Sunday, July 5, 2009

Whip It Up: Week 1: Holiday Favorites

So here it is, the last day to post on what I made for Whip It Up. Way to wait to the last minute, right? Well, would it make you feel any better if you knew that I started it last Saturday? No, I guess not. I could tell you about how I'm tired or have been busy, or spent yesterday baking in the sun next to the river. But you're probably here for the cake.

This week's theme of "holiday" favorites had me thinking. I make almost everything for Thanksgiving, save for one recipe I don't yet know and will likely never share. I've hosted Rosh Hashanah dinners and Passover Sedars. Basically, if it's a holiday favorite, I've probably made it. Well crap. So I started looking up "holidays." You know the kind. Holidays such as "Stupid Guy Thing Day (June 23)" and "Let it Go Day (June 24)." Yes, those two follow each other.

And then I remembered one recipe from Passovers past that I have never, ever attempted.

Angel Food Cake. Added bonus? This recipe requires a lot (a LOT) of whipping. So there you have it. One cake, two holidays: Passover and Whip It Up's Inaugural Week, 2009.

(See all the whipping?)

I'm giving you the recipe as I made it... but hop over to Baking Bites for the real thing. I didn't have any almond extract, like theirs call for. However, I will write the instructions correctly. Not adding the vanilla after adding one addition of the flour mixture. I blame this for the deflation of my batter and resulting denser cake. It still tasted great.

Angel Food Cake (Courtesy of Baking Bites and The Best Recipe)

1 1/2 c. egg whites (about 10-12 large eggs) room temp
1 1/2 c. super fine sugar, divided
1 c. sifted cake flour
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325F.

In a small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup sugar and the cake flour. Set aside.

Beat egg whites until frothy, the add cream of tartar and salt. Beat until fully incorporated then begin to add the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar 1-2 tablespoons at a time. When sugar has been added, beat egg whites to soft peaks. You will know when you have soft peaks because the egg whites will look like soft waves and when you lift the beaters, the peaks will droop back down into the batter. If your batter is falling in ribbons, it is not quite done. Don’t be afraid to slow down the mixer and check a few times as you get close. Do not beat all the way to stiff peaks. Once you have soft peaks, add the vanilla and almond extracts and beat for a few seconds to evenly distribute. (highlighted because I missed this)

Sift the flour/sugar mixture over the egg whites in 6-8 additions and gently fold it in after each addition.

Spoon batter into an ungreased 9 inch tube pan with a removeable bottom. Smooth the top with a spatula and tap the pan on the counter once or twice to ensure that there are no large bubbles lurking beneath the surface.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed. Mine took 55 minutes.

Allow to cool completely or overnight.

Gently run a thin knife around the sides, then around the bottom, of the pan to release the cake when you are ready to serve it.

I served ths with both fresh and stewed strawberries. This was easy. All you need is 1/4 - 1/2 c sliced strawberries, a sprinkle of brown and white sugar and a splash of lemon juice.

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Let sit for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until juices form. Place over medium heat and let simmer for 10-20 minutes until strawberries are soft, cooked through, syrup forms and both strawberries and syrup are a beautiful bright red.

So, to recap:

Was it good? Yes. Very.

Was it easy? Not exactly. Maintaining the appropriate level of whipped-ness proved to be elusive. But then, maybe it would have been easier if I'd actually followed the instructions.

Would I make it again? Probably, but I'm not a huge baker.

1 comment:

trishtator said...

Angel food cake is tough - but you did a great job! Looks good!