Recipe Testing: Holiday Office Party Cake

How I got on the Party Planning committee, I don’t know. Someone suggested my name? Maybe? It’s been 2 years on the committee and 4 party. This maybe my last one as I’m soon to be off to Hawaii working remotely.

We always have dessert potluck for the party. This year I wanted to test out Lemon, Ricotta and Almond Flourless Cake recipe that found on pinterest. It looked really beautiful and I knew there were a few gluten-free people so I thought I’d try it out.


I used meyer lemons instead of regular lemons (had them in my fruit bin for some curd) and just the zest. I used zest of 3 lemons. Then eggs, separated and ricotta and almond meal. I also use vanilla extract instead bean because I didn’t have any. Sugar I used slightly less–1 1/4 instead of 1 1/3 because I read some of the comments that it was a bit sweet.

Mix up

I whipped the butter and sugar for a really long time as I cleaned up my kitchen. The butter/sugar mixture was really light and fluffy. Added zest, yolks and vanilla, blended well. Looks like a lot of zest but that is all the lemon flavoring in this recipe and that’s why that amount is needed. It kind gives the mix a yellowish color.

Then folded in the almond meal. It was kind of dense but I figure the egg white would lighten it up. I heated the egg whites and sugar to stiff peaks then fold it into the mix. And yes, it did lighten up the mixture, it was light yellow with fleck from the almond flour.

Ready for the oven


Once it mixed well, (please don’t over mix the egg whites and deflate them), I added the mix to prepared 9″ springform pan. The pan isn’t greased to help with the rise like a angel food cake, so you have to line the bottom and sides pan so it would come out easier. Well that’s what I think since there isn’t any leavening besides the egg white. Then I sprinkled sliced almonds on top.



Finish product. Baked 20 minutes longer than the recipe called for. I baked it till it was golden brown on top and firm to the touch in the center. I let it cool overnight in the pan and the parchment paper really help getting it out.

Everyone loved the cake at the party. It disappeared in no time. I think it’s a nice cake for the holidays because it isn’t too heavy, looks great and very quick and easy to make.


Recipe testing

I’ve been trying to get my recipes from my old blog here. I thought it would be easy to go back to my old blog to add links from old post. But I was NOT as organized as I thought. So I decided to re-recipe test the favorites and post them the recipes and my recipe page (which is n. Hopefully I can make update to recipe to make them better.

First up

Sweet Potato Pie using Mom’s Pumpkin Shortbread recipe. Here’s the link for the old post:

Mom’s Pumpkin Shortbread a is a creamy custard-y pumpkin pie with shortbread crust. It’s beloved by my family and friends who have made have tasted this recipe. It’s a staple at our Thanksgiving table. I usually make for Thanksgiving and share it with friends. My cousin is making it now for her family.

In my original post, I substituted sweet potato and baked it in a springform pan instead of a 9 x13 pan. I was converting it to serve at the restaurant. I also made the crust slightly thinner, I half the recipe of crust. But the one thing, I notice was the crust got a little soggy after the first day. I also wanted to try adding some cinnamon and cardamon to the crust. I thought that would go well with the sweet potatoes.

I’m thinking of trying out this Martha Stewart recipe, It has an egg in dough which I was thinking it needed. Then I saw this recipe on FB from the Washington Post–Pumpkin Caramel Tart with Toasted Hazelnut Crust. It sounded to delicious to resist.

So I’m totally dump my idea to change up my mom’s pumpkin pie recipe to try this recipe out with sweet potatoes. I’m bring it to Thanksgiving at my friend’s house. Kind of brave to bring a recipe you never test to dinner. But I haven’t tested a new recipe in a while  and these are close friends. They can be brutally honest that tell me if it sucks.

Recipe testing problem #1

Don’t be lazy and start on time even though you are trying to get through Stranger Things, season 1 so you can start season 2. With that statement, I forgot to take pictures till I go to my friends house. I was running late with the late start and  . . .

Recipe testing problem #2

Guess lazy was a theme for my Thanksgiving baking. Too lazy to go shopping with the crazy Thanksgiving food shoppers, no hazelnuts. I think I have one more can of  macadamia nuts. Got a little scared found only onion flavored mac nuts–well I can bring that to the dinner as an appetizer. But I found a can of plain mac nuts that I would used in the crust. Which digs the lateness hole deeper.

Recipe testing problem #3

Started the caramel for the custard first. Now this is the reason you don’t test new recipes to take to a party/dinner. The sugar and water took forever to melt and liquify. Then with lateness and being impatient, I dumped the cream in too fast and clumped up the melted sugar. I just keep stirring, up the heat, and it started melting. But time sucked the baking time. I had to think on my feet and I decided to go back to my old faithful recipe that I originally thought I would adjust.

In the end

I mixed up my old faithful recipe from mom with oven roasted sweet potatoes and some of the caramel that ended up working. I didn’t add all the sugar from the original recipe because of that addition.


The crust was delicious and the sweet potato custard was good. I would add a little more milk to it to up the creaminess to counter the sweetness and cut the sugar a little. Overall not a disaster.