Mad River Union
SEASIDE VILLAGE – The Trinidad Civic Club, founded in 1913, is known for the Memorial Lighthouse, for the granite cross on Trinidad Head, for its help in building the town hall and the library, but it is especially known for cakes.
The club has the monopoly on desserts at the annual Trinidad Fish Festival, held every year on Father’s Day.
Members of the club are required by the bylaws to bake two cakes each. Woe betide the club member who doesn’t bake. A $30 cake fee is added to that member’s annual dues.
These cakes (and pies, too) are sold to benefit the club’s scholarships fund. The clubroom in town hall is a haven from the Trinidad wind where festival attendees can enjoy desserts and beverages. In addition, club members take trays of the tempting pastries out to sell to the crowds enjoying fish and beer at the outdoor tables.
The Saturday before is a whirlwind of activity in the town hall kitchen (remodeled by the club in 2001) with club members setting up the tables and baking.
Sunday’s festival starts at 11 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m., but smart folks get their cake early for the best selection.
After endless requests, this member is sharing a recipe for a cake that always sells out quickly – Janine’s Killer Rum Cake. One man says that whenever he sees my antique cake carrier, he starts salivating. People always think it is hard to make but it isn’t.
Now the other cake I’ll be baking – Smith Island Cake, an eight-layer cake with chocolate icing, each layer filled with chocolate and a sprinkling of crushed peanut butter cups, a specialty of the island off the coast of Maryland – now that’s hard to make. When was the last time you had a piece of an eight-layer cake?
Remember calories don’t count when it’s for a scholarship fund. See you at the Fish Fest this Sunday!
Janine’s Killer Rum Cake
1 yellow cake mix
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs, room temperature
½ cup water
½ cup oil
½ cup rum
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 325°F. Lavishly butter a Bundt pan – do not skimp. Sprinkle the pecans on the bottom and sides of the pan.
Beat together the remaining ingredients with an electric mixer for at least five minutes. Do not complain about your arm getting tired. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for one hour.
Make glaze: Boil together 1 cup sugar, ¼ cup water, and ¼ cup (half stick) butter for 5 minutes, stirring constantly or it will burn. Remove from heat and add another ½ cup rum.
Take cake out of oven and poke all over with a wooden skewer. Slowly pour the glaze over the cake while it is still in the pan. Let stand one hour on a cooling rack. Invert onto a plate and serve.
This cake will keep for a long time in a tight container.