This cake was perfect to serve for breakfast at the office. The angel food cake is naturally fat free, and the beautiful floral arrangement of fresh fruit and the plain low-fat yogurt as “icing” were the perfect morning treat for coworkers. The second cake idea drawn out of a hat by my colleagues was a cake “made of fruit.” I could have designed a cake shape out of just fruit, but I really felt that defeated the purpose of a cakes challenge. So I decided an angel food cake would be the perfect complement to some of my favorite things – fruit and yogurt. I was so fortunate to have my mother-in-law, Dawn, in town from beautiful South Carolina. She is a baker and chef extraordinaire, so having her by my side putting this beautiful cake together was truly a blessing. The inspiration for this cake was “architecture” — and let me just say that it didn’t turn out at all like architecture. There were spirals and such in mind for the original sketches, but given our deadline, it just wasn’t happening. What did I learn on this adventure? Cream of tartar is not, in fact, tartar sauce. And cartons of egg whites can’t be used in place of cracking your own egg whites for angel food cake because they’re pasteurized. Fascinating! Regardless of the obstacles, cake 2 was a huge hit.
Angel Food Cake Recipe
- 12 egg whites whites
- 1.25 c. sifted cake flour
- 1.5 c. sugar
- 0.25 tsp. salt
- 1.5 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 0.25 tsp. almond extract
Angel Food Cake: In a mixing bowl, sift together cake flour and 3/4 cup of the sugar. Sift it really, really well. Put the 12 egg whites in another large mixing bowl and allow to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes or so. (Normally one would leave them sitting out for 15 minutes, but we wanted a denser cake to support all the skewered fruit, so thought maybe less room temperature time was better.) Beat egg whites with salt and cream of tartar, and the remaining 3/4 cup of the sugar, a little bit at a time. Beat it at high speed until the egg mixture forms soft peaks. Add almond extract and vanilla extract and beat that in. Then, sift in the flour/sugar mixture just a little bit at a time, mixing at low speeds until it is completely blended. Pour it into your ungreased tube pan. Cut through the batter a few times with a knife or spatula to level the center and remove air pockets. Back on the lower rack in the oven for 35 minutes (we baked closer to 40, again because we wanted a denser cake to support the fresh fruit) at 375° and it will be a little browned on the outside. As soon as you pull the cake out of the oven, turn the pan upside down to cool.
Decoration: We used a tall, cylindrical vase in the center of the cake and filled it with a whole container of lowfat plain yogurt, then filled it the rest of the way with fresh blueberries. We skewered sliced strawberries and raspberries and arranged them around the angel food cake. Then, we put green, purple and red grapes around the base of the cake and filled in the gaps. On the morning of the big reveal, I filled in the gaps with fluffy whipped cream and put a dollop of whipped cream on top of the blueberries with raspberries in it. Yum!
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