It is often said when we lose a loved one that He or She has gone to a better place. We can reason all we like, but we will miss them. And a piece of our own heart feels broken and missing for quite some time.
This post is to Honor my beloved nephew Andrew who passed quite unexpectedly on January 23, 2014. He was a living Angel. He was perfect. No, truly. He was. Don’t believe me? Ask ANYONE who knew him. He was more than a nephew, he was my good friend and confidant.
My other living angel is my good friend Vicki who jumped right in to take care of my boys. NO Easy feat, they can be a hand full! She’s an Angel. The comedy of errors upon leaving would make a great scene in a movie. But for now, I wanted to bake her an angel food cake. Seemed appropriate for this grey and wet and sad January, which has so quickly turned into February.
I snagged this easy and delightful recipe from American Heritage Cooking. Beautiful site, and great photos. (Unlike my photos….I don’t have the time and I am never ashamed to admit it! You should see the valentines aprons I knocked out today…..darling!) So bear with my photos, and trust me that this is one safe angel food recipe if you are new to angel food. Angelic!
Here’s all you do:
ANGEL FOOD CAKE
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 ½ cups egg whites (about 9-12 eggs)
- 1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla (high quality)
- ½ teaspoon almond extract (high quality)
- About an hour before starting the cake, separate your egg whites from yolks. Cover the yolks with water and refrigerate for a later use. In measuring cup or small bowl let the egg whites warm to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 375° and set rack to middle shelf.
- Sift flour and powdered sugar together 4 times and set aside. Yes, at least 4 times.
- Measure out all other ingredients to have them ready for cakes that require precise timing.
- Beat egg whites with cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand or hand mixer until foamy and cream of tartar has distributed evenly through out whites.
- Beat in sugar 2 tablespoons at a time, on high speed, until stiff and glossy. Add the extracts and salt with the last addition of sugar. Mine were slightly less stiff that true stiff peaks and the cake still turned out fabulous so don’t be too worried but ideally you should have true stiff peaks.
- Remove bowl from stand mixer and sprinkle flour-sugar mixture, ¼ cup at a time, over the meringue, folding it just until the flour-sugar mixture disappears.
- Push batter into an ungreased tube pan, 10×4 inches. Cut gently through batter with a metal spatula or gently tap on counter to settle batter.
- Bake until cracks feel dry and top springs back when touched lightly, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Invert pan on bottle and cool completely.
- To remove cake from pan, gently insert a flat metal icing spatula against the sides and carefully cut all the way around. You can use a small thin knife or a cake tester to cut around the middle tube. Gently flip cake over on a cooking rack, remove the pan and place the cake right side up with your hands. It should feel as light as air!
- Serve with powdered sugar, strawberries, blueberries or a light whip cream. YUM!
Here is a Blueberry Topping:
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water
- Combine all ingredients except cornstarch mixture in a small saucepot. Bring to a boil, uncovered, over medium heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes.
- Add cornstarch and water mixture and stir until the cornstarch is completely incorporated.
- Continue to simmer for 10 minutes. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.