Lemon rose geranium angel cake

Yield: 1 10\" cake

Measure Ingredient
1½ cup Sugar
1 cup Cake flour
12 \N Egg whites
2 teaspoons Cream of tartar
\N \N Lemon rose geranium leaves and blossoms
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon Salt
6 \N Lemon rose geranium leaves
\N \N Berries


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Sift ¾ 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 1½ 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.

Submitted By CATHY HARNED On 10-15-94

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