Mar 28, 2011
I loved this cake in its supporting role in the Bostini (because in my opinion the star of that show was the pastry cream sauce), so I was curious about how it would be on its own. I was also curious about the flower nail (since I didn't even know if it was a "flour" or "flower" nail--the book uses both terms), but not too worried since Hanaa was going to supply the nail. Then Hanaa caught a cold and bowed out of the team baking project (hope you're feeling better, Hanaa!) and I decided it was time to get my own. Jim volunteered to make a trip to Michael's to pick one up--only after we both googled "flower nail" did we figure out exactly what it was. And Jim, who nearly suffered an acute anxiety attack when he walked into Michael's and saw the aisles and aisles of "stuff," as he referred to it, somehow zoomed straight to the flower nail and was able to exit the store without hyperventilating. After that, everything was easy.
I have been at this quixotic cake project for nearly two years now, and, while I think I should be able to make cake in my sleep, I still read the directions pretty carefully. The technique for this one is easy: mix all the ingredients except the egg whites until you have a thick, yellowish batter.
Then beat the egg whites until you get a meringue with stiff peaks.
And fold the two together.
I almost forgot to insert the rose pin. I had the cake in the oven for about 20 seconds when I remembered. I screamed a ladylike scream, grabbed the cake out of the oven, and inserted the pin.
No harm seemed to come to the cake. It came out of the oven looking perfect (were it not for the odd nail-like thing sticking out of the center).
After cooling in the pan for an hour, it came out of the pan, still looking good.
By this time Woody had arrived. He was very impressed with how level the cake was. He had been expecting it to sink. He also had lots of ideas for photographs: "Let's take a picture of the cake in the snow!" Jim looked at him as if he had just started speaking in tongues. But finally he agreed.
Woody did not drop the cake in a snowbank. And, after I whipped some cream with orange marmalade, I served the cake with a dollop of the cream and a dollop of some blood orange curd that Woody had brought along. (Woody always brings samples of his latest projects--he's a great person to invite to your house!)
Yes, the cake stands beautifully on its own. Although the whipped cream and the blood orange curd were great accompaniments, it didn't require accompaniments. It's delicate and flavorful, with a great texture and a perky, natural orange flavor. And that closes the "Sponge Cake" chapter--we started on June 8, 2009 with the Torta de Las Tres Leches and have made all the other sponge cakes in the chapter, including various angel food cakes, which I believe I've finally figured out how to bake. The orange chiffon cake is a great way to wrap up this varied and delicious assortment.
Sarah: "I love it! With the orange curd and the marmalade whipped cream, it seems very British--like something you'd get for tea at a high-toned tea shoppe." (I'm sure she said "shoppe" not just "shop.")
Woody: "It turned out very well. I'd like to know how you got it to stay so level."
Jim: "Chocolate's always my favorite, but this is excellent. It's nice and moist. A good way of picking up some Vitamin C."
Posted by Marie at 9:28 AM