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Recipes bring back family memories for local cook

May 30, 2012


She may have passed away, but Abigail Voller’s grandmother still joins her in the kitchen.

“Whenever I bake, I think about my grandmother,” she said.
This marble cake is one Voller enjoyed as a child, and a recipe she rediscovered recently.

“Any time I find an old recipe, I feel a little closer to her,” she said. “She was fantastic baker, but really just a great cook in general.”
Voller said when the family was going through her grandmother’s things, they discovered the over 300 cookbooks she owned.

“I learned a lot about cooking from my mom,” she said, “but I learned about baking from my grandmother.”

Voller said her grandmother was British and met her grandfather during WWII when he was stationed in England.

“She worked in a factory in Warrington during the war,” she said. “She was in charge of about 30 women.”

After the war ended, Voller said her grandmother came to America two years later and was married to her grandfather two days after her arrival.

“She was the only grandparent I really grew up with,” she said. “I have a lot of great memories with her.”

Voller said she first made the cake with her mother on a whim one night.
“This was the first major recipe of hers that I made,” she said. “It was grandmother’s recipe, but me and mom made it, so it was like all three generations where there baking.”

Voller said she rarely bakes for herself, lending her confectionery creations to friends and events.

“I rarely eat what I bake,” she said. “Most of all, baking is just therapeutic for me.”

This culinary therapy will surely come in hand for Voller as she approaches a busy month in June.

Voller, an instructor in the English department at Mississippi State University, will teach three courses this summer at the Mississippi Governor’s School for three weeks, including magazine publishing and a ballroom dancing course.

A committee member for Fourth Fridays, Voller said she plans to get back to her creative writing before school returns to session in the fall.

Voller’s Marble Cake

4 C. all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 C. sugar
1 C. butter
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 C. milk
4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. honey
1 oz. baking chocolate
1 container of preferred cake frosting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease and flour two 9” round pans.
3. Mix sugar and butter together until fluffy.
4. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a separate bowl.
5. Mix eggs, vanilla extract and milk in separate bowl. Add to sugar and butter mixture.
6. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
7. Beat mixture with electric beater until smooth.
8. Reserve 1 1/2 C. of batter in separate bowl.
9. Pour primary mix into pans in equal amounts.
10. Add cocoa powder to remaining mixture.
11. Melt 1 oz. of baking chocolate and add to cocoa mixture with 1 tbsp. of honey.
12. Drop chocolate mixture in spoonfuls over the top of the white batter.
13. Using a knife, swirl cocoa batter to make the marble effect.
14. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
15. Frost when cooled.

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