Tell me these beauties aren’t the perfect thing to take us in to the holiday weekend.
Chris, from Melecotte offered to guest post for me here today, as I am still playing catch up after last week’s jaunt to New York, and working on posts to deliver to you next week. She’s done a gorgeous job, hasn’t she?
Please leave her a comment here letting you know you appreciate her hard work – it certainly is beautiful and I SO appreciate it! And until next time friends, have a wonderful holiday weekend, enjoy your family (if you can), eat too much, play too hard, and sleep too late…you deserve it!
I am excited to have the opportunity to guest post for DoughMessTic. I have followed Susan for a long, long time, as her blog was one of the ones I read before beginning mine years ago. So, to be here today is quite an honor. Thanks Susan! See you next month here in sunny, warm Atlanta!
That’s right. Warm. Spring is short lived here, and summer turns the corner in an instant. As the weather begins to warm, despite the ridiculous humidity, I can’t help but turn giddy about the delicious light and healthy foods the summer months highlight. Whether preference leans toward sweet or savory, this time of year shifts my thinking a bit as I continuously consider how I will prepare a meal expose the true essence of the ingredients’ natural flavors. There isn’t any room for thoughts of overly dressed, heavily sauced dishes soaked with competing flavors. With desserts, whether simple or elegant detailed/involved, I lean toward light and whimsical finales that highlight the freshest flavors of the seasonal fruits.
A cake that stirs up thoughts of delightful desserts is Angel Food. If made well, angel food cake is modestly sweetened, moist, and tender. Its airy fluffiness makes me swoon. And, the versatility the cake offers opens opportunities filling, to be covered, or remain simple and plain.
Now, I know some of you are giving me strange looks right now through your computer screen. Angel Food Cake and delightful in the same sentence? Could the cynicism be because past angel food cake experiences have included squeaky sounds as you bite into the cake’s Styrofoam-like texture? Or, have your teeth hurt with a slice’s insane sweetness? More importantly, have those experiences been with store bought cakes? Did Twinkies (and their 100 shelf life years) share the same bakery aisle real estate? I thought so. Store bought Angel Food Cake versus freshly made Angel Food Cake provide very different results. So, before you right off this airy sponge cake, please try making it at home.
While the recipe I am including here can be made into one 12-cup tube cake, I chose to make cupcakes. The small white spongy cakes make it easy to display whimsical, summer bites for guests. Enjoy!
Angel Food Cupcakes
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ cup cake flour
- ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 12 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 ½ tsp. cream of tartar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
- 12 strawberries, washed, dried, and halved (or fruit of choice)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 20-24 cupcake pans with paper liners.
In a food processor, pulse sugar until it is superfine; set aside. Whisk together the cake flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, blend egg whites and cream of tartar. Add vanilla extract. Continue to whisk to soft peaks. Slowly add the superfine granulated sugar, beating continuously at medium speed until medium peaks are achieved (when you dip your finger or a spoon in the meringue, the very tips of the peaks should flop over slightly). *Do not overbeat to stiff peaks.* In thirds, gently fold in flour mixture until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.
Using a small ice cream scoop, spoon mixture into lined muffin/cupcake cups. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until the cupcakes are springy. Transfer pan to a rack to cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan and allow cool completely. Garnish with whipped cream and fruit.
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
3 Tbs. granulated sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Chill the bowl and whisk attachment of a stand mixer in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Pour the heavy cream into the bowl and whisk on medium-high speed until it just starts to thicken. Lower speed to medium and gradually add sugar. Whisk to soft peaks. Add the vanilla extract and continue to whisk to stiff peaks.