Yvonne Caruthers orchestrates cream cheese and eggs into a harmony of taste sensations. Cheesecake. More than three pounds of cheesecake.
"I enjoy all kinds of creative things," says Caruthers, a cellist with the National Symphony Orchestra. "There's a certain satisfaction in putting it all together."
She, like many others in the 104-member orchestra, has donated her specialty to the NSO/WGMS radiothon, a three-day fund-raiser scheduled to begin March 3 on WGMS radio. The last radiothon, in 1980, contributed about $125,000 to the orchestra. Caruthers' looming dessert--baked 6 inches high in an angel food cake pan--will cost the recipient $20.
The event will raise money for the symphony by selling more than 700 "premiums," a virtual symphony of gustatory delights. Besides donating miscellaneous noshes and dinners of varied extravagance, some of the orchestra members will slip aprons over their tuxedos to whip together such foods as a big pot of chili, a creole special and even an Iberian meal.
The food-oriented premium catalogue doesn't surprise Caruthers. "Musicians tend to like food," she says. "Maybe they're aware of the senses more."
Trombonist Jim Kraft, who after four years in New Orleans developed a Creole-style appreciation for food, has enlisted the help of his wife, Mary, to prepare a Creole dinner that will include a nontraditional crawfish e'touffe'e, turtle fricassee, red beans, and even ramos gin fizz. The dinner sellsl for $50, and there will be two recipients of a dinner-for-two.
The radiothon catalogue lists most of the premiums, but a spokesman for the NSO says many more are donated at the last minute. The radiothon is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. March 3 and continue until midnight March 6 on 103.5 FM; 570 AM. CELLIST'S CHEESECAKE (16 servings)
Crust: 16 zwieback crackers, crumbled 1/4 cup sugar Dash of cinnamon 1/4 cup melted butter
Filling: 6 eggs 2 1/4 cups sugar 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon salt Juice of 1 lemon 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 pounds cream cheese 1 1/2 cups light cream
Combine crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Press into the bottom of a 10-inch tube pan that has a removable bottom.
Beat eggs for 5 minutes, adding sugar gradually. Add flour, salt, lemon and vanilla. In another bowl, beat softened cheese with cream until smooth (adding cream gradually after cheese is fluffy). Add egg mixture to cheese and keep on beating. Pour in crust and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Open oven door after that and let cake stand in oven until cool (overnight is fine). Refrigerate 8 hours before serving. CHOCAHOLIC BOURBON CAKE (16 to 18 servings) 2 cups butter 1 cup granulated sugar 1 cup confectioner's sugar 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted 12 eggs, separated 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup chopped pecans 18 double ladyfingers 48 macaroons, broken and soaked in 1/2 to 2/3 cup bourbon 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
Cream butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the confectioner's sugar until light and fluffy. Beat egg yolks until light and blend into butter mixture. Beat in chocolate. Add vanilla and pecans. Beat egg whites until fluffy, add remaining granulated sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Fold into chocolate mixture. Line the sides and bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with split ladyfingers. Alternate layers of soaked macaroons and chocolate mixture over ladyfingers. Chill overnight. Remove sides of pan and cover cake with whipped cream. This cake freezes well. Ice with whipped cream after defrosting, however.