Yesterday was Cameron’s birthday! He’s off on an adventure for a few days rock climbing, which is what he lives for. So I’m planning a belated birthday bash serving an angel food cake with a lemon curd filling, fresh berries and whipped cream. There’s nothing like a home made angel food cake, it’s so light and delicious. And while the cake takes only egg whites, the curd uses only the yolks. So even if you don’t use the curd right away, this is the best time to make it as it can be frozen and used later. The lemon curd and fresh berries really do belong together. So if you want to whip up something special for your loved ones, this would definitely make their day! Happy Birthday Cam!
I’ve tried several recipes for this cake and the absolute best cake was from “The Hungry Mouse“. She grinds her sugar and cake flour in a food processor to make it super fine which results in a very light and airy cake. You’ll need a dozen egg whites (save the yolks for the curd), cake flour, sugar, salt, cream of tartar and vanilla.
In the meantime I’m going to get started on the curd. I’m only going to use 6 egg yolks which will make enough curd for my cake. If you wish, you can double the recipe to use the other 6 egg yolks and freeze the additional curd. You’ll also need sugar, lemons (to zest and juice) plus some chilled unsalted butter.
Transfer to a saucepan over medium heat and begin heating until it comes to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, continue to stir while the mixture begins to thicken which may take 15 – 20 minutes. When the mixture coats the back of the spoon and darkens in color you’ll know it’s ready.
Turn it upside down over a plate and it should slide out fairly easy.
It’s a messy cake but it’s the way I like it. I spooned half of the curd over the first layer. Next add a layer of cake and the other half of the curd. You can take a knife and smooth it a bit but it will probably run over the edges.
You can use whatever berries you want whether it be strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries, or any combination. I had 1 pint blackberries, 1 pint raspberries and 1/4 cup sugar. You can increase the sugar if needed, taste first then decide. The cream is made from 1 cup heavy cream with 3 tablespoons sugar whipped with a hand mixer until soft peaks form.
Angel Food Cake (adapted from The Hungry Mouse)
12 Egg Whites
1 1/4 cups White Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Cake Flour
Lemon Curd, recipe follows
Sweetened Whipped Cream
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Set your eggs out to room temperature for 30 minutes before cracking. Grind the sugar in a food processor for a couple minutes to make it extra fine. Remove half of the sugar to a bowl and set aside. Add the cake flour to the remaining sugar in the food processor and grind another 2 minutes. The mixture will be fine and will make a lighter fluffier cake.
Separate your eggs, reserve egg yolks for the curd. Add the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in a mixing bowl of a standing mixer. Whip on medium high until they just become frothy. Add about half of the sugar to the egg whites and continue beating until you have soft peaks. Add in the vanilla and whip to combine.
Begin sifting the reserved sugar and cake flour into the beaten egg whites. Gently fold flour mix into the beaten eggs. Spoon the batter into an ungreased tube pan. Use a spatula to smooth out the batter.
Bake at 325 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes or until toothpick tested.
Turn cake upside down and balance over an upturned bowl. Let cake cool completely. Use a knife to run around the edges of the tube pan to release the cake. Place a plate on top of the tube pan and turn the cake upside down transferring the cake onto the plate. Cut the cake into thirds. Pour and spread curd over the first and second layers of the cake. Slice and serve with sweetened berries and sweetened cream.
Makes 10 – 12 servings.
6 Egg Yolks
5 – 6 Fresh Lemons
1 1/4 cups Sugar
6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, chilled
Zest and juice enough lemons to make 3/4 cup juice. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Pour the sugar into the yolks as you whisk. Continue until the mixture becomes smooth. Pour in the lemon juice and zest. Stir to combine. Transfer to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture just to a simmer, turn down the heat and continue stirring 15 – 20 minutes until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Begin stirring in pats of butter, 1 tablespoon at a time until melted. Let curd cool to room temperature.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
2 pints Berries of Choice (Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries)
1/4 – 1/2 cup Sugar,
Rinse and stem berries if necessary. Add 1/4 cup sugar and taste. If needed add up to 1/4 cup more sugar. Refrigerate.
Sweetened Whipped Cream
1 cup Heavy Cream
3 tablespoons Sugar
Whip heavy cream and sugar with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. Refrigerate.
Cam’s Climbing Adventures . . .