Having returned from another shopping trip in the big city, mainly to acquire gasolina, and purchased baking soda and baking powder, which were not easy to locate, I decided to pass another rainy afternoon by trying a new recipe called Simple Cake. This is published in my new San Gerardo de Rivas, Costa Rica cookbook I purchased for five dollars the other day.
First, I was to cream butter in a mixer until creamy. Not having enough butter or a mixer of any sort, I opted to replace the butter with olive oil, something I had done in the states. A much healthier option, I carefully measured out three-fourths of a cup for the one cup of butter. I was to add four egg yolks, one by one, vanilla (which I paid for dearly to get the real thing yesterday), and orange rind. Thank you, Marconey, for the oranges you brought us a few days ago. Sugar was next. Since the agave nectar Bill found was expensive, I went with the regular refined kind. Sifted flour was to be added alternately with the liquid, which could be either orange juice or milk. My two free small oranges gave up enough rind but not much juice so I added the other choice, milk, to make the needed cup. Then came the fun part – whipping the egg whites by hand. Although very tiring and taking a while, I actually got them to form peaks, albeit soft ones. To make the task more challenging the only whisk available was one made of soft plastic which basically flopped around in the mess. I really was pleasantly surprised I had success. The most unusual aspect of this recipe, other than no mention of pan size or oven temperature, was that the baking powder was to be added last. The biggest question of this experiment was would the oven temperature be correct. Very strangely, this oven has no temperature setting! Thirty-five minutes later I had a cake that actually seemed to look ok. After letting it cool a bit we sampled a corner bite. Not bad. Could be a bit lighter, the orange flavor came through……we called it a success!