Meringue Madness: A Cake That Uses All Your Eggs
The night before Easter, I had a dozen eggs and a choice: dye them neon per Martha’s suggestion in the April issue or use them in one of her egg white dessert recipes, also in the April issue. I didn’t have much use for a bowl of fluorescent-hued eggs except to make the world’s brightest batch of egg salad, but desserts are always welcome in this house, so Raspberry White Cake it was!
(Also, I friggin’ love raspberries.)
I had never made meringue frosting before and when I realized that this is basically the cake version of a Tastykake Jelly Krimpet, I considered bagging the frosting altogether because Krimpets rule. But frosting exists to a.) remind us why sugar and eggs were invented and b.) to cover up ungraceful cakes made by inattentive bakers like me. I used two different types of cake pans, so the layers look ridiculous, and went way overboard on the raspberry preserves between the layers. SHOOT ME. I was high on Easter candy.
But I had all these eggs just dying to be de-yoked and beaten within an inch of their lives, so I went for it. Five egg whites later, the result was not quite as elegant and bright white as Martha’s, which I think is because I heated the corn syrup a few degrees too high and burned it slightly. (That stuff heats up quickly!) I also think I beat the egg whites for a little too long so the stuff was a little fluffier than it should have been. It was like trying to ice a cake with a cloud. Meringue is a strange, strange thing.
A very tasty cloud though! In spite of my rookie mistakes and its less than perfect appearance, this cake tasted really, really good. At the behest of my mother, who conveniently showed up in time to help frost the cake and lick the beaters – a signature Howson move – I scrapped the coconut topping in favor of raspberries and lemon rind, but in hindsight I would keep the coconut.
Verdict: Marthable, but pay attention to the damn corn syrup!