Sunday was Mother’s Day. I usually spend Mother’s Day with my mom and in the past, she has usually made dinner for her mom and we’ve celebrated there. This year my grandmother passed away a week before and my dad had retinal surgery, so my mom decided to stay home and celebrate with me another day. This left me at loose ends for Mother’s Day.
Mr. MarthaAndMe made breakfast (Dutch babies) while I lounged in bed and the kids had thoughtful gifts for me. It was a nice morning. Expecting Mr. MarthaAndMe to cook dinner though is a bit much. No one in this house has forgotten the Meatloaf Incident (in which he made meatloaf with a little meat and a LOT of ketchup). So, I made a roast chicken and mashed potatoes. But I really wanted a dessert of some kind. Martha to the rescue! I was intrigued by the recipe for Versatile Vanilla Cake (Everyday Food, May issue). The idea behind this recipe is that you can easily modify it to make chocolate or lemon cakes. I decided to make one batch, but split it in half so I could have a chocolate and a vanilla cake (since we have two camps in this family – chocolate and vanilla).
The cake was easy to make. Of course I ran out of eggs and had to send Mr. MarthaAndMe to the store. The cakes baked up nicely. Once I had the cakes made, I made Martha’s frosting. I must admit, I was a little scared of this frosting. It’s made from egg whites, sugar, salt and water. Frosting without butter? Seemed weird.
You cook the egg whites in a double boiler until the sugar melts and you reach 150 degrees. I must say it didn’t look too appetizing at this point! But I kept at it and once it is cooked, you whip it. Now it began to resemble frosting. It whipped up nicely and was light and fluffy.
Next, I spread it on the cakes. Because it was so light and fluffy, it went on very easily. I had just the right amount to frost two one-layer cakes. If I had made a two-layer cake like the recipe directed, there would have been enough for that.
The frosting looks really pretty on the cakes, don’t you think?
Now for the taste test. The cakes were delicious! The cake was very moist (because of the buttermilk in the recipe) and had a nice consistency (heavy but not too heavy) and a good flavor. The frosting was quite good. It was sweet and light and was not overpowering like some frosting can be. I also love that it is non-fat.
I will definitely make this cake and frosting combo again. It was a winner!
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