This cake's a winner

August 12, 1997


Coconut Cake proved tasty for 13-year-old 4-H member

This cake's a winner


Staff Writer

Stacie Crist doesn't like coconut. But that didn't stop the 13-year-old Hagerstown resident from baking the grand champion coconut cake at Washington County Ag Expo Saturday, Aug. 2.

The cake brought $300 in the auction of 4-H baked goods. Stacie's grandparents, Leonard and Dorothy Lowry, her great-uncle, Joseph Gehr, and great-aunt, Mary Gehr, had the final bid.


How did they like the cake?

Joseph Gehr joked that it gave him indigestion - the price, that is, not the cake. But the money, which benefits 4-H, is for a good cause, Gehr said.

Stacie took a blue ribbon at Ag Expo two years ago with a banana coconut cake, but until she began work in the kitchen at 7 a.m. the day of the competion, she never had baked this particular cake. She saw the recipe in a Southern Living cookbook and thought it was a good choice.

Jason Burnett of Southern Living called her a true cook in the making if she could win a prize with a cake she wouldn't enjoy eating.

The high-priced concoction wasn't Stacie's only culinary creation. Her grand champion peanut butter fudge brought $45 in the auction, and the two-crust peach pie she baked was reserve champion in its category.

Stacie's talent for winning isn't confined to the kitchen. She entered two dresses she had sewn and walked off with a blue ribbon for one and a grand champion prize for the other.

Stacie is the daughter of Jeff and Carolyn Crist.

"We're real proud of her," her mother said.

The Clear Spring High School student has been a member of Glenda Drury's Huyetts Crossroads 4-H club for about six years. She joined the group because some of her friends were in it.

Beyond cooking

Stacie has interests outside the home arts. She likes swimming and volleyball and was in the band front at Clear Spring Middle School. She played the flute in her school's concert band. She hopes to continue flag twirling and play some sports when she she starts her freshman year later this month.

What's cooking for Stacie beyond 4-H, flags and school?

Because she likes animals - she has a dog named Spot and cats called Misty and Samantha, Stacie would like to become a veterinarian.

Joseph Gehr still had some cake left the Tuesday after the auction. "I want to make it last," he laughed.

Coconut Cake

3/4 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 1/4 cups flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream shortening, and gradually add sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in vanilla.

Pour batter into two greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely. Split cake layers in half horizontally to make 4 layers.

Custard Filling

2 cups milk

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon orange flavoring

1 cup grated fresh coconut

Combine first four ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Stir with wire whisk until well blended. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Stir in flavoring. Chill mixture thoroughly. Stir in coconut.

Snow Peak Frosting

1 1/4 cups light corn syrup

2 egg whites

dash of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup grated fresh coconut

Bring syrup to a boil. Combine egg whites and salt in a large mixing bowl. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; continue to beat, slowly adding syrup. Add vanilla; continue beating until stiff peaks form, and frosting is thick enough to spread. Sprinkle coconut over iced cake.

 A caution on using

egg whites in frosting

United States Department of Agriculture's Meat and Poultry Hotline advises against eating raw eggs to help prevent contamination with salmonella enteriditis.

A Southern Living representative said the magazine is comfortable with the raw egg whites in the Snow Peak Frosting recipe, because the syrup added to the beaten egg whites has been brought to a boil.

According to an American Egg Board brochure, "Although any degree of cooking helps, egg whites beaten with a hot sugar not reach a temperature much above 125 degrees, so they cannot be considred completely safe."

The risk of salmonella from raw egg whites is low, but they should be used at consumers' own risk, according to Norma Lash, an extension agent in the Fulton County, Pa., office of Penn State Cooperative Extension Service. Pasteurized egg whites in commercially prepared egg white products can be used without risk, Lash says.

- Kate Coleman, Staff Writer


The Herald-Mail Articles