Thursday, January 27, 2011

Angel Food Cake with Blueberries

Monday was Seth's birthday - the big 3-2 - and the first birthday we were able to spend together (last year I was in Uganda, the year before in the States.) My Thai cookbook includes a recipe for Shrimp Pad Thai (Phat Thai.) Seth had expressed interest in it back in December and, not to keep on the edge of your seat, that's what I made him for dinner. It would also have been the subject of this post except I had trouble juggling the order of ingredients and couldn't be bothered with taking pictures of the process. Plus I overcooked the noodles and, honestly, I didn't like it. Seth and Ryan loved the dish but I thought it was slightly bland and I think it's possible I don't like shrimp much anymore. That possibility horrifies me so I'll ignore it for now and give you some cake instead.

Delicious Angel Food Cake. I love angel food and for many years my mom made it for my birthday, albeit from a packaged mix - she didn't want to be bothered with so many egg whites and so  many wasted egg yolks. (I whip my yolks for several minutes to get them good and frothy, then make a huge omelet from them. I hear tell that others make ice cream.) Nevertheless she still bought the special tube pan just for the purpose of making me my cake, so who cares how the cake was made?

My apologies for the photo. I just wanted to eat it!
Luckily for Seth I spent time reading through the Martha Stewart Living magazines my sister had hidden amongst her cookbooks, one of which included an angel food recipe. I figured if Martha made it, it must be good and now I can say, yes, yes it is. I was worried about deflating the eggs when I folded in the flour, but thanks to a tip from Masterchef Australia (turn the bowl as you fold, so if you are pulling your spatula to the left, turn the bowl to the right) my eggs remained fully whipped and my cake came out light and springy. The recipe advises against self-rising flour but that's all I had on-hand and I saw no problems with it. Perhaps cake flour would have made an even airier cake - perhaps. You can make your own cake flour by mixing 2 tablespoons cornstarch per 1 cup flour needed for the recipe, sifting twice, then measuring from that mixture.
Of course the best part of angel food cake is that because of its inherent fluffiness, lightness and largely guilt-free nature, you don't have to think twice about whether or not to have a second piece. And if the entire cake is gone by the end of the night I won't tell anyone, but I'll understand.

Posted by Picasa

Angel Food Cake
Martha Stewart Living Magazine

Cuts into 10 healthy slices

1cup plus 1tbsp cake flour
1 1/2cups granulated sugar
12 egg whites
1tbsp warm water
1/2tsp salt
1tsp cream of tartar
1tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325F with rack in lower third of oven. Sift together flour and 3/4 cup of sugar. Repeat sifting four more times.

2. Beat egg whites and the warm water with a mixer on low speed until foamy. Add salt, cream of tartar and vanilla and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. With mixer running gradually add remaining 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Raise speed to high and beat until peaks are stiff and glossy (but not dry), about 2 minutes more.

3. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Sift flour mixture over egg white mixture in 6 parts, gently folding in each addition with a rubber spatula.

4. Gently pour batter into a 10-inch tube pan (or two round 9-inch cake pans.) Run a knife through the batter to release any air bubbles. Bake until cake is golden brown and springs back when touched, 40-45 minutes.

5. Invert pan on wire rack and cool for about 1 hour. Carefully run a knife around sides of pan to loosen, then unmold onto wire rack.

6. If using tube pan, cut cake in half and spread whipped cream on bottom half. Pop on top half and slather with more whipped cream and blueberries (or fruit of your choice.)

For blueberries:

1. Combine 500grams (a little less than one pound) blueberries in saucepans with 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste), 1/4 cup sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of water (depending on your blueberries.) Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, to allow berries to burst and cook down slightly. (At this point I removed 1/2 cup of liquid (and a few berries) to add to the whipped cream for the middle. Allow to cool before adding to the whipped cream.)

2. Make a cornstarch slurry (with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 1/2 tablespoons water) and add to berries in saucepan. Cook until mixture thickens, about 2 minutes, and remove from heat. Allow to cool before topping cake.

No comments:

Post a Comment