Welcome to Week 9 of #RomBakeOff. This week the challenge is the light ethereal dessert known as Angel Food Cake. This is an interesting cake because all of its lift comes from egg whites and any added fat results in a slumped or deflated cake – to include greasing the pan. My experience with Angel Food Cakes in the past has been limited to those sold in the store in the disposable container which manage to taste overwhelmingly like eggs, sugar, and dry cardboard at the same time. I never understood why they were so popular. In fact when I started talking about Angel Food Cake I had an even split of reactions. Half said it didn’t have “cake” texture and kinda vanished in the mouth and was therefore underwhelming while the other half were so extremely excited because they LOVE Angel Food Cake. As it turns out two of those who enjoy Angel Food Cake also live Gluten Free (GF) so the pressure was on.
I did my research and was pleased to discover that King Arthur Flour had a GF Angel Food Cake recipe which looked like it was feasible. With the hopes of many spurring me on I gathered my ingredients and went to work. I have to say very carefully separating so many eggs took some concentration and patience. I am so glad Ninja_Mom taught me how to do that years ago and the importance of not separating over your mixing bowl to prevent yolk punctures ruining all of the whites. I did make one substitute and I used orange extract instead of almond extract because orange just tastes better.
The other thing which almost got me was making sure I had the salt and cream of tarter in with the egg whites and not with the dry ingredients. Then it was just a sense of timing and technique. I didn’t want to over whip my egg whites and end up with a weeping meringue. I also didn’t want to deflate my meringue when I mixed in the rest of the dry ingredients. The recipe suggested using a balloon whisk or the whisk beater from my mixer so I decided to follow their suggestion – those who know me and directions don’t laugh too hard at my surprising conformity. Then I let heat work it’s magic alchemy. The more excruciating wait was for the cake to cool upside down before I could attempt to remove it from the pan.
Mary Berry covers her baked Angel Food Cake with whipped cream and drizzles of a passion fruit lemon curd. I knew the Angel Food Cake was meant to be light and it is rather sweet so I wanted to keep my decorations light and add some citrus to cut the sweetness. I was also planning on serving it with cut up fresh fruit so at Ninja_Mom’s suggestion I decided to keep the orange theme throughout. I made an orange-lemon glaze and drizzled that on the cake. Then I took some candied orange peels and sliced strawberries for the top. I served the cake with orange infused strawberries. The cake turned out moist, light, and flavorful. The citrus and strawberries provided the perfect contrast. So delicious!