Sunshine Cake

Serves 8 to 10.

Note: From Watts Tea Shop in Milwaukee, in "James Beard's All-American Eats."

For cake:

• 9 eggs, separated

1 c. granulated sugar, divided

• 1/4 c. water

• 1 c. cake flour, sifted

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

• 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

• 1/4 tsp. salt

For custard:

• 3/4 c. powdered sugar, sifted

• 3/4 c. whole milk

• 4 egg yolks, beaten

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

For frosting:

• 3 pasteurized egg whites

• Pinch of salt

• 1 1/3 c. granulated sugar

• 1/2 c. water

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Grated zest of 2 large oranges, for garnish


To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, combine 9 egg yolks, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup water, and beat until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add flour gradually, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and mix until thoroughly incorporated.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium-high speed, combine 9 egg whites, cream of tartar and salt, and beat until whites are stiff. Add remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and mix until peaks begin to form. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg white mixture into yolk batter. Pour batter into ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Bake until cake is light brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare custard filling: In a double boiler over gently simmering water, combine powdered sugar, milk and 4 egg yolks and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Add vanilla extract and stir to combine.

In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add cooled custard to butter, beating well. Set aside.

To prepare frosting: In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium speed, beat 3 pasteurized egg whites and salt until soft peaks form (it will take longer to whip the whites of pasteurized eggs than those of nonpasteurized eggs). Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Boil just until syrup spins a thread (it should reach 220 degrees on a candy thermometer).

With the mixer on medium speed, very slowly drizzle the hot sugar syrup into beaten egg whites. Beat constantly until frosting stands at stiff peaks and is spreadable. Add vanilla extract and mix well.

To assemble cake: Carefully cut cooled cake horizontally into 3 layers. On top of the first cake layer, spread a layer of half of custard filling. Top with middle cake layer and repeat. Top with final cake layer and frost the top and sides of cake with frosting. Sprinkle grated orange rind over top of cake before serving.

Nutrition information per serving of 10:

Calories 540 Fat 26 g Sodium 150 mg

Carbohydrates 68 g Saturated fat 14 g Calcium 63 mg

Protein 10 g Cholesterol 290 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 3½ other carb, 1 medium-fat meat, 4 fat.

Blueberry and Walnut Pancakes

Makes about 12 pancakes.

Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance. From Al's Breakfast in Minneapolis, and "James Beard's All-American Eats" by the James Beard Foundation, Rizzoli New York, 2016.

• 2 c. buttermilk

• 1 egg, beaten

• 1 3/4 c. flour

• 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

• 1 tsp. baking soda

• 1 tsp. sugar

• 1/2 tsp. salt

3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for cooking and serving

• 1/2 c. frozen blueberries

• 1/3 c. chopped walnuts

• Maple syrup


In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk and beaten egg. In a separate large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir to combine. Stir in melted butter. Allow mixture to sit for at least 15 minutes, or overnight, in the refrigerator.

When ready to cook, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat in a heavy skillet or griddle. When butter is sizzling, pour about 1/4 cup of the batter per pancake onto the skillet, leaving space between the pancakes. (Depending upon the size of your griddle, it'll take 3 or 4 batches to make all of the pancakes. Be sure to add more butter to the griddle between each batch.)

Reduce heat to low and immediately place 5 or 6 frozen blueberries and 3 to 4 walnut pieces on each pancake. Cook until lightly brown, turning once with a spatula, about 4 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with a pat of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Nutrition information per serving (without syrup):

Calories 176

Carbohydrates 18 g

Protein 4 g

Fat 10 g

Saturated fat 5 g

Cholesterol 35 mg

Sodium 350 mg

Calcium 92 mg

Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 2 fat.

King Crab Mac and Cheese

Serves 6 to 8.

Note: From St. Elmo Steak House in Indianapolis, in "James Beard's All-American Eats."

• 1 lb. ditalini or other small pasta

• 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided

• 1/3 c. flour

• 4 c. (1 quart) half-and-half

• 1 c. heavy cream

• 1 tbsp. salt

• 1 tsp. ground white pepper

• 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper

• 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

• 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper

• 1 lb. smoked Gouda cheese, shredded (about 4 c.), divided

• 3/4 c. coarse breadcrumbs or panko

• 8 oz. chopped lump king crab crabmeat


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until 2 minutes before al dente (you want to slightly undercook pasta as it will continue cooking while in the oven). Drain and rinse until cool. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) of the butter. When butter is melted, remove pan from heat and stir in flour. Place pan back on heat and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Add half-and-half, cream, salt, white pepper, black pepper, nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and smooth. Add 2 cups of shredded Gouda and stir until mixture is thoroughly blended and cheese has melted, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together breadcrumbs and remaining 2 cups shredded Gouda.

Return pasta to (empty) cooking pot. Add cream sauce and stir to combine. Use 1 tablespoon butter to grease a 2-quart baking dish. Spoon pasta into prepared baking dish and top with breadcrumb mixture. Place in oven and bake until top is golden brown, breadcrumbs are toasted and sauce is bubbling, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over low heat, gently heat remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Add crabmeat, season with a pinch of salt, and sauté just until heat through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

When macaroni and cheese is done, remove from oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Top with warm crabmeat and serve.

Nutrition information per serving of 8:

Calories 860 Fat 52 g Sodium 1750 mg

Carbohydrates 64 g Saturated fat 32 g Calcium 590 mg

Protein 34 g Cholesterol 200 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 4 bread/starch, 3 high-fat meat, 5½ fat.