Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Lemon Rose Cake
Lemon Rose Cake with Rum Glaze.

Every so often, ol’ Elisson will bake a cake.

It’s not a talent I inherited. Eli, hizzownself, never sets foot in a kitchen these days, nor did he when I was growing up. And my Momma was not a baker. I recall her baking a cake exactly one time. And it was a fine cake - a spice cake, the aroma of which I can still summon up with pleasure from my Reptilian Hindbrain.

No, baking was not her thing. Far easier to toss a few bucks at the Dugan Man - or pick up that box of Entenmann’s. That was back when Entenmann’s was a strictly local affair...and their New York style crumb cake was (and is) second to none.

The Bad Boy you see pictured above is a Lemon Rose Cake with Rum Glaze. The “Rose” part has to do with the cake pan, which is a vaguely rose-shaped piece of work. And a bitch to clean, I’ll tell you. The batter uses cake flour - resulting in an incredibly tender crumb - and is flavored with rum and lemon oil. Then you soak the whole mess down with a butter-rum glaze. Mmmmmm, good.

I had baked one of these last week for SWMBO to take to her school, where it was to be served at a Volunteers’ Luncheon, but it turned out less than satisfactory. The cake proper was fine: I just couldn’t get the fucking thing out of the pan without demolishing it. Eric and Fiona were there to watch my attempt at getting the damn cake to release, and, if nothing else, my efforts provided considerable amusement. On the plus side, while it meant me enduring a few poorly-concealed chuckles and SWMBO making a trip to the supermarket Monday morning, we had Jigsaw-Puzzle Cake Sunday evening.

It may not have been pretty, but with freshly-made whipped cream and some blackberries piled on it, cosmetic flaws could be forgiven.

Being the nit-picky perfectionist I am, I had to prove to myself that I could do the job without fucking it up, and so I cranked out another cake last night. This one turned out perfectly. The (not-so-secret) secret? Don’t be a wiseguy, trying to grease the pan with that spray-on crap like I did the last time. You have to take the time to butter the pan, making sure every nook and cranny is covered - then apply a thin layer of flour. Bingo.

The next cake project? An attempt to duplicate that ineffable Entenmann’s crumb cake. There is nothing that goes so well with a steaming mug of java. Sure, I could just buy one, but where’s the fun in that?

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