Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dishing up Maryland cookbook features Smith Island Cake

"There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate."  ~ Linda Grayson, "The Pickwick Papers"

Last week, I promised to show you one of Susan Evan's Smith Island cakes. She baked this cake at her home on the island of Ewell, which also doubles as Susan's on Smith Island Bed and Breakfast. For those of you not familiar with Ewell, it is a quaint island where time still lingers in the past.

Evans, an employee at McCready Hospital in Crisfield - yes, she takes a 40 minute boat ride to McCready every morning -  has made us all proud by having her recipe printed in, "Dishing up Maryland", a 150 page cookbook by Lucie L. Snodgrass. The cookbook features 150 recipes highlighting Maryland-grown produce and seafood. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the state’s Maryland’s Best program.

For those of you not familiar with Smith Island cake, the origins are not known, but it has been a part of Smith Island since the 1600s. The layers are individually baked-no cheating with large layers and a knife as some people suspect- and the icing is thin but rich;  the chocolate reminds me of the homemade fudge my grandmother used to make, and a small slice will satisfy the palate of the most die-hard sweet aficionado.

In the old days, women used only a few layers to make their cakes. As time went by, they began to make the layers thinner and the cakes taller. Competition among the women soon had them stacking  their cakes with layers up to 15 inches or more. Today, the traditional Smith Island cake has 8-10 layers, but 12-15-layer cakes can still be found. 

Susan slices up the cake she brought by boat to McCready. 

10-scrumptious layers of the Maryland State dessert. Yes, the Smith Island cake was made our official state dessert in 2008.

Wouldn't you just love to dig into a slice of Susan's cake?

Susan poses with her star dessert. Oh, if you stay at her B&B, you get a cake all to yourself.

Read more about Susan  and,"Dishing up Maryland" here.


Lew said...

Looks yummy! But that's a lot of icing to spread! And your image of the working boats is great! I love the colors and reflections!

Ann said...

This layer cake, in Malaysia and Indonesia is called queh labis. If your cake is made the same way, baked one layer at a time, I say it is a sin to eat them, because it is such hard work. It should not be eaten, just admired by the eyes.

I watch in Australian's masterchef, they made it differently, they make crepes, and layer them.

How is your cake made?

Guees what, I found another car on Sunday and thought of you. It was a chervelot.

maryt/theteach said...

I'd go just for the 10-layer cake! It looks de-lish! :) this is the first time I've visited your blog and I love it! :)