By Request

By Kekoa Catherine Enomoto

Wednesday, August 19, 1998

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Brittle candy melts into the lemon-flavored
whipped cream frosting of this lemon crunch cake.

Tradition recreated
in lemon cake

MURIEL Miura Kaminaka developed a look-alike, taste-alike version of the much-requested lemon crunch cake popularized by the former Alexander Young Hotel Bakery.

Her recipe is featured in the forthcoming "A Tradition of Aloha" cookbook. Miura Kaminaka chairs the 45th-anniversary cookbook committee of the Japanese Women's Society of Honolulu. Proceeds benefit JWS scholarships for graduate gerontology students.

The 150-recipe collection includes mochiko mango bread, tournedos Madagascar by Swiss Inn chef/restaurateur Martin Wyss, and misoyaki opah with baby bok choy by L'Uraku executive chef Hiroshi Fukui. Also, a pair of Chinese chicken salad recipes, plus chapters on Hawaii potluck classics and on light, healthful dishes.

Order the cookbook at special presale prices, through Sept. 30. Send a $14.50 check (includes postage) made to: Japanese Women's Society, P.O. Box 3233, Honolulu 96801. Or send a $12 check and daytime phone number; then pick up books Oct. 24 at the JWS office at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, 2454 S. Beretania St., Suite 203A. (The book will be $15 after Sept. 30.)

For information, call 943-6993.

Miura Kaminaka demonstrated her 1960s adaptation of lemon crunch cake at the former Bishop Street auditorium of The Gas Company.

"This recipe is similar enough, it was very popular when we did present it. In those days, all of their recipes supposedly were trade secrets," she said of the Alexander Young Hotel, which stood where Tamarind Square now stands.

"I personally like the candy to be crushed, so you really sprinkle it all over the cake. When it's sitting on the whipped cream it will soften. So when you bite into the cake, you get a burst of candy flavor combined with the lemony flavor of whipped cream."

The recipe follows, along with the cookbook's Tahitian Lanai banana muffin recipe, requested by Sarah Loui of Yong Sing Restaurant.


Lemon crunch cake

1 package (18.25 ounces) yellow cake mix
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon lemon extract
3 eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Bullet Lemon crunch frosting:
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
2 cups heavy cream, whipped

Empty cake mix into a large mixing bowl; make a well in the center. Beat in water, oil, lemon extract and egg yolks until smooth, about 1 minute or 150 vigorous strokes. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl until stiff peaks form.

Gradually pour egg yolk mixture over beaten egg whites, folding with rubber spatula just until blended. Pour into 2 greased and floured 8-inch layer pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly. Cool. Split each cake into 2 layers and frost with lemon crunch frosting.

To prepare lemon crunch frosting: Combine sugar, water and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, to 300 degrees on a candy thermometer, or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold or ice water separates into hard, brittle threads. Remove from heat and quickly stir in baking-soda mixture until light and foamy.

Pour mixture onto a buttered 8-by-12-inch cookie sheet and quickly spread to 1/4-inch thickness; cool. Break into pieces, then crush into crumbs.

Add the confectioners' sugar and lemon extract to whipped cream until well blended. Spread half the sweetened whipped cream between cake layers and the remainder on top and sides. Sprinkle crushed candy generously on top and sides. Garnish with lemon slices, if desired. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours before serving. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Note: If desired, substitute lemon sponge or chiffon cake.

Bullet Approximate nutritional analysis per serving, based on 12 servings: 470 calories, 21 g total fat, 10 g saturated fat, 110 mg cholesterol, 530 mg sodium.*


Tahitian lanai banana muffins

1-1/2 cups butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup mashed banana
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon banana flavoring
4 cups cake flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream together butter and sugar until light. Add beaten eggs, mashed banana, and vanilla and banana flavorings. Mix well. Sift together 3 times the flour, soda and salt. Add to banana mixture; do not overmix. Turn into greased muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 4 dozen.

Bullet Approximate nutritional analysis per muffin: 150 calories, 8.5 g total fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 120 mg sodium.*

Send queries along with name and phone number to:
By Request, Honolulu Star-Bulletin Food Section,
P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Or send e-mail to

Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by
Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.

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