14 March 2010

Baking and Decorating An Angel Food Cake

For my mom’s birthday we baked an Angel Food cake out of the Baking book.
We had family the Sunday morning before my mom’s birthday (her birthday was on the Monday) and we had friends for supper so my mom suggested we bake the Angel Food cake

Angel Food cake, which is sponge cake made only with egg whites (no yolks), must be baked in an ungreased tube pan.
It can be made with a handheld mixer, but a stand mixer makes it easier.
Here is the recipe:
Makes one 9-inch tube cake
15 egg whites (2 cups)
Pinch of cream of tartar, unless using a copper bowl
1 cup sugar (we used Xylitol)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 3/4 cups spelt flour (or 1 1/4 cup cake flour)

Preheat the oven to180 C or 350 F.
Separate the eggs like this:
Hit with a metal spatula or knife, quick not to soft or to hard

Like this

Carefully open the egg

Let the egg white fall in a small plate, do NOT let the egg yolk fall in too.
When egg yolk mixed with egg white, the fat in the egg yolk, will prevent the egg white to stiffen when beaten.

Beat the egg white and cream of tartar (if using) with a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, with a handheld mixer for about 8 minutes, or until medium peaks form.

Add the sugar (or Xylitol) in a steady stream and beat for about 2 minutes more in a stand mixer, or 5 minutes more with a handheld mixer, or until medium to stiff peaks form. Don’t over beat it-its better to under beat the egg whites slightly than to over beat them.

Sprinkle the lemon juice over the egg white mixture

And sift over the flour.

Alternate between adding flour-about one-forth at a time-and folding until the flour is no longer visible.

Carefully transfer the batter to the ungreased tube pan.

We had too much batter for our tube pan, so we put the excess batter in another cake pan.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a paring knife or skewer comes out clean and the top of the cake feels firm and spring back to the touch.

Turn the tube pan upside down and set over the neck of a bottle to cool, for 45 minutes. Our tube pan has three little pieces of metal which extend above the top of the pan, so that you do not have to set it over the neck of a bottle.

To remove the cake from the tube pan, roll it on its side and slide a knife or small spatula around the inside of the tube pan against the outside wall and around the tube in the middle. Invert the cake onto a cake rake and lift off the cake pan.
We had quite a challenge getting the cake out of the normal round cake pan, but we managed!

For decorating, we made a Butter Cream Filling and Dark Chocolate Ganache.

First spread a thin layer of butter cream over the Angel Food cake, and put it in the fridge to harden, for at least 4 hours.
Make sure you put on a very thin layer Butter Cream, because this is what can happen with a thick layer:

The butter cream melted and the slightly warm chocolate ganache kept falling off. (See the middle)

Chocolate Ganache
When it’s hot, Ganache has a consistency of rich chocolate sauce; when cold, it sets into a firm glaze. For this reason, Ganache can be used both as a sauce and as a glaze for cakes.
When Ganache is whipped, it becomes fluffy and pale and makes a perfect frosting.

Makes 1 ¾ cups or 2 cups when whipped, enough for 2 layers
225g (8 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.

Bring the cream to a simmer.

And pour it over the chocolate.
Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, or long enough to melt the chocolate.

Stir the ganache with a rubber spatula for 1 minute and then switch to a whisk and stir until smooth and the consistency of sour cream. If you are using the ganache to ice a cake, let it cool for 4 or 5 minutes before you use it (or set it over an ice water bath to cool quickly), so it thickens and adheres better to the cake. If you are using it as sauce, use it right away.

Put it on a cake rake under a site pan and start decorating the cake.

Here is the cake we baked in the normal cake pan with the excessive batter and it was just as pretty.

Bon Appetite!

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