I was up last night watching the Recipe to Riches finale live! I personally loathe spoilers so please, if you do not want to know who won because you have not caught up on the show yet, please leave my site right now! I would hate to ruin the show for you because I will be talking about the winning recipe in-depth.
You are now entering the SPOILER ZONE…
I want to make something very clear. I do not like competition shows. Competition actually, in general, bugs me. What is worse is it seems to be all the rage when it comes to new food show programming and normally, I could care less.
That said, Recipe to Riches was a little different. I loved learning about all these different Canadians, about their love of food, who they are, where they come from and getting to try all of the products myself and having a say in who wins.
Unfortunately, as I was watching the show I saw the people whose food I did not like win against food I thought was amazing. My heart started to break and I was angry! I began to wonder if this was more a popularity contest than one based on the quality of food which irked me. Still, was I ever happy that Glo McNeill was up there in the top three. When she spoke of her mother’s good luck with winning contests and said she felt that her mom might be behind all this, I almost cried. It was so moving. Then I did a little dance on the couch when it was announced that she had won the competition.
As someone who was impressed not only with Glo’s recipe but her as a person, I just had a feeling she was going to win. My sense of it was so strong that hers is the only recipe I actually made myself and I made it for my mother-in-law’s birthday.
Glo was so helpful when I made this cake. The situation was complicated. I was taking it to a party for Lorraine and she would be going home with it on her own. I did not know if I should freeze it or leave it at room temperature. Glo said to cook it for around 45 minutes (a little shorter) so that Lorraine could warm and finish baking it in the oven later on. Glo, you rock!
I finely grated 1 tbsp of lemon zest and squeezed enough lemons to get 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice.
I actually went out and purchased homogenized milk. In Glo’s recipe that she personally emailed me, she calls for “whole milk” which is homogenized. Food Network Canada site’s recipe calls for 1 1/2 cup of 2% milk. Uh oh!
Considering I had homogenized milk, I decided that was what I was going to bake with but for the rest of the recipe, I would follow what the site says because that is what everyone else will be doing!
I got my mixer whisking up three room temperature egg whites. They whip better at room temp and make sure there is no egg yolk in them!
I used my hand mixer to whisks the egg yolks until then lightened in colour. I reduced the speed and then added 1/4 cup unsalted melted butter, the lemon zest and juice. Normally I would photograph me doing that but I ran out of hands! I beat everything together for a minute.
Then I alternated adding the 1 1/2 cup homogenized milk with 3 tbsp of flour that was whisked together with 1 cup of granulated sugar. I always finish with the dry ingredients!
I took a third of the soft-peak whipped egg whites and folded them into the batter. Then I tried to fold the rest of the egg whites into the batter.
A trick I learned from the great Anna Olson is to finish off mixing a batter with egg whites with a big whisk.
I did not have a square glass baking dish so I used my 8″ square non-stick but buttered baking dish and hoped for the best.
I put the baking dish in a large shallow roasting pan and added hot water halfway up the sides.
I baked in the centre of a preheated 350F oven for 45 minutes, which is 5-10 minutes shorter than you should bake it because I was going to freeze it once it cooled and then finish baking it in the oven later on.
Well that is not exactly what ended up happening. I had not spoken to Lorraine in a couple of days and she spontaneously took it out of the freezer, let it thaw and ate it cold! Her and her son Chris were a bit confused with the cake since I had not had a chance to tell them the story behind it, that it was in fact a pudding cake with a sauce. I am sure they wondered if it was completely raw as they ate it. How mortifying!
Reg and I went over a few days later to celebrate her birthday and his. Lorraine of course baked a cake for Reg so there was much to be eaten! Even with the less baking time and the chilly temperature, Glo’s cake was wonderful. It was the kind of cake Lorraine dreams of. She could not believe how light it was and Reg kept saying it was like a lemon meringue pie which is one of his favourite desserts ever. Most impressive was Lorraine, who has lived her whole life in the Maritimes and is one heck of a baker, had never had a cake like Glo’s before in her entire life. Something completely new for the birthday girl that she loved!
Thank you Glo for helping me make your winning dessert for such a special lady and next time, I will make sure to include instructions on how to warm it up in the oven! But now you know, it tastes delicious cold (although I do prefer it warm).
Congratulations to all the contestants of the contest and especially Glo! I do hope one day we get to have tea in Lunenburg together and now you can go buy all the oil paints you want. I look forward to seeing what impression paintings you dream up and bring to life.