Friday, December 10, 2010
Golden Lemon Cake for Nikhita
I find myself staring into the maw of my second semester of senior year, and you know what that means - time to find a job. If you were going to ask me very politely what I'm thinking about doing, you may very politely shut your mouth. It's not a nice question to ask a senior in college. I went to a career fair in October and it was the most dispiriting hour of my life. I even invented a drinking game. Take a shot every time someone asks you if you're a software engineer and then his face falls when you say you aren't. By the end of it, you'll be drunk enough to go the career fair and not come out of it believing that you're never, never going to be employed. Apparently, at the February career fair there's more variety, but only companies with massive hiring needs know that they have the funding to recruit at places like Brown at the beginning of the year, so the only people there are Web- or tech-related companies like Amazon or Facebook, do-gooders like Teach for America or the Peace Corp, and financial sector firms.
Which brings us to cake. I mean duh. My friend Nikhita recently received a job offer from not one but two financial firms, and in the end she picked the Big Bad Goldman Sachs. Exciting stuff! I promised that we would bake a congratulatory cake in exchange for my being her trophy wife and lounging around her apartment baking all day, since she'll never be in said apartment when she's working 27-hour days. Her parameters were that it not be chocolate and not be too complicated. Nikhita is a fantastic cook, inventive and intuitive, but she has no confidence in her baking ability. We decided on a simple Martha Stewart lemon cake recipe with whipped frosting, which I had originally picked out because it was golden, like the vast amounts of money Nikhita will soon be making.
I don't think we could have made a more perfect choice. This cake was a dream in every way. It was so easy to make, not to mention forgiving - I accidentally added an additional egg yolk and it didn't mess things up at all! It baked to a perfect even hue and not only came out of the pan whole, but remained whole when I placed one layer on top of the other. As avid readers of this blog know, that NEVER happens to me, so major points for the cake. The whipped frosting looked lovely, although I'm more of a buttercream kind of gal. But most importantly, a) it tasted amazing, fluffy and delicately flavored and b) it gave Nikhita the confidence to believe that she too can bake delicious treats. She said that she would try this recipe, which was always one of her favorites when we were in Cambridge together. We'll let you know how it goes!
You can find the recipe here. (We didn't make the candied lemons.) This is definitely going to become one of my go-to cakes.