Want to hone your baking skills?
I recently came across this article from 'Food and Wine', and the game was on! I hadn't made any New Year's Resolutions, and this mission to bake a cake a month, each requiring a slightly different technique and skill set seemed a delightful goal. A whole lot easier than cooking through a Julia Child masterpiece, too

January's cake is Citrus Angel Food Cake. As I had just recently made Lemon IceBox Pie for a work event, I actually had NINE extra large egg whites in the freezer – which was amazingly the exact amount called for – this seemed like fate!

Well, as always, there was a hitch – I had no lemons. Even stranger, I had no bottled lemon juice or dried lemon zest? All three are staples, and yet... BUT – I DID had lemon extract!! A heaping teaspoon went into the sugar to saturate.

Started to whip the egg whites (with cream of tarter and vanilla) to the soft peak stage - so far so good.

But when I started to add the flavored sugar everything went flat. Literally. Egg whites don't like fat, and while fresh zest has it's share of natural oil, apparently the extract had more. I had everything else measured out, so I kept on going if for no other reason than to show how easy it is to fail, lol.

No, I didn't take a picture of my deflated whites – it just looked like any other cake batter...

Folded in the flour mixture, spooned into my antique tube pan (I'd cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom for easy removal), put in the oven and waited.

Okay, it inflated some more!

And while I couldn't find a bottle that would fit through the tube of the pan, this goblet worked...

Not bad!!! Not bad at all!

The recipe includes the ingredients for a glaze, but not the instructions – but you simply whisk them together. If I'd had sliced almonds, or maybe some white chocolate shavings I might had added a handful – but sprinkles were enough to make it pretty.

Kind of looks like a doughnut, doesn't it?

Not bad!

Now, for the lessons from my Cake #1 in this challenge: Fresh lemons and zest would be better; make sure your Cream of Tarter is fresh (mine was a little dated, and I could feel some coarseness in a couple bites?); and most important!!!! Don't give up if it doesn't look or seem quite right! It may not be perfect, but it can still be enjoyable

Posted by Linda :
Thursday 28 January 2016 - 16:15:34
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