coconut flakes and add yuletide trimmings. Other times I have added colored sugar or candy silver balls. The first time I ever had this cake was at the Surprenant’s 4th of July party in 1977. I knew then and there it would become ‘my signature cake’ and I have been making it ever since. I make it every year for my mother’s January 1st birthday – I have no idea if that is her favorite cake – but it is mine! One year I tinted it pink which made it look like a huge Twinkie (bad idea) but there are lots of possibilities like adding fruit to the mixture or make a smaller bowl dip in the cake formation so that you can fill if with strawberries after frosting it with cream (a cool take on Strawberry Shortcake!) or layering some fruit preserves along with the cream mixture. I have made over 50+ versions of this cake and it never fails to please. Joyeux Noël.