Saturday 25 May 2013

Good Food Show recipe : Angel Food Cake

I posted a giveaway earlier where you can win tickets to the Good Food Show Summer, taking place in Birmingham next month, from 12th-16th June. To whet your appetite, I have a recipe to share from the lovely Rachel Allen,who will be taking part. This looks lovely so I'll definitely be trying this out :

Angel Food Cake

Angel food cake is a classic American dessert, especially popular in the South. Its name derives from it being almost magically light, making it seem like the ‘food of the angels’. Once the cake is made, you can cover it with rose-water or lavender icing, if you wish. Iced or plain, this cake is delicious served with summer berries and whipped cream, to which you could add a dash of rose or orange-blossom water or a few drops of lavender essence for a refreshing, floral note.

Prep time: 20 minutes (excluding the icing)
Baking time: 20-28 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves: 6-8

Butter, for greasing
125g (4 ½ oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
Pinch of salt
175g (6oz) caster sugar
½ tsp cream of tartar, sifted
8 egg whites (250ml/9fl oz)
2 tsp vanilla extract

23cm (9in) diameter cake tin with 6cm (2 ½ in) sides

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Gas mark 4. Butter the sides of the cake tin and dust with flour, then line the base with a disc of baking parchment.

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and mix in 150g (5oz) of the caster sugar. In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining sugar with the cream of tartar.

Tip the egg whites into a large, spotlessly clean bowl or in an electric food mixer. Using a hand-held electric beater or the food mixer, whisk the egg whites for about 20 seconds or until they begin to turn cloudy and frothy. With the beater or mixer still running, add the mixed sugar and cream of tartar, then continue to whisk until the mixture is glossy and forms stiff peaks.

Carefully fold in the vanilla extract, followed by the dry ingredients, adding these a quarter at a time and folding in very lightly, so as not to knock any air of out of the mixture.

Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 20-28 minutes or until golden on top and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Using a small, sharp knife to loosen the edges, carefully remove the cake form time tin and leave on a wire rack to finish cooling before transferring to a plate to serve.

While the cake is cooling, make the icing, if using, and decorate the cake following the instructions given in the individual recipes.

Instead of icing the cake, you could serve it with softly whipped cream and berries such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries or blackberries, or a mixture. You could either top the cake with about 450ml (16 fl oz) of softly whipped cream and a generous scattering of berries, or alternatively you could simply serve each slice with cream and berries.

Being a delicate, fat-free sponge, it needs to be cut very carefully with a serrated knife.

Rose-water icing with pistachios

Prep time: 5 minutes
Makes: enough for 1 large cake

1-2 tbsp rose water
250g (9oz) icing sugar, sifted

To decorate
75g (3oz) unsalted shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
Fresh or crystallised rose petals (optional)

Stir together 1 tablespoon of the rose water with the icing sugar until well mixed and runny enough for drizzling – adding a few more drops of rose water if it seems too stiff. Use a spoon to drizzle all over the cake in zigzags, then, before the icing has a chance to dry, quickly sprinkle the pistachios all over the cake and scatter with the fresh or crystallised rose petals, if using.

Lavender icing

Prep time: 5 minutes
Makes: enough for 1 large cake

¼ tsp lavender essence
1-2 tbsp boiling water
250g (9oz) icing sugar, sifted

To decorate
About 8 lavender flowers (optional)

In a small bowl, mix together the lavender essence with 1 tablespoon of boiling water. Sift the icing sugar into a separate bowl, then add the lavender mixture and stir together until well mixed and runny enough for drizzling – add a few more drops of hot water if it seems too stiff. Use a spoon to drizzle all over the cake in a zigzag pattern, and scatter with the lavender flowers, if using.

Recipe taken from Cake by Rachel Allen, published by Collins £25 HB.

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

Sorry duckies - other ways to use up leftover bread than a trip to the park !

Best of British recipes for Open Farm Sunday

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