Monday, April 30, 2012
Raspberry Angel Food Cake for Bake Together
I’ve been thinking about this cake all month and have been excited for the moment I could get in the kitchen and bake it. This month, Abby Dodge shares her terrific Angel Food Cake for April’s Bake Together recipe, along with some tempting variations. Yes, angel food cake ... that airy, eat-way-more-than-you-intend-to cake. My family has been known to devour an entire angel food cake in one sitting, pulling off one pillowy hunk after another.
For my version, I mashed fresh raspberries to dollop in the batter, reserving some of the juice to mix into whipped cream to frost the cake. Mixing up an angel food cake is a gentle process – you want to keep it as light as possible. And I love the way angel food cake cools, suspended upside down on a wine bottle to keep the cake tall and majestic.
This is the first time I’ve baked an angel food cake and I can safely say I will not be buying a store-bought one again. After sneaking a small bite of the cake, my plan to wait for my family to come home went out the window and I had to sit down and enjoy a slice immediately. Softly textured, snow white, studded with raspberries and slathered in blush pink whipped cream ... definitely the food of angels!
This stunning cake would be lovely for a Mother’s Day brunch, a summer birthday, or just because. I can tell you it is divine eaten straight from the pan, and is heavenly with berries and cream. I can’t wait to bake it again!
Raspberry Angel Food Cake
Adapted slightly from Abby Dodge’s Tangerine Angel Food Cake
1 cup cake flour
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
11 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup superfine sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
1 cup fresh raspberries, mashed lightly and juices reserved
2 cups whipping cream, chilled
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pull out a 10 x 4–inch angel food cake pan (do not butter or grease the pan). Have a wine bottle ready to hold the pan in a level, upside-down position for cooling.
Sift the flour, 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar and salt together three times (Abby says “no joke – THREE times”) onto a piece of parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-low speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar, increasing speed to medium, and beat until whites are opaque and climbing about half way up the bowl (the tracks from the whisk will be beginning to hold their shape) forming very soft peaks. Continue beating while slowly and continuously adding the superfine sugar. Beat on medium high until the whites are thick, shiny and form medium-firm, fluffy peaks. (The peaks should droop over gently.) Do not over beat. You want to leave some room for those whites to expand in the oven. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat just until blended, about 10 seconds.
Sift 1/4 of the flour mixture over the beaten whites. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the whites. Repeat with remaining flour mixture, one quarter at a time.
Using the spatula, spoon 1/3 of the batter into the cake pan and spread around the bottom. Gently dollop 1/2 of the mashed raspberries on top of the batter. Spoon the next 1/3 of batter on top, then dollop with the remaining raspberries. Spoon the last 1/3 of the batter on top and smooth. Bake until the cake is light golden brown and the cake is springy when touched, about 40 minutes. Immediately invert the pan onto the neck of the wine bottle and let cool completely.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the chilled cream until soft peaks form. Add the reserved raspberry juice (about 1/8 cup), 1 tablespoon powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat on low until mixed.
To remove the cake, rotate the pan, gently tapping the bottom edge of the cake pan on the counter as you turn it until the cake loosens from the pan. If necessary, run a long, thin knife between the cake and the pan and around the inside of the tube to loosen the cake. Slip the cake from the pan and gently lift it up from the center of the pan and arrange on a flat serving plate. Frost the cake with the whipped cream, or serve the cream on the side with slices of cake.