It is always really hard for me to choose what to bake each month. I am glad I am only given four choices each time, or I would never be able to narrow it down. Even with just the four options, I still hem and haw. I pick and change my mind. It is terrible because they all sound so good.
I chose this recipe for a few reasons. First, I have a small cache of bundt pans in the basement that don't get used often enough and this seemed like a great chance to use the star. It worked perfectly for this recipe and was fun to serve with blueberries and strawberries for a patriotic dessert! I was also really intrigued by the description in the book. Maida says " The texture is a little sandy, but deliciously so." Sandy is not a term I usually hear with a positive association when it comes to cake, so I had to try that. Also the ingredient list piqued my interest. There is a 1:1 ratio of flour to cornstarch. I've never baked a cake like that before!!
The cake did turn out lovely. It did have a dryer texture than most of the cakes I bake, but really not in a bad way. Maida suggested cutting it in thin slices and serving multiple thinly cut pieces per serving. We had just stuffed ourselves on a big family BBQ, so I just served one thin slice with some cream cheese whipped cream and berries. I did cut a bigger slice the next day, and I agree that thin slices are the way to go. Both were good, but the texture was better in thinner slices.
This book has no pictures, so you have to visualize what each cake will look like. I really didn't like that aspect of this book when I first got it, but now I love it! It gives me a chance to do it my way rather than be swayed by the pictures in the book. I don't fancy myself a very creative person, so normally I would just aspire to duplicate the picture (and probably find myself disappointed when it doesn't match exactly.) So I like that I can be proud of what mine looks like and give myself room for a little creative license. I also love looking forward to seeing the other cakes when the other bakers choose a different recipe. It is like a first peek at something I have only read about. But the best part is seeing the differences when multiple people bake the same recipe. It is so fun to see the reveals!
makes 1 10 cup bundt cake, generously serves 12
zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
2 T lemon juice
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup cornstarch
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
6 eggs, separated
1/4 tsp salt
Optional for serving: powdered sugar, berries and cream cheese whipped cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare your 10 cup bundt pan (I use the spray with flour in it, but you can butter and flour your pan if you prefer.)
- Mix together the lemon rind and the lemon juice and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and cornstarch until mixed and lump free.
- In your mixer, beat butter until soft and creamy. Add 3/4 cup of sugar and cream for a couple of minutes.
- Add the egg yolks and beat on high speed for at least 5 minutes.
- Turn the mixer to low and add half of the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Then add the lemon juice and zest again mixing until incorporated, but no longer. Stir the last big of flour and cornstarch in by hand, mixing until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and salt until they hold a soft shape. Slowing add in remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and beat until they form soft peaks.
- Add about 1/4 of the egg white mixture to the batter and fold it in to lighten the batter. Keep adding the egg whites, about 1/4 at a time, folding until just mixed until the egg white mixture is all folded in. Be sure to mix as little as possible along the way so as to not deflate the whites completely.
- Scoop into the prepared pan and smooth out the top.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the cake springs back then you press it with a finger.
- Remove the pan from the oven, but do not unmold the cake until it is completely cooled. Then turn it onto a plate and refrigerate until it is firm enough to handle. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- It is displayed beautifully with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and cut into thin slices. Maida suggest serving 2-3 thin slices per portion.
Now let's see what the other bakers baked!