Celebrate with a Lemony Lift

Posted by Alayne Gardner-Carimi on

Here Comes the Sun...

...perhaps metaphorically at this point in the battle between Spring and Winter; however, we know Spring (and the Sun) will eventually win out. In the short term, as the seasons duke it out, we can lean heavily on the beautifully bright and sprightly lemon to lighten our days and palates. 

While lemons may come and go (fuzzily) in the refrigerator, vomFASS Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a pantry staple you can always count on to bring lemony essence salads, veggies, seafood, pastas, and even cakes!

5 Fun Lemon-y Facts

Lemons vary by climate...
Lemons cultivated in dry areas have more acid in them, while those grown in wetter climates are sweeter and less acidic.

Lemon is a cleaning agent.
Because of its high acidity, lemon juice is constantly used as a cleaning agent.

Lemons are hybrid.
Lemons are a hybrid of sour orange and citron.
Eight seeds in every Lemon
A lemon contains eight seeds on average.
Lemon was once a common name.
In the 1900s, Lemon was a common unisex name

Soak It Up

As we lean into longer days, our food choices become a bit lighter. Tinges of green sprout from our still cold gardens, and this year’s asparagus hits the grocers. Moving from buttery pound cakes to the lighter sponge cakes is a natural progression as we celebrate Spring holidays.

A Better Cake Blooms

Cakes used to fall into two categories. They either were rich and dense butter cakes, like pound cakes, or they were light and airy foam or sponge cakes, like angel food. Then one day in 1927, Harry Baker, a California insurance agent cum caterer, created the Lemon Chiffon cake with the richness of a butter cake with the lightness of a sponge. He kept the recipe a secured secret for decades. In 1947 he sold his recipe to General Mills so “Betty Crocker could give the secret to the women of the America.” General Mills released the secret recipe for chiffon cake in the May, 1948 Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. It became a nationwide sensation. Better Homes and Garden Magazine advertised this cake as, “The first really new cake in 100 years.” In the next decade, Betty Crocker created 14 variations. 

Secret Ingredient

Baker incorporated the best of both cake worlds. His hybrid used the sponge method for creating light airy cakes by folding in whipped egg whites and combined the egg yolks and vegetable oil (instead of butter) with the dry ingredients to create a rich mouthfeel and longer shelf life.

Best Gets Better

Today, thanks to modern cake mixes (which sadly often contain highly saturated fats in their ingredients), adding oil to cakes is normal. It wasn’t back in 1927. The oil that Mr. Baker added to his lemon chiffon cake was a highly processed, neutral vegetable oil. Today we know the nutrition and flavor of Extra Virgin Olive Oils is far superior to that of highly processed vegetable oils. This simple substitution can greatly enhance flavor and improve the nutrition of this delicious cake hybrid.

Celebrate with Zest

Lemon Chiffon Cake is one of the most refreshing, fluffy spring cakes. Loved by people globally, its bright yellow hue and the blissful taste of lemon will certainly make your taste buds fall in love. The use of vomFASS Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil won’t have you running to the store for lemons to zest. However, if you want to incorporate the zest, please do. 

Cake Chameleon

Chiffon cakes can be made in many flavors from citrus (try substitution vomFASS Orange or Tangerine Extra Virgin Olive Oils for the Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil), to vanilla, chocolate, spice, and coffee chiffon cakes. For those, we recommend using our lovely Don Carlos Extra Virgin Olive Oil (made with organic Andalusian olives) as the oil component. Because the structural component making the chiffon cake light and fluffy comes from the whipped eggs, it can also make a successful gluten-free variation when substituting the cake flour with a high-quality gluten-free flour blend.

Zesty Lemon Chiffon Cake

Lemon Curd (non-dairy)

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