From my story, Goulash, not ghoulish
Reprinted from The New York Times, December 23, 2009. ©2009 The New York Times Company
I used a five cup fluted ring mold and halved the recipe below, baking it on a lined sheet pan for fifty minutes to catch the slight overflow.
Also, as Meyer Lemons were plentiful in the market when I made the cake, I substituted those for the oranges called for in the recipe below. Instead of brushing the warm cake with orange brandy I brushed it with a bit of the Meyer Lemon juice that I had boiled and reduced slightly.
The cake slices in the photo above were toasted under the broiler for approximately two to three minutes per side.
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, more for greasing pan
2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour, more for dusting pan
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
8 large eggs, separated
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 2 oranges (about 1 1/4 tablespoons)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed strained orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons orange-flavored brandy (optional)
Whipped cream for serving
Dark rum for serving (optional).
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 10-inch tube or bundt pan and dust with flour; set aside. Sift 2 1/4 cups flour with baking soda; set aside.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream 1 1/2 cups butter until fluffy. Gradually add 1 1/4 cups sugar and mix until light, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and orange zest and mix at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with orange juice, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until smooth.
3. Using an electric mixer, in another bowl whisk egg whites with cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar just until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into batter.
4. Pour batter into pan and bake in center of oven until cake is golden and pulls away from sides of pan, about 1 hour 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. While cake is still hot, brush with brandy, if desired. Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pan.
5. To serve, cut into 1-inch slices. Lightly toast slices and serve two to a plate with a dollop of whipped cream and, if desired, a shot of rum to pour over warm cake.
Yield: 10 to 12 servings.