For Mother’s Day I always bake something I’d like my beloved children to bake for me, as a not-so-subtle hint to them. This website is basically a reference for my boys to use whenever they are looking for ideas of what to make me. (If only they ever read my blog!) I think Angel Food is perfect. The name alone is fitting for us moms, considering what we do to keep our darling children alive, well fed and mostly happy. I received a lovely new cookbook yesterday and it fell open to the angel food cake recipe. Jessie Sheehan’s The Vintage Baker is a wonderful book, full of classic desserts with her twist on them. She made the perfect angel food cake, split it in half, then filled and topped it with a beautiful blueberry whipped cream. It really is a dream. I was completely smitten. I didn’t have any blueberries, but did have raspberries. Here in MN we’re just hitting spring and the very start of a growing season, so I rely on Driscoll’s to deliver perfect CA berries. I need the bright color and dose of summer.
The ethereal texture of this cake is created by whipping a dozen egg whites to meringue perfection, then gently folding cake flour into it. I added some zest and rose water to make this beautiful cake even more festive. That’s the beauty of angel food cake, it is easy to play with different flavors. The secret to keeping the lightness of the cake is to cool it upside down. I have an old, super cheap, pan that I got at a garage sale in college, which doesn’t benefit from having feet on it, so I have to balance it over a wine bottle to cool. You can watch my instagram videos to see me bake this cake and many more.
Berry Angel Food Dream from The Vintage Baker by Jessie Sheehan
1 cup (120g) cake flour, sifted
1 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp table salt
12 egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (make your own)
Zest of one lemon (optional, not part of the original recipe)
2 teaspoons rose water (optional, not part of the original recipe)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C)
Sift the flour, half the sugar and salt, set aside.
Whip the egg whites until foamy. Add 1 tablespoon water, the cream of tartar and vanilla, whip until it begins to form soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until incorporated. Add the zest and rose water if using and continue whipping until it is medium stiff peaks. See instagram video to see what this looks like.
Sift 1/3 of the flour over the whites and gently fold it in using a rubber spatula. Continue with another 1/3 and then the final flour. Transfer the batter into a 10 to 12-cup tube pan. Run a knife around the batter to get out any large air pockets, then smooth the top. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or just until a tester comes out with moist crumbs.
Turn the pan upside down to cool. If your pan has feet, then you’re all set, if not, you’ll need a bottle of wine. Once the cake is completely cool, run a paring knife around the outer edge and the middle. Invert the cake onto the serving plate.
For the whipped cream:
2 cups (250g) fresh or frozen blueberries, plus a handful for the garnish. (I used the same amount of Driscoll’s raspberries)*
1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
2 cups (480ml) heavy cream
1/4 cup (50g) packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Combine the berries, granulated sugar and a few tablespoons water in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the fruit breaks down and thickens and is jammy. You can see the consistency in my instagram video. Put it in a container and chill. I threw it in the freezer to speed things up a bit. I wanted cake.
Whip the cream and brown sugar on medium speed until it just starts to thicken, add the vanilla and continue to whip until medium/soft peaks. Fold in the cooled, cooked berries.
Jessie sliced the cake in half and filled it with some of the berry cream, then spread the rest on top. This adds the creamy, dreaminess of the whipped cream throughout. I love the look of a tall angel food cake, so I just put all the berry cream on the outside of the cake.
Thank you Jessie for sending me your gorgeous book, The Vintage Baker: More Than 50 Recipes from Butterscotch Pecan Curls to Sour Cream Jumbles! My family and I absolutely LOVED this cake. It will be made again and again.
*This post was sponsored by Driscoll’s. I love their raspberries and that’s my opinion.