A few years ago, a woman made a lemon chiffon cake for book club. It was okay, and people were very nice about it, but the woman who made it said, "What's the point of this cake? It's too dry, and it doesn't even taste that much like lemon." She was pretty accurate in her assessment of the cake. Now that I've tasted the Golden Chiffon Cake, I don't know what I would have said. You can't really say, "Yeah, you're right, but I have a much better recipe."
I liked this cake even though the whole egg separating thing was a complete fiasco. I was carefully separating the eggs, even using an egg separator, but on the 4th egg, the entire egg slipped through the opening in the separator, and, splat, it broke apart. The yolk quickly infiltrated the whites. I had to throw away all the tainted whites. (I threw away the egg separator too--what good is a separator that can't manage its sole reason for being?)
No worries, though--I had lots of frozen egg whites left over from multiple projects, so I put them in warm water. Then I got impatient and decided I'd microwave them over low heat. Not low enough.
|Chopped Frozen Egg Whites in Bowl on the Left|
To my complete surprise, the egg whites turned out looking beautiful. I may even have over-beat them because I was so sure they wouldn't turn into anything resembling beaten egg whites.
I was so delighted I forgot to put in the flower nail. (Woody had made me a makeshift one at some point, but I seem to have lost it. Sorry Woody. But now I have a real one). I quickly opened the oven door and jammed it in the cake. One more reason for the cake to fail.
It domed up enthusiastically and then fell back down, just like it was supposed to do.
After all the egg drama, I didn't have the heart to make lemon curd. Who knows what I would have done with that. So I bought some. Or, rather, I sent Jim to the grocery store with instructions to get lemon curd without chemicals. "Eggs, butter, lemon juice, sugar--that's all!" And he did. It was good, but not delicious. Still, mixed in with the whipped cream, it was quite a bit better than all right.
Not a failure at all. Even though the sides were a little raggedy, they barely showed if you served the cake pointed end pointing toward the cake-eater. Even though it looked like it was going to be a tragedy, the Renee Fleming cake ended up being a comic opera, and a very delicious one at that.