1 c. cake flour (sifted 3 times?) – all purpose will do too.
4 eggs, separated
1 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice + water to make 1/4 cup
* You can substitute 1/4 c. of coffee and flavouring or other liquid (for the lemon juice and rind) to change the flavour.
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 350 *
- Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colour.
- Add sugar a bit at a time while continuing to beat.
- Add lemon water (with rind) alternately with flour, ending with flour.
- Mix well.
- Beat egg whites until almost stiff
- Have baking powder and salt ready to add to egg whites.
- Add them and continue to beat until very stiff.
- Fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture.
- Pour into ungreased tube pan.
- Bake at 350* for 40 – 45 minutes.
- Check after 40 minutes and possibly turn off oven for last 5 minutes.
- Invert cake pan to cool.
I usually get the flour sifted and ready to use, the lemons (or limes or oranges) pressed so I have my 1/4 cup of liquid ready, and I have the 4 eggs separated (yolks into the mixing bowl and whites into a measuring cup – any cup or bowl will do).
I also set aside the baking powder and salt in a small bowl, ready to add to the egg whites later on.
So first I mix the egg yolks and add the cup of sugar very gradually while the mixer is whipping up the yolks and making them paler and creamy.
Into the egg yolk and sugar mixture, add the lemon juice and the flour, alternating and mixing between additions. Then pour the mixture into a fairly large bowl.
Wash out the mixing bowl and the beater and make sure the bowl is cold so the egg whites get stiff easier. When the egg whites are nearly stiff, add the baking powder and salt and finish beating to make sure the whites are stiff.
Put the egg white mixture onto the batter you made earlier and carefully fold the whites into the batter. Do not stir or you’ll ruin the air bubbles and the cake will not stay high and fluffy.Using a spatula, cut down the side (or the middle) of the batter and fold it over itself repeatedly until the batter is foamy and there are no clumps of egg white showing anymore.
When the cake is done, turn it upside down on something that the top of the tube will rest on (I use a tin from my canister set) so the cake can cool quickly and to stop it from collapsing onto itself.
When the cake is cool, run a knife along the outside edge of the cake and around the center tube to loosen the cake. Holding the pan upside down give it a sharp rap on a cutting board and it should come out of the pan.
Now you can cut it into slices to eat with berries and ice cream or whipped cream, or you can cut it horizontally to fill it with your favourite filling and add some of the filling on top. I like a pineapple/lemon filling sprinkled with coconut.
After you’ve made a few of these, you’ll be able to get a cake into the oven in 15 minutes. Easy and guaranteed to be good!