It all began because I wanted a cake for my birthday. With the pandemic, and social isolation, I knew we would not have visitors and I rarely ever celebrated my birthday anyway, so I did not care if anyone other than John and I were here to enjoy my day. But, for some reason, this year I really wanted a cake. I found a recipe for a Lemon Meringue Angel Food cake and decided that would taste lovely. Angel Food Cakes are low in fat because they only use egg whites and no butter so this would be perfect me, can you say high cholesterol. They are easy to make, as well. The hardest part about an angel food cake is separating the 12 egg whites from the 12 egg yolks. So, I whipped up, literally, the cake and when done took it out of the oven.
Now one thing you should know is you have to invert an angel food cake as soon as you take it out of the oven to let it cool or it will collapse. Well, my perfect cake came out, I went to invert and . . . wait for it . . . dropped the pan. My angel food cake was now a “fallen angel” food cake. I was in tears. I so wanted this cake. Instead of being light, fluffy, and about 8 inches tall, it was dense, soft, and 4 inches tall. It tasted ok but had the consistency of one of the Easter peeps! ACK. My husband John tasted this demon cake and decided it was wonderful and has been snacking on it ever since. Maybe I have found a new treat for him.
Now I had no cake, but I did have 12 egg yolks. To paraphrase an old saying “when your angels fall, make a pound cake.” I dug out a recipe for a 12-Egg Yolk Lemon Pound Cake and while this would not be a fat free cake the only cholesterol would come from the yolks because this cake did not use butter either so not too bad health wise for me.
However, the universe’s jokes were not yet done with me. I began to beat the yolks with my stand mixer, and it went well for about a minute then . . . wait for it . . . the mixer began to slow down and finally stopped. I turned it off, unplugged, waited a minute, felt the motor (it was not hot), then plugged it back in, started it up, and it barely turned on. Now I have a dead mixer. Ah, but wait, I do have a hand mixer and grabbed it and finished my cake.
After I put the cake in the oven, I looked at my lovely Kitchen Aid stand mixer, which my mother gave me some 22 years ago, and wanted to cry. She has been my baking buddy for a long time and now she was dying. Together we made bread, cakes, cookies, and rolls and I am going to miss her. I will look forward to a new Kitchen Aid Mixer, but I will miss this old girl.
Well, the second cake of the day came out perfect and I had my birthday cake. At the end of the day I wondered if, somehow, I was not supposed to make a cake? Sometimes I just do not listen to the universe when it says stop. Most of the time when I do that it does not turn out well, today it did and I ended up with a nice cake, John discovered an interesting snack, and I was not too frazzled. All-in-all not a bad day, or birthday.
Ruth Jewell, ©March 11, 2021
Image: Ruth’s Birthday Cake