I made this recipe, and it had just about ZERO sage or lemon or honey flavor! Also, the instructions call for toasting the walnuts at 350F, an...

...d then "lowering the oven to 350F", which makes no sense. Following the baking instructions produced a tough crust, and a very damp center. The recipe still sounds like it would be wonderful, so what's wrong



SKK February 5, 2012
Carol, thanks for your persistence in having this recipe work. Once again I have learned a lot from the exchange!
carol_tanenbaum February 5, 2012
Thanks everyone -- I'm going to tinker with this (since I've a LOT of sage & Meyer lemons) until it works for me. Oven's been a bit odd lately, which might explain my problem with baking time. Heavy pans as well.

Thanks again.
SKK February 5, 2012
My daughter is a pastry chef and insisted on getting me an oven thermometer. I was shocked at how off my oven was, it runs cold. Recommend you purchase one, they are not expensive.
creamtea February 5, 2012
you're welcome. Definitely try an oven thermometer--there may be "cold" and hot spots in your oven. Lighter pans would help, as they retain less heat.
creamtea February 5, 2012
I would add, be careful in toasting the nuts at the higher temp if you think your oven runs hot, and toss or stir occasionally; it is easy to burn nuts!
creamtea February 5, 2012
I corrected the recipe to heat the oven to 375º & toast the walnuts at that temp. until fragrant. The cake should be baked at 350º. You may add grated lemon zest to the batter (toss with the dry ingredients). Test the cake with a toothpick or tester in the center--it should come out clean or with just a few moist crumbs adhering. A regular lemon in place of the Meyer lemon will provide a sharper lemon flavor, and the higher number of sage leaves (you can crush them slightly in a mortar & pestle) will give a more pronounced sage flavor. It is very adaptable, so feel free to adjust to suit individual preference.
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