When I think of a springtime dessert, I think of something light, fresh, and homemade. This Angel Food Cake is just that. Simply filled and frosted with freshly whipped cream, and topped with a crown of sliced, ripe red strawberry jewels, this is one sweet little show-off of a dessert!
Traditional Angel Food Cake (King Arthur Flour recipe)
Yield: 1 cake. Serves about 16.
Ingredients for cake:
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend (Tip: Using King Arthur unbleached cake flour blend, in place of all-purpose flour, yields a taller, more tender angel food cake.)
1 ½ cups sugar
12 large egg whites, at room temperature – Not a speck of yolk please!*
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract, or a combination
1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
1 lb. fresh strawberries, sliced
Whipped Cream Recipe
Preheat oven to 325° F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and 3/4 cup of the sugar. Set aside.
In an oil free* bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the egg whites, salt and extract on medium speed until the mixture is frothy. Sprinkle the cream of tartar on top and continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form.
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. Add the remaining sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, and then gradually fold in the dry ingredients.
Spoon the batter into an ungreased angel food pan. Twist the pan to level the batter. You don’t want to tap the pan on the counter, as that would break all the beautiful bubbles you whipped into the batter to make it fluffy and light.
Bake the cake in a 325°F on the center rack of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until it’s golden brown and the top springs back when lightly touched.
Remove the cake from the oven, and place it upside down on a bottle or metal funnel to keep from crushing the top. Let the cake cool for 1 1/2 hours. This cooling period sets the structure, and keeps the cake from collapsing.
Loosen the edges of the cake with a knife, and remove it from the pan. Let cool completely.
Cut cake in half horizontally, and frost bottom half with homemade whipped cream. Place top half back on and frost top. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries.
*Any oil, or egg yolk present will hinder the process of bubble formation. Air trapped within the batter creates an angel light cake.
Yield: 2 cups
1 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons sugar
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, place heavy cream, sugar and vanilla. Turn to medium speed and whip until cream begins to thicken. Continue whipping until cream is fluffy but not too firm – you don’t want to make butter, well, not today . . . .