Monday, March 26, 2012

How to Bake a Cake without an Oven!

I still have not seen the repairman to fix my oven, but I am up for any challenge!  Well I have taken my first “AG”venture – to the small town of Medora, Indiana for the National Maple Syrup Festival.  I was asked to participate in the Judging of their Sweet Victory Challenge for the adult dessert competition.  It was about a two hour drive from Indianapolis to Medora and it was a nice sun shiny Saturday as we traveled through the curves & hills of Southern Indiana.  I arrived early and caught a shuttle to Burton’s Maplewood Farms.  Once there we walked the Maple Sugar Trail and along the trail they had set up a demonstration on making maple sugar.  We learned that early settlers were not interested in making sap from the maple tree into syrup – since they did not have refrigeration; they had no means to store syrup.  Instead, they boiled the sap down even further, to make maple sugar.  This staple could then be stored for long periods of time.  Maple sugar was used as a sweetener and could easily be converted back to syrup.
We made our way over to the Sugar House where sap that had been collected from the maple trees was boiled down to maple syrup.  Here we were able to taste some of the syrups that Burton’s Maplewood Farms was making.  We tried the “early harvest” syrup that was light in color with a lightly sweet maple flavor.  Then they gave us a sample of the “late harvest” syrup – it was much darker in color and very rich in maple flavor.  However my favorites were their syrups that Burton’s have aged in oak barrels.  They are aging syrup in Rum, Bourbon and Brandy barrels – these are amazing infused maple syrups, a must try in my book.

After our visit to the farm, it was back in town to judge the adult dessert flight.  We had three desserts to judge on appearance, use of products (the Maple Syrup & King Arthur Flour) and of course taste.  It was a great experience and gave me the inspiration for a cake I am sharing with you.  I wanted to give you a dessert with Maple Syrup and I still have no oven!  So I packed up my supplies and headed to my Sister-in-Law’s to bake this cake.  Enjoy!

Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake – Maple version.  Taken from the book, “Home on the Farm, If Chickens Could Talk” written by Lorene McCormick Burkhart.

·         1 ¼ cups boiling water
·         1 cup oats (quick or old fashioned)
·         ½ cup butter, softened
·         1 cup granulated sugar
·         ½ cup shredded coconut
·         1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
·         1 teaspoon vanilla
·         2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
·         2 eggs
·         1 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
·         1 teaspoon baking soda
·         ½ teaspoon salt
·         1 ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
·         ¼ teaspoon nutmeg 
·         ¼ cup butter, melted
·         ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
·         3 tablespoons half& half
·         1 ½ tablespoons of pure maple syrup
·         ¾ cup shredded coconut

For cake, pour boiling water over oats; cover and let stand for 20 minutes.  In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy; gradually add sugars - beat until fluffy.  Now blend in the vanilla, maple syrup and eggs.  Add oats mixture and coconut, mix well.  In another bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and blend into the creamed mixture – mix well.  Pour batter into greased and floured 9-inch square pan and bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees 40-50 minutes. Do not remove cake from pan.  For the frosting, combine all ingredients.  Spread evenly over cake.  Broil until frosting becomes bubbly.  Cake can be served warm or cold.

It's me in the middle - 3rd from the left.

I hope you all enjoy this cake – the frosting is to die for!  Next year you really need to check out the National Maple syrup Festival, it is an enjoyable and educational event for the whole family.  You may even want to try your hand at entering the Sweet Victory Challenge – if so I will be there to Judge!

Don’t forget to “AG Me On! – I am still looking for challenges or places for a new “AG”venture.  Until next time – Keep your Foodie Fluids Flowing, and AG Me On!


1 comment:

  1. Solid post and the cake sounds top shelf. Glad you got to visit one of the warmest and nicest families in Indiana. The Burtons are some of the classiest folks I have had the chance to meet. Glad you got to get down to the festival