Lemon Rose Geranium Angel Cake
Cream of tartar
Lemon rose geranium leaves
Lemon rose geranium leaves
-- and blossoms
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Sift 3/4 c. of the sugar and flour together; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine egg whites with the cream of tartar,
vanilla and salt. Beat until soft peaks begin to form. Do not
overbeat; mixture should be stiff but not dry. Gently fold in the
flour mixture, a small bit at a time.
Line the bottom of an ungreased 10" tube pan with the leaves. Pour
the batter into the pan and bake until the cake is golden and springs
back when gently touched, about 50 minutes. Invert the cake pan over
the neck of a bottle and let the cake cool in the pan for 1 to 1 1/2
hours. Gently run a sharp knife around the sides of the pan to
release the cake. Garnish with geranium leaves and flowers and fresh
berries, if desired.
Note: If you have time to plan ahead, the geranium flavor of this
cake can be intensified by placing the sugar in a container with a
tight-fitting lid and burying two or three geranium leaves in it for
a week or so. This flavored sugar is also a wonderful treat with
fruit, in other cakes, or served with tea.
The authors write: "Chick Cove Manor was an abandoned chicken farm
before Renee and Lee Chewning transformed it into a restaurant.
Although not formally trained, Renee had learned the basics of
cooking as a child. 'And I always enjoyed eating,' she says. 'I
spent ten years in New York, most of it in restaurants. I
entertained and read a lot, too. When you're exposed to ideas,' she
says, 'they spark ideas of your own.'
"Those ideas went far beyond the familiar fish fries and crab cakes
served by other area restaurants. The Chewnings learned to smoke
their own meats and fish, made rich pates, and baked breads and
pastries in the restaurant's kitchen. Veal, poultry, or fresh
Chesapeake Bay shellfish were served with generous helpings of fresh
vegetables from the garden.
"Since fresh herbs were hard to find in rural Virginia, the Chewnings
planted a garden filled with herbs and salad greens behind the
restaurant. And every dish, from crab meat strudel to luscious angel
cake, became even more special when Renee's sure hand seasoned it
with a few fresh herbs. This small garden was just the beginning -
Lee now runs an herb farm that produces nearly 30,000 herb plants
each year. With no professional gardening experience to fall back on,
he read prodigiously and made many calls to Sal Gilbertie, seeking
the advice of this well-known Connecticut herb grower. 'I learned
through trial and error and through my mistakes,' he recalls."
"Today, winters at Chick Cove are devoted to growing cuttings for the
planting season. In the spring the farm sells herb plants, while
during the summer, when the restaurant is at its busiest, cut herbs
are sold. Falls were quiet until the Chewnings decided to take
advantage of the harvest with a line of herbal vinegars, salad
dressings, and jellies. The tantalizing flavors of their lavender and
ginger vinegars or fragrant rose geranium marmalades reflect Renee's
special talent for using herbs."
From Renee and Lee Chewning/Chick Cove Manor, VA in "Cooking with
Herbs" by Emelie Tolley and Chris Mead. New York: Clarkson N.
Potter, Inc., 1989. Pg. 100. Posted by Cathy Harned.