My mother is going to see family in New York City and Germany this summer. She’ll be gone for two months and is leaving on Tuesday, so I made a couple of special things as a sort of a bon voyage last night. This is a reason to celebrate for all of us, if you catch my drift.
The meal turned out to be a total bomb. It was hot in the kitchen, I was rushing and trying to do too much, and my leg was bothering me. I have osteoarthritis in my right leg, which set in, they think, because of a minor injury I had years and years ago. Standing for long periods wreaks havoc with that leg, even with a gel mat. I was one miserable camper even before the oyster soup overcooked and broke. Then I undercooked the brie in puff pastry, so it was gummy. Amateur mistakes that were my own fault. I stewed in my own juices as my family ate the oysters I fished out of the soup with the top layer of the baked brie, telling me all the while how good everything was. You have to love kind people.
I sought to redeem that meal via the 7up cake I made for Matthew to take to a party today, which I gave an abstract glaze in red, white and blue.
Here’s how you can do it, too.
1). First, make a pound cake in a bundt pan of some kind and let it cool completely. Make this 7up cake, which is a huge favorite in my home, but ignore the glaze in the recipe. It’s buttery and dense with a lemony zing, and uses 7up as a leavening agent. When it’s cool, set out a sheet pan, line it with foil, place a small bowl on top, and then place the cake on the bowl, right side up, so it’s elevated. Use a bowl whose diameter is smaller than that of the cake. Check out the photos below.
2). Assemble blue and red food coloring (you can buy concentrated natural food colorings on the web or in baking or specialty stores), confectioners sugar, lemon juice, one medium-sized bowl and two smaller bowls. Use bowls that won’t be ruined by the food coloring. You’ll also need three spoons.
3). Place three cups of confectioners sugar in the larger of the three bowls. Add a very small amount of lemon juice — no more than three tablespoons. Mix in to check consistency. Add more lemon juice in tiny increments, so you wind up with a very thick glaze that runs slowly. You will need only a small amount of lemon juice!!! Transfer 1/3 of the glaze to each of the smaller bowls.
4). Add a few drops of blue food coloring to one of the smaller bowls of glaze and mix it in thoroughly. Add more, if needed, until you get the color you want. Repeat for red.
5). Using a spoon and holding it above the cake, apply white glaze (the one you added no color to that’s remaining in the larger bowl), allowing it to cover the top well and run down the sides and middle. Check out the photo below for an idea of how things should look. Allow cake to sit a few minutes.
6). Apply red next, using quite a bit of glaze with each spoonful. Drizzle on using a looping motion. You want plenty of red, but allow lots of the white to show. Make sure the red glaze runs down the sides and middle. Allow cake to sit a few minutes.
7). With blue, swirl all over cake in small ribbons. You want this layer thin with lots of lines so it creates an abstract design.
8). Let cake sit for a couple of hours. Do not touch it! Do not cover it!
9). Tent foil over cake gently and let it sit all night so that the glaze hardens completely. Do not touch cake with foil! Do not move cake! Leave the whole contraption as-is and cover it with foil!