Tuesday, January 17, 2012

a little meringue cake for a little dessert

meringue cake just out of the oven and still puffy
I actually do cook, not just bake but I'm apparently on a little roll with the baking posts.  I have a little dessert of some kind almost every day.  It works for me.  Do not judge.

I have an entire day off today and I'm loving it.  Took a big lap around the hood when it was still in the 50's and enjoyed the light rain moisture boost.  Caught up on some paperwork, but still badly need to clean my desk.  Drove downtown to a lovely yoga class with Erin Morgan at Invoke, the teacher responsible for hooking me on vinyasa yoga.  Bought some bird food for the big feeder in the woods to 1. feed the poor birds as the temperature dropped 20 degrees while I was in the cozy yoga studio and 2. entertain my cat while he sits on the bay windowsills in the basement and watches the birds at the feeder and in the heated bird bath.  And then I made a little lunch and while the oven was hot and I had two overripe bananas I made another tray of banana oatmeal snack cake adding some walnuts this time for a little oomph.  So while the cake's in the oven and I'm stalling on my main objective for today to clean our closet (don't worry, I have to do it and it will get done before nightfall) I thought I'd write one more baking post.

It's that time of year when everyone is mindful about their intake.  Let's face it, even though I don't own a scale and my jeans still fit (even freshly out of the dryer) there's some modification necessary after a long holiday season of hours and hours at lululemon and only minutes and minutes of cardio.  Lululemon employees take fitness classes of all kinds somewhere in the city almost everyday (it's research and a really amazing benefit) so it's more fun than usual to meet your fitness goals.  I'm an everything in moderation person so I'll still bake, I'll just be sharing more.  Probably with my lululemon friends since they'll be burning it all off!

This cake is a vintage recipe from my mother-in-law.  It's easy to whip up early in the day for after dinner.  It's a nice little cake made in a 9 x 9 x 2 pan so you just can't get into that much trouble.  It's best served with berries which you can macerate (stir in sugar and let sit to bring out the juices) or just serve fresh.  I've found beautiful blackberries, raspberries and blueberries on sale the last couple of weeks which is so fun when usually this is frozen berry time of year.  I love meringue and pretty much decided that I'll either make this cake or a pavlova for my birthday.  This plan hinges solely on the availability of good berries in late February and if anyone else offers to bake or buy something for my big day.  Always welcome!

Meringue Cake

2 C fresh berries macerated with 1/4 C sugar,  2 T berry or citrus liqueur optional

cake
1 1/4 C flour
1 C sugar
1/4 C butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
1/2 C skim milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 egg whites

topping
2 egg whites
1/2 C sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all cake ingredients in a stand mixer at low speed for 30 seconds, scrape sides of bowl and increase speed to high and beat for 2 minutes.  Pour into sprayed 9 -inch square pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove cake from oven.  Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees while you prepare the topping in a clean mixing bowl with stand mixer and whisk attachment.   Beat egg whites at high speed until foamy.  Beat in sugar a little at a time until peaks are stiff and glossy.  Spread meringue over cake.  Bake 8-10 min until meringue is light brown.  Cool completely.  Serve with berries.

Serves 9, 285 calories, 5 g fat

ingredients

cake going into the oven

cake out of the oven 

topped with soft meringue
 (my bowl was not completely dry which is probably the culprit, still worked)



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