Thursday, April 16, 2009
The toughest part about traveling by air (aside from the friendly TSA inspections) is finding a way to get all your swag into your suitcase for the flight back home. On my recent trip I took a few small gifts for my family, but once I handed them out, that didn't really free up a lot of room in my luggage.
I was OK when we went to the thrift stores, buying only 2 small blog plates. Then we went to the kitchen store. Oh, sigh. As I wandered aisle after aisle of pots, pans, knives (carry on? I don't thinks so!), utensils, and gizmos, I had to keep repeating, like a mantra, "suitcase, suitcase." I was proud of myself for walking out with only a very small sack of things I really couldn't find elsewhere.
I thought I'd safely navigated the worst of the shopping temptations. Then my sister took me to her favorite got-to-know-it's-there-or-you'll-never-find-it store, the Baker's Cash & Carry. Very industrial looking. Nothing fancy. Just rows of plywood shelves holding bricks of chocolate, chunks of chocolate, chips of chocolate, and all types of chocolate for dipping, baking, and grazing. 2 lbs of white chocolate jumped into my basket. It really is hard to find here in bulk. And it was a great price, too. Am I justifying here? Quite possibly.
And then there were the shelves of cake making and decorating supplies. Cake pans in every size and shape imaginable. The packet of 8" pre-cut parchment paper rounds was thin and light, so I could easily pack that.
It was hard to resist all the tools and toys for making beautiful cakes. Fondant and tools for shaping and applying it. Every hue of food coloring gel under the rainbow. Luster dust, meringue powder, and beautiful sugar decorations. My eye was caught by the bright, springy sugar daffodils. I had to have them for my Easter cake. I bought two packets and carefully wrapped them and put them in my carry-on. Only one trumpet broke off, and that was easily glued back on with frosting.
With such bright yellow decorations, I had to have a lemon cake. And I found just the right one in Taste of Home. A lovely, lemony chiffon cake with a thick, luscious glaze. Perfect for Easter. Or anytime you have some new cake decorations to show off.
Lemon Chiffon Cake
- adapted from Taste of Home
7 eggs, separated
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup butter, softened
3 cups sugar
4-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/4 cup lemon juice
Sugar decorations or candied lemon peel for garnish
1-Separate the eggs placing the whites into a large mixing bowl and the yolks in a smaller bowl. Let eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
2- Preheat the oven to 325 deg. F with a rack in the lowest position.
3- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
4-In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, water, oil, lemon peel and vanilla; add to dry ingredients. Beat until well blended.
5- Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form; fold into batter. Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets.
6- Bake for 50-55 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert the pan; cool completely, about 1 hour.
7- Run a knife around side and center tube of pan. Remove cake to a serving plate.
8- In a small bowl, combine frosting ingredients; beat until smooth. Spread over top of cake, allowing it to drizzle over the edge. Garnish with decorations or candied lemon peel.
Yield: 12-16 servings.