Serve light, sweet-and-sour daffodil cake for a special luncheon
by Linda Marrone
Spring has sprung! I can’t recall a more colorful spring in the more than 30 years that we’ve been living here. I’ve picked lots of lilac bouquets for Mother’s Day, but can’t remember picking them for Easter.
We were down in the desert in our little place in Sky Valley, but temps of 96, 97 and 102 were too much for me (and my dog). We came home two weeks early to simply wonderful weather with lots of blooming daffodils, tulips and hyacinths. I’ve been picking like crazy, and have maybe one tulip bouquet left.
Ralph has been busy plugging, thatching, and weeding; I did pull a couple of weeds. We planted our sweet peas and potatoes. Got our order from Gurney’s, and Ralph’s mapping out how and where things will go in the garden. I’m not too concerned with the where, but I like to have my say as to what we’re going to plant. In the end I’m either cooking or canning it.
Paula Tlachac and I went to San Francisco for the Spring Flower Show at Macy’s. We went to the new flagship store for Williams-Sonoma, a three-story cook’s paradise right on Post Street across from Union Square. I wanted one of everything in red.
After that we walked down to the Embarcadero to the renovated Ferry Plaza building that now houses the Farmers Market. With lots of wonderful shops and divine places to eat, it’s nirvana for the foodie.
This recipe truly reminds me of spring. My mom always made this cake, a sort of cross between a sponge cake and an angel food cake. This cake is not that hard to make and is really worth the effort. The yellow-and-white cake is light and colorful and would make a great dessert for dinner or a luncheon.
1 cup cake flour
3Ú4 cup plus 2 T. sugar
12 egg whites (room temperature)
11Ú2 t. cream of tartar
1Ú4 t. salt
3Ú4 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
11Ú2 t. vanilla
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Stir together flour and 3Ú4 cup plus 2 T. sugar; set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until foamy. Add remaining 3Ú4 cup sugar, 2 T. at a time, beating on high speed until meringue holds stiff peaks. Gently fold vanilla into meringue.
In a small bowl, beat egg yolks until very thick and lemon colored about 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour-sugar mixture, 1Ú4 cup at a time, over meringue, folding in gently just until flour-sugar mixtures disappears. Pour half the batter into another bowl and gently fold in the beaten egg yolks. Spoon yellow and white batters alternately into ungreased angel-food cake pan. Gently cut through batters to swirl.
Bake on bottom shelf for about 40 minutes. Invert pan on funnel; let hang until cake is completely cooled. When you invert your pan on a funnel, make sure you have something to help support it so it does not fall over.
I was talking to my friends at Smith and Smith Farms, and they said the chickens know when it is spring because they start laying more eggs. I made the Daffodil Cake with their farm-fresh eggs, and in this recipe for the lemon curd, I used the six egg yolks left over from the cake. This lemon curd will last several weeks, tightly covered in the refrigerator. It is excellent over fresh fruit, angel food cake, pound cake, scones or in trifle.
1Ú2 cup unsalted butter
3Ú4 cup sugar
1Ú2 cup lemon juice (I used Meyer lemons)
3 T. finely grated lemon zest
6 large egg yolks
Melt butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Remove pan from heat and whisk in the sugar, lemon juice and zest. Whisk in the yolks until smooth. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it thickens; do not allow the mixture to boil.
Immediately pour the curd through a strainer into a bowl. Let cool, whisking occasionally. Refrigerate, covered until ready to serve. Makes about 11Ú2 cups.
Linda Marrone has lived in Carson City since 1973. She and her husband, Ralph, formerly operated Marrone’s Restaurant in Carson City and Somethin’s Cookin’ Catering.