My mother used to bake a special Easter lamb cake that she used a special baking pan for. That pan got put away every year, and did not come out again until it was the Triduum again next year. [....] And I recall her telling about how the pan was given to her from one of her relatives. It was probably 100 years old in the 1960's.
That makes me think it was less a "baking pan" than a metal mold
, like the cast-iron corn-cob-shaped corn-bread/fritters baking molds that've remained popular enough to seem to've remained in 'new' production. Or the molds used mostly as forms for chilled dips, Jello, and certain other kinds of foods (that I just don't know enough about to describe).
The lamb sat upright on the platter, with a floral garnish all around him.
" literally meaning seated on its hindquarters, but with erect forelegs? Or "upright
" in the sense of standing on all 4 legs, perhaps with sculptor's tricks for structural support, designed to be hidden by the garnish? Or "upright
" in the sense of merely being served perpendicularly to the baking platter, instead of being a horizontal cut-out shape that remains parallel to the baking pan: a baker's analogue to a sculptor's lapidary bas-relief
She used a unique recipe for the cake that made the little lamb a very special treat. That recipe was never used for any other cake in the whole year, only for the Easter lamb. [....] It had an ivory color and a sweet, dense vanilla flavor. It smelled delicious. Sometimes it had a coconut frosting all over that kind of looked like wool. I made the serious mistake of never asking her for the recipe. [....] So I bear the sin of dropping the age-old family tradition. And all I can do is tell my descendants about it.
I get the impression that you have no siblings or surviving aunts or uncles who could help reconstruct it.
Even if you're on your own, for now, you could contribute to some family-history triage
: Look for old photos that show it. Sketch it yourself from memory, or if relatively ungifted as an artist, describe it to a relative who has that gift, and hang over her|his shoulder until you think it looks about right. But either way, no matter how habitually frugal you are, do not
use scrap paper for such a sketch, which could create a mistaken impression, especially in a cavalier compulsive cleaner, that it's not worth keeping. At least the sketch could be passed down until a younger family member decides to take up the challenge of reconstruction.
Your mention of coconut brought back the image of an Easter-Bunny cake in my family, with pink-paper ears. But more relevant to you: A meringue-pie-like icing
, sprinkled with shredded coconut
. And a pink jelly bean for its nose. Meringue fits because vanilla
is commonly used to enhance its sugar-intensive flavor.
Fascinating: I hadn't though about that
cake for many
Perhaps you already had comparable ideas years ago. It's likely that a lot
of CathInfo members know a lot
more about baking than I do.