An Angel Gone Bad - But Redeemed

>> Sunday, May 4, 2008

So Friday was the big, fun fundraising auction for Jo's school. I offered to make a an angel food cake with lemon curd for the dessert table. Should be easy - right? I've made angel food cake before, I think I know which recipe I use, and they always turn out fine.

This one did not turn out fine.

Angel food cake is supposed to be tall and fluffy. Mine was short and. . . dense. More like a pound cake. What happened? I thought I found the recipe I had used before - Emeril's recipe for angel food cake with lemon curd. I remember liking it because the curd uses almost all the yolks left over from the cake. But as I was making the batter things just didn't seem right. I separated the eggs. Whipped the whites with some salt and cream of tartar. Added sugar and whipped until stiff peaks formed. So far so good. Then the recipe said to add the flour and beat for another two minutes. Hmm, I thought. That doesn't seem right. It seems like that will deflate all the air I just beat in. It seems like I should be gently folding the flour into the egg whites. Did I follow my cake-making instincts? No - I gamely followed the recipe and beat that batter for one minute and watched it get less airy by the second. So I stopped beating, poured it into the pan and hoped for the best.

The best did not happen. I anxiously watched it bake, hoping a miracle would occur and the cake would climb right up the sides of the pan. Nope. I took it out, let it cool, and ran to the grocery store to buy an angel food cake, which I layered with the lemon curd. The lemon curd came out great, by the way.

But what do to with the flat cake? The pennypincher in me did not want to throw it away - there were ten eggs in that cake! Jo suggested we taste it. It tasted ok - sweet, but it was really dense. I thought that denseness would keep the cake from disintegrating if it were soaked in berry juice, so I decided to make a trifle sort of thing. I cut it in cubes, layered it with macerated strawberries, added some extra strawberry juice (actually strawberry daiquiri mix left in the freezer from our pink lemonade experiments), and drizzled some extra lemon curd on the top.Delicious! And I hope I never make it again. :-)


Niki May 4, 2008 at 9:40 PM  

Not only would beating the flour in for a full two minutes completely deflated the cake (as happened anyway), but it would have made the cake rubbery as hell; you'd have had way too much gluten development.

Nice save. Jealous about the strawberries.

Fabricationist May 5, 2008 at 2:34 PM  

If you have any left, might I suggest mixing the cubes of "fallen angel" cake in with pudding, preferably chocolate. Put the cubes in a parfait glass and then add the pudding over before it sets. Chocolate pudding is a friend of strawberries as well. It does not however get along so well with lemon curd.

Ivan Chan Studio May 6, 2008 at 3:09 AM  

Hi Wendi and Alan!

I loved this cake story and the last line cracked me up!

There's nothing like creativity in saving something like a cake, but I know what you mean about never wanting to make it again. :)

Take care,


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