I have never been a fan of angel food cake.
Lemon Angel Food Cake
Serves 8 (angel food is like air, so I cut HUGE pieces)
1 1/2 cups cake flour (I made my own following Joy the Baker’s instructions)
1 cup granulated sugar
12 large egg whites (1 3/4 cup), at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Sift together, at least three times, cake flour and 1 cup sugar.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until just frothy. Sprinkle the cream of tartar and salt over the froth and continue whisking until soft peaks form. Stop whisking when the egg whites form stiff peaks.
Sift or sprinkle the flour/sugar mixture over the egg whites, about 4 tablespoons at a time, and fold in gently using a spatula. Sprinkle the vanilla extract in 1/2 tsp. increments between additions of flour.
Spoon into a 10 inch greased tube pan or angel food cake pan. Bake for 35 minutes at 350°.
Cool, inverted, until completely cool, 2 to 3 hours.
When cool, slide a thin knife between the cake and the pan to dislodge.
Slice the cake with a serrated knife. You’ll need to wipe the knife clean about every third slice to keep it from tugging and pulling the cake.
Mandarin Orange Curd
Adapted from Eating Well
Makes approximately 2 1/4 cups
(I tripled the eating well recipe to accommodate my desire to eat a lot of this!)
6 large egg yolks
2 11-ounce cans mandarin oranges, with juice, (2 1/4 cups)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 Tablespoons cornstarch
Puree the sugar and mandarin oranges with juice in a blender until oranges are pureed.
Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens. It will seem like it is taking FOREVER to thicken. but int he last 2 minutes or so is when it all of a sudden thickens quickly.
Remove from heat and cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
*The mixture may seem like it’s not thickening as you whisk over heat, but don’t stop – it thickens very quickly right at the end. For a smoother curd, push through a fine mesh strainer before storing. Press plastic wrap against the top of the curd to prevent a film from forming in the fridge.
1½ cups strawberries (I used frozen and thawed them)
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
Juice of ½ orange, strained
Puree strawberries, sugar and orange until smooth. Pour through a strainer into a glass bowl. Keep in the refrigerator until serving.