What has this to do with baking? Let me back up a little bit and we’ll get to that.
Josh Marshall is a journalist who writes about the political scene. He is astute, insightful, and sometimes he cracks me the-hell-up. So in the midst of one of his essays on nefarious insider doings with foreign powers he’ll get me to remember a point by cracking wise. At times a little levity goes a long way. Click here to read the essay that will be forever etched in my mind.
He, like Andrew Sullivan, is artful with a turn of phrase and the use of parody. Consider the beatitudes Mr. Sullivan wrote in the voice of Trump:
And now we’re back to cake. When the world goes cockeyed, and it’s excruciatingly evident the climate has changed, and checking your devices leads one to believe we’re all heading for damnation — I bake. I harken back to times standing on a footstool in my mother’s or grandmother’s kitchen so I could reach the mixer on the counter. I remember their voices, and cookbooks spattered with vanilla and batter. I remember the scent of strawberries simmering in sugar, and all of a sudden the world doesn’t seem so bad. I bake to lift my spirits, and I hope this recipe for a Sunday afternoon lifts yours.
Airy Lemon Almond Cake with Confectioner’s Sugar and Sliced Strawberries
2 cups almond flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt…sift together and set aside in a big bowl.
6 eggs separated, 1/2 cup sugar, zest of one lemon, juice of one lemon, 1 teaspoon vanilla…
Beat the yolks until pale, add 1/4 cup of the sugar, the vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice, whisk it together and then combine it with the almond flour mixture in the big bowl. You should end up with a gloppy kind of batter.
Beat the egg whites until they are stiff, or hold a peak. Add the other 1/4 cup of sugar and beat until just glossy.
Now comes the fun part. Take your egg white mixture by the heaping spatula-full (a bit at a time) and fold it gently into the gloppy batter. When you have folded everything together it should be a smooth fluffy batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake 35 minutes until it is golden (see picture), or doesn’t dent when you touch the center, or a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan and remove the cake. Take a long blade and run it under the cake to lift it from the bottom of the cake pan. (My cake pans are aluminum and since they were Mom’s they probably date back to the 1950s, I bet with the newer silicon ones your cake will just pop right out.)
Place on a cake plate and serve with sliced strawberries and a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.
I hope the day sees you safe, V