Thankfully the cake did come from a box (Devils Food by Pillsbury), but the icing was the tried and true recipe of our friend, Mrs. Reddin. The recipe is below:
1 Cup Sugar
3 large egg white
1/8 cream of tartar
pinch of salt
3 tblsp water
1 tblsp Karo syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Preparations: cook in a double boiler (except vanilla). beat in double boiler - on high. bottom of pan is touching the water - rolling boil. after 6 min see if stiff. if firm enough - add vanilla.
My first dunce responses after reading the above info/recipe were:
"You use Tartar Sauce to make an icing?! What?!"
"Double Boiler? What's that?"
To which both of these responses got many laughs.
And then I go to the grocery to pick up these items... that was interesting. I stood in the baking aisle for multiple minutes scanning the shelves thinking what could "Cream of Tartar" be? I couldn't shake an image from my head about the stuff. My image entailed something similar to marshmallow puff. But with haste, I continued to scan the baking aisle, hoping Cream of Tartar would catch my eye. I couldn't help but be a bit self conscious as I looked around. I was very aware of two folks in the aisle with me, both women and both with gray hair (which equated in my mind, "woman that know their baking goods"). I continued to have a conversation in my mind, "What the heck is Cream of Tartar?! And why can't I find it? Crap, that woman is looking me, I can't give her the satisfaction that I'm a moron in the kitchen. Only my husband and all the blog world is allowed to know that. (okay so that part I just added, but I was thinking everything before I mentioned my blog)." Needless to say I was too prideful to ask one of the ladies, and went about the rest of the store to pick up my other items on the grocery list. Once I picked those items up, I headed back to the baking goods aisle and called my LIFELINE: my mom. She was nice enough to inform me that cream of tartar is a spice. It was already in the spice section, (which was the baking aisle). As soon as Mom gave me the word, I saw it in an instant, Cream of Tartar, a lot of work finding something I'm only going to use 1/8 teaspoon.
So that entailed the prep work, and so began the actual baking... The devils food cake by Pillsbury was a breeze. Even I can handle that stuff with ease. Once the cake was out and cooled, I began my icing endeavor. I was nervous and a little unsure, but I did my best. Apparently I did not allow the icing to gain enough firmness along the way and instead of making homemade sugar vanilla icing, I made more of a homemade sugary glaze. Regardless, if I do say so myself, it was Mmm, Mmmm Good!
And more than just me and my hubby ate it too!