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An year ago, almost today, when this blog didn’t existed, with this cake I’ve wished him “Happy Birthday! ” 30 times, colorfully, beautifully and sincerely. And delicious! As there is no other cake that could spell love better than angel food cake as every bite is a fluffy piece of a sweet heavenly cloud.
I’m preparing to say “Happy birthday!” again in a few days. I’ll add another wish to the last 30 and I will tell it to him with more love than any cake could ever express fully.
Angel Food Cake with berries
– adapted after Joy the Baker –
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cake flour, sifted
12 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/3 cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
For the whipped cream with berries:
2 cups whole cream
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups berries
extra fruits for decorating ( the prettiest you’ve got )
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of a food processor, fitted with the blade attachment, grind sugar for about 2 minutes. This will help create a super fine sugar that will be better absorbed into the egg whites.
Place half of the sugar in a small bowl.
In a large bowl, sift together the remaining sugar, salt, and cake flour. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, beat together the egg whites, water, extract, and cream of tartar medium speed. If you’re worried that the cream of tartar is too chunky… don’t worry, it’ll smooth itself out. Beat on medium high, gradually adding the sugar from the small bowl, until medium (not stiff) peaks form. The meringue will hold a trail of the beaters through it, be glossy, and won’t be overly foamy.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift in one quarter of the flour and sugar mixture. Fold with a spatula. Try to avoid stirring the mixture too much. Instead, sweep the egg whites from the bottom of the bowl to the top, incorporating the flour. Add flour mixture in three more batches. Fold until thoroughly combine, but don’t overmix or deflate the egg whites.
Spoon battering into an ungreased tube pan. Ungreased in is important, as it will help the cake rise. The tube pan will be full.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. Remove cake from the oven and carefully invert upside down, propped up on a bottle. This cake cools upside down. Let rest for at least an hour before trying to remove from the pan.
While you wait for the cake to cool, beat the cold whipped cream slowly adding sugar until the mixture increases volume, hardens and holds stiff peaks. Add the fruits, slowly folding them into, carefully not to deflate the cream. Easily smash some of the fruits with the spatula to color the cream with their juice. The cream will get a pink color if you use strawberries or raspberries or purple like mine using blue and black berries. Feel free to experiment and try any combination.
*Let me tell you a secret: If there is one thing I fear most in the kitchen, that’s surely making whipped cream. It’s always something that keeps it from getting the right consistency. So if you are like me, you should have a teaspoon or two of cornstarch by hand and use it if you don’t succeed of whipping it right. So add the cornflour, beat it a little more and then refrigerate it until use.
After the cake has cooled, dress it pretty with the fruit whipped cream and decorate it with the fruits. Serve it with extra cream on the side. Because I haven’t used a tube pan, I sliced the cake in 3 layers, overlaying them with cream. But do as your inspiration tells you and surely it will come out right. When using good ingredients, you can’t get something bad out of them. At least that’s what my granny says all the time.
Like the sweet life (La dolce vita!), share it and enjoy it with the loved one. As what is made out of love must give back love.