Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Angel Food Cake with Fresh Strawberries


As a lower fat and just as delicious alternative to strawberry shortcake, angel food cake is the perfect choice. The method is very specific but quite simple, and I'm so glad I gave this recipe a try. There's something about making your own angel food cake that makes you never want to go back to the store-bought variety. 


Angel Food Cake
recipe by Betty Crocker Cookbook
Serves 12

1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cake flour*
12 large egg whites
1-1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 tsp vanilla 
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt

for the strawberries
2 pounds fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1/2 cup sugar

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. 

*To make cake flour--sift together 3/4 cup all-purpose flour with 2 Tbsp cornstarch. 

In a medium bowl, mix sifted powdered sugar with cake flour. Set aside. 

In a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer on medium/high speed until foamy. Beat in granulated sugar 2 tablespoons at a time on high speed. Add in vanilla, almond extra, and salt with the last addition of sugar. Continue beating until stiff and glossy. Do not underbeat. (You should be able to hold the beater in your hand, upside down, and have the peaks of the batter stand up stiffly.) 

Sprinkle powdered sugar/flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, over egg white mixture, folding in with rubber spatula just until sugar/flour mixture disappears. Push batter into ungreased 10x4 inch tube pan. Cut gently through batter with metal spatula or knife to break air pockets.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cracks feel dry and top springs back when touched lightly. Immediately turn pan upside down onto heat proof funnel or bottle. (I recommend the funnel. Also, do not break the top "crust" or the cake will run out and be ruined.) Let hang about 2 hours or until cake is completely cool. Loosen side of cake with knife or long metal spatula. Turn out onto a cake stand or plate. 

for the strawberries:
While the cake is baking or cooling, place strawberries into a medium bowl and chop to small equal sizes (A food processor may be used.) Stir in sugar. Cover and let set at room temperature for 1 hour. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

Use a serrated knife to slice up the cake and top each serving with strawberries. 

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