Friday, December 18, 2009

Angel Food Cake

This time of year, amidst all of the butter cookies, fudge varieties, and other beloved festive favorites, I thought I'd throw in a lighter option. Not because I have anything at all against the richer treats (believe me - my kitchen has been cranking them out in droves the past few weeks). And really, I guess when you add a sweet glaze, some homemade raspberry sauce, freshly-whipped cream and chocolate garnishes (the way I prefer to do the angel food thing), this isn't exactly a health food either. But the cake itself - relatively light. What you do to it after that is not my problem. I'm just here to offer suggestions. (But seriously, try it my way. You won't be sorry!)

Angel Food Cake

11 egg whites
1 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar

Sift confectioner's sugar and flour together at least three times. (Don't skimp on this. I know it's a pain, but it's crucial.) Set aside. Beat egg whites, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt on high speed. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold flour mixture in gradually. Spoon into ungreased tube pan, cutting through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Immediately invert pan and cool completely.

For glaze: Beat together 1 T. softened butter, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1/8 tsp. salt, and 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar. Add 2-3 T. milk, until desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake, allowing glaze to run down sides.

For raspberry sauce: Simmer together 10 oz. frozen raspberries with 1/2 cup sugar, until berries have broken down and sugar is dissolved.

For whipped cream: Beat 2 cups whipping cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla until stiff peaks form.

For semi-sweet chocolate garnishes: Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips or pieces & pipe onto wax paper in various shapes. Allow to set.


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