Monday, April 19, 2010

Mini Angel Food Cake

I love the idea of mini desserts! They are incredibly cute, they are fun to make, and they make it seem like you are not eating as many calories as you really are. What's not to love about that? While searching for ideas for mini desserts I came across the idea of mini angel food cakes. Since I had yet to make angel food cake from scratch I wondered what better way to accomplish it than to make it in a mini version.

I have to admit that it was a bit more messy than if I had just made one cake in a regular shortcake pan, but where is the challenge in that.

Here are a few tips: Make sure you sift the confectioner's sugar and flour together, it does make a difference. Also, your batter should almost resemble meringue in it's thickness. Please, use cupcake liners unless you want a very yucky cupcake pan to clean out. I tried both and you can see the difference in the way they turned out. The cakes on the left were baked in a cupcake liner, the ones on the right were baked in the pan. They both tasted equally yummy but I think the taller, skinnier ones are prettier for serving, and you will not have that mess of a pan to clean out. Enjoy!

Angel Food Cake

12 eggs (I really only needed 11 whites)
1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar

Separate eggs; discard the yolks or refrigerate for another use. Measure egg whites, adding or removing whites as needed to equal 1-1/2 cups. Place in a mixing bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If making cupcakes, prepare your cupcake pan. Sift confectioners sugar and flour together three times. Set aside.

Add cream of tartar, extracts, and salt to your egg whites; beat on high speed. Gradually add sugar, beating  until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form. Fold in flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time. (If you have a Kitchenaid Mixer use the flat beater on speed 8 or 9 to beat the egg whites, then once it gets to stiff peak consistency, take it down to 1 to fold in the flour.) Gently spoon batter into pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets (both full size and cupcakes).

Bake for about 40-45 minutes (full size cake) or 13-15 minutes (cupcakes) or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack. For full size cake, immediately invert pan and cool completely before removing cake from pan.

Garnish with macerated strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream.

Macerated Strawberries
see previous post

Whipped Cream
16 servings

1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar

Chill the mixing bowl, beater, and cream in the fridge for 15-30 minutes beforehand.

In a large bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until stiff peaks form. Make sure to not over-beat as cream will then become lumpy and butter-like.