Today I have faced my greatest enemy, and won. Not only did I win but I face stomped it into the ground. What enemy you ask? The hardest , slimiest, yolkiest thing to ever roll onto a farm: the egg. Da-da-dum… Ok, enough dramatics. I did conquer my greatest culinary block today though; that is, the meringue base.
Ever since I was little I’ve poked my nose into dozens of hobbies but one of my favorites was and still is cooking. One of my oldest memories of cooking (by myself) is that of attempting to make Ladyfingers. (For those who don’t know the definition of a Ladyfinger is “light and sweet sponge cake roughly shaped like a large finger.”) The part that baffled me was the egg base, the meringue. I would whip it up and then it would fall back down. As hard as I tried I could not get it light and fluffy like in the pictures. I finally gave up and put it in the oven, (later the oven caught on fire but that’s a different story) but I never got it right. In fact, about a hundred years and several failed attempts later I still haven’t nailed it.
So fast forward a bit. I am working on a class project and the class is given a choice of recipes. I, in my folly, pick the recipe that is most likely to explode on me: the jelly roll cake. The jelly roll cake is basically all whipped egg whites (read meringue) with a tiny bit of flour and sugar. Bring on the battle. My first skirmish is a complete failure. When the cake comes out of the oven it looks more like the surface of the moon than a cake. It doesn’t taste right either. Now I’m starting to stress, this is the night before the presentation and I only have enough ingredients for two cakes. The next try is also my last. I go through the whole recipe again. Finally, at 11 o’clock at night the last cake comes from the oven, a little burnt, but whole. Success. (This is the part were I jump up and down for joy, then faint from exhaustion) I DID IT! This was probably one of the happiest (culinary) moments of my life.
Here is the recipe that made my life heck for 5 hours…
Brazo Gitano (Gypsy’s arm cake)
6 eggs separated
75g sugar (2 1\2 oz)
75g flour sifted
1 tsp grated lemon rind
4tbsp icing sugar
a few flaked almonds
Steps: 1. Beat the egg whites until stiff then mix in the egg yolks little by little and then mix in the sugar
2. Fold in the sifted flour gradually then add the grated lemon rind
3. Line a shallow baking tin with buttered grease proof paper
4. Pour in the batter and bake in a medium oven for approx 10 mins
5. Remove carefully from the baking tray and place on another piece of grease proof paper sprinkled with the icing sugar – leave to cool for a few minutes 6. Cover with the whipped cream and then carefully roll up the cake 7. Place on a plate and sprinkle with a little more icing sugar and a few flaked almonds