Saturday, May 03, 2008

Angel Food Cake With Strawberry Glaze

This was easily the best angel food cake I've ever baked-perfect, really. The filling-not so much. It wasn't bad (how bad can five eggs and a stick of butter be?) but it wasn't what I was aiming for. I'll give strawberry curd another go in the future, so I'll skip the less-than perfect recipe. Instead, here's what I did for the cake and the beautiful strawberry glaze atop the cake.

The only real "trick" to this cake is patience. You really need to add the sugar to the egg whites slowly (a tablespoon at a time) and the same with folding in the flour. Some people have luck adding the sugar as soon as the egg whites become foamy-I do not. In my experience it is best to wait until they form a bit. I also add my extract at the end rather than beginning. I've had too many meringues fail miserably to chance it any other way. If you have a copper bowl and a good whisk-use them. The stand mixer is handy, but the risk of over-beating the egg whites is there. If you must use the mixer, do so cautiously and resist the temptation to crank it up to top speed and beat away.

You Will Need:

A 10 inch tube pan

1 cup sifted cake flour (I used Soft As Silk)

1 1/2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar

12 egg whites (1 1/2 cups) at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1/3 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Do not grease pan.

Sift together a few times, the flour and confectioner's sugar. Set aside.

In a large bowl (copper if you have it) beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until they begin to form. Slowly (a tablespoon at a time) add the granulated sugar. When egg whites hold stiff peaks, beat in the vanilla extract.

Again, a couple tablespoons at a time, fold the flour/sugar mixture into the egg whites. Pour the batter into the pan and with a knife, cut through the batter in circles to eliminate any air bubbles. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until cake tests done. Invert on a funnel and hang to cool. You may need a thin bladed knife to dislodge it. Split and fill cooled cake, if you like.

To make Strawberry Glaze-

Puree a handful of strawberries in blender with a few drops of water. Stir into 2 cups confectioners sugar, adding only as much as needed to make a thick glaze. Pour over cake. Chill until set.

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