I said it last week–I’m not much of a baker. But since my newest cookbook, coming out in 2011, is a comfort food book, well, desserts are definitely a comfort food for many. So this past year I have been challenged to get out of my comfort zone with savory foods and head into the sweet.
Although I am wheat sensitive now, I realize that most of the people who purchase my books are not. I’m not one to convert people over to my way of eating; heck, I’m just glad if they are eating healthy. And so included in my new book is a classic Angel Food Cake that is at once indeed comforting.
When I went low fat a zillion years ago, I remember my Mom converting all her baking to things we could eat without guilt. Although Angel Food Cake does contain sugar, it was a way to begin cutting down on fat. So we would bake this every now and then and only as a once in a awhile treat.
While retesting my Mom’s recipe, I came across Cooks Pure Vanilla Puree. So instead of using vanilla extract as usual, I thought the thicker richer pure vanilla puree might enhance the flavor of the cake even more. And it did! It’s richer (I think the bourbon in it makes it so!), and so I can eat even a smaller piece and still be satisfied. Use the puree just like you would the extract in any recipe.
Just goes to show you, you can have your cake and eat it too!
VANILLA ANGEL FOOD CAKE
1 1/2 cup cake flour
1 cup sugar
Egg white mixture:
12 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 tsp cream of tartar
½ cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp Cooks Pure Vanilla Puree
8 ounces strawberries, cut into quarters
8 ounces raspberries
8 ounces blueberries
1 container (8 ounce) light vanilla yogurt
1. Coat a 10 inch tube pan with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Sift the flour and sugar.
2. For the egg white mixture: place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl and whisk until frothy. Combine the ½ cup sugar and salt and add to the whipping egg whites in a slow steady stream. Add the vanilla puree, and continue whisking until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
3. Sift the flour mixture over the egg whites and fold in very gently with a large metal spoon until well blended.
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tube pan, gently smoothing the top. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and cake springs back when lightly touched in the center.
5. Invert the cake, still in the pan, onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely, upside down. When it is cool, slide a long knife around the side of the pan to loosen the cake, then invert it onto a serving plate. (The cake can be kept, wrapped in plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container, for 1–2 days.)
6. Just before serving, mix together the strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Spoon the fruit into the hollow in the center of the cake. Serve each slice with a dollop of vanilla yogurt.