My writer’s group was having a dessert potluck. Now I could bake a cake to bring, because baking a cake for just me and my husband will not help us stay on our diets. However, things did not go smoothly. First, the spray I used to grease the pans came out in blobs. Hopefully, they would smooth out with batter being poured into the pans. Not only did it not spread out smoothly, but it made the finished cake look mottled in places. Thank goodness, I could frost the cake to cover that up.
After reading the notes I had written on the recipe card, I made sure to leave the margarine in big chunks, so the egg yolks would heat slowly and not curdle. Sometimes, when I’d made this frosting, it had turned out so runny I had to chill it in the refrigerator before it got thick enough to spread without running over the edges.
I kept the heat on medium, so the frosting would cook slowly and thicken. It did thicken, but when I beat it, I realized I must have cooked it too long, for now it was too thick to spread. I added a little water, but apparently I added too much because I had to cook the frosting longer to get it thick again.
Finally, when it was close to the right consistency, I began to spread it on the cake. I should not have skimped on the coconut to avoid a trip to the store, because there was barely enough to cover the layers. With about forty writers bringing brownies, cookies, and refrigerator desserts, to the potluck, there was a lot to choose from. However, the cake was popular with the writers, so I only brought home half a cake.
Combine 1 cup of sugar, 3 egg yolks, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a small saucepan. Add 1/2 cup margarine, cut in chunks. Cook and stir constantly over medium heat until thickened, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut and 1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts). Beat until thick enough to frost cake. If still runny, chill in the refrigerator. Makes 2 1/2 cups.
Then I had to figure out what to do with the three left over egg whites. I could add them to scrambled eggs for breakfast for my husband, but he vetoed that. I put them in the refrigerator and delved into one of my cookbooks called, The Other Half of the Egg.
I finally settled on adding another egg white and making meringue shells to fill with strawberries. Using a mixer, I whipped the 4 egg whites until foamy and added sugar, two tablespoons at a time, until I had added a full cup. Then I beat it until it was shiny and stood in peaks. On a large cookie sheet, I placed parchment paper (can use waxed paper or the clean inside of a cut paper bag spread out). I also made the edges raised.
I spread the meringue in two circles about seven inches in diameter and baked in an oven preheated to 200 for 2 3/4 hours. I let them cool in the oven. Later, I spread 2 1/2 cups sliced strawberries mixed with 2 Tbs. sugar and 4 pkgs. Sweet ‘n Low and covered them with Cool Whip (can use whipped cream instead) on each layer. Then I stacked the second layer on top. However, to cut serving pieces, I had to use a serrated knife and cut very gently. As my husband said, “Yummy.” Maybe next time I’ll serve one layer at a time. Sometimes, the meringue will weep, and you’ll need to sop up the liquid with a paper towel.