Classic Angel Food Cake

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I recently tired making one of these to pass (yet another) day in self-isolation. I knew of it’s reputation for being a difficult and finicky cake to master. I’ve got to be honest- as long as you have the correct Angel Food/ Tube cake pan it’s a breeze. The recipe is a classic standard and sure it can be found with ease on Google. I’m posting it here for convenience as I’ve had a number of people inquiring about it.

A final parting word. Despite it’s fabled complication in the kitchen the cake itself is quite easy and well worth the effort. In my opinion it hands down beats any Japanese Souffle Cheesecake.

Angel Food Cake Checklist

  • Always use Cake Flour (see note below)
  • Always use room temperature egg whites
  • Always whisk/ sift the flour to aerate it
  • Always leave the cake pan ungreased
  • Always FOLD the mixtures together, do not beat
  • Always invert the baked cake straight out of the oven
  • Always allow to fully cool before removing from tin
  • Always use a serrated knife to cut cake slices to avoid squashing the crust

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Cake flour*
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 14 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Special Equipment

  • 10″ Angel Food/ Tube cake pan

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and 1 cup sugar. Set aside until later
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium speed until foamy
  4. Add remaining 1 cup sugar. Increase mixer speed to high and immediately add cream of tartar and salt. Add vanilla extract, and beat until peaks form
  5. Transfer egg white mixture to a clean and dry large bowl. Gently fold in flour mixture in 4 additions just until combined. Transfer the batter to an ungreased 10-inch removable-bottom tube pan. Run a sharp knife through batter to remove any hidden air pockets, and smooth the top level
  6. Bake until cake is firm to the touch and an instant-read thermometer inserted near center registers 205°F (96°C) to 210°F (99°C), about 40 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and immediately invert pan** and let cool completely.
  8. When cool turn cake-side up and using an offset spatula, loosen cake from sides and remove bottom/ cake insert from pan surround. Loosen cake from bottom and tube by same method. Invert onto a cake plate and serve, cut using a serrated knife
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    Served with blueberry & gin compote and peaches

    *When I was making this I discovered I didn’t have cake flour to hand. A frustration-saving substitution for cake flour is as follows

    For 1 cup of cake flour- 1 cup of All Purpose flour but remove 2 tablespoons of it. Add in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and sift the mixture twice. Remeasure 1 cup of the resulting mix as 1 cup of cake flour. DO NOT use All purpose flour on it’s on in this recipe – your cake will have a texture verging on bread!

**Some Angel Food/ Tube cake pans come with pronged feet attached which allow for inverted cooling. If yours doesn’t have them (like mine) then invert the baked cake tin tube onto a narrow wine bottle neck or spirits miniature bottle (some balancing or leaning against something may be required)

PB & J Coffee Cake

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PB & J – Never have three letters caused such divisive reactions. To be honest the quintessential North American stable of childhood has often has left me baffled in the past. I guess the secret of it’s appeal lies in that age old combination of sweet and salty. Whilst I struggle with grasping it’s appeal in it’s original sandwich form I’ll confess to being partial to it in bake form with contradictory fervor. Just as long as it’s not with grape flavoring! That attraction still eludes me.

So imagine my interest when I stumbled upon this recipe. Although I wish I could lay claim to this recipe the credit all lies with the publication Bake From Scratch and their recent issue on “One Layer Cakes”, If you haven’t heard of BFS I’d definitely recommend checking them out. If not directly for their recipes then certainly as a source of inspiration as I have done in the past.

Whist the original recipe calls for making two 6″ single layer cakes I couldn’t help but think who on earth wants a cake that small! So I instead baked mine in a single 9″ with the only variance being a longer cooking time with the necessity for aluminium tenting the top of the cake towards the end of baking. 

Prepare to surrender to the peanut buttery goodness! I love the crumbly peanut streusel topping- it’s a unique twist on the signature coffee cake feature. I’m sure jam/ jelly to suit your taste could be subbed in, there just happened to be strawberry lurking in my pantry. All in all this cake didn’t last long as it proved a quick hit with the kids. I kept mine on the counter top, in an airtight cake box, and after 4 days it was still tasty ever.

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Ingredients

Streusel topping

  • 1/3 cup All Purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup salted peanuts, chopped

Cake

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup strawberry jam

Garnish

Warmed peanut butter

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9” round deep cake pan with baking spray and line with baking parchment
  2. To make the streusel topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and brown sugar. Stir in peanut butter and butter until mixture is crumbly. Crumble with your fingertips until desired consistency is reached. Stir in peanuts. Chill in the refrigerator until needed later
  3. For cake: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy and pale, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract
  4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 stages alternately with buttermilk, beating just until combined after each addition. Pour 1/3 of the cake batter into your prepared tin. Spread on strawberry jam, and top with remaining batter, smoothing the top for a level surfaced. Sprinkle with the peanut streusel you prepared earlier
  5. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 60-65 minutes, if needed loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a sharp knife around edges of cake to loosen sides. Invert onto a plate, and then invert again onto a wire rack. Let cool completely. Garnish with warmed peanut butter, if desired.

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Soured Cream Coffee Cake w/ Walnut & Oat Streusel and Smoked Maple Glaze

I used to find coffee cakes confusing. Well at least I did when I first moved to Canada. To me a “coffee cake” was exactly that- a cake with coffee IN it. Possibly a symptom of a childhood growing up heavily influenced by Mary Berry, Delia Smith and Darina Allen, a coffee cake came in one format alone – Coffee and Walnut cake. Reminiscent of weekend baking with my mother and lazy Sunday afternoon teas, it smacked of luxury and thrillingly contained that most adult of ingredients – Coffee! Or more precise that stalwart ’80s cupboard staple “Champ Coffee essence”. Thick, syrupy it was bottled black magic to a kid with a blossoming interest in baking.

Fast-forward 30 or so years and imagine my confusion reading recipes for coffee cake and wondering where the heck that smoldering caffeine hit was? Yes, yes I know- hindsight now makes me see how short-sighted and literal I was. Lateral thinking was called for. A simple mistake in my defense I’ll plead. Almost as simple as the recipe for this cake here. Soured cream gives a moist crumb hiding a streak (and topping!) of oaty, cinnamon goodness and finished with a drizzle of smokey maple sweetness. This really perfect accompaniment to your caffeine rush no matter what the tine of day. 

 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 sticks salted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup soured cream
  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Streusel topping

  • 1/2 cup All Purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small chunks
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats

Drizzle

  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons smoked maple syrup (if you can’t get smoked maple syrup, traditional maple syrup will do just fine)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 10” tube (angel food) pan
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (with paddle attachment) cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This may take up to 10mins.
  3. While the butter and sugar cream together, make the streusel. In a bowl combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and butter pieces. Rub the mixture together with your fingertips until a pea-sized sand texture is achieved and a crumble is formed. Mix in the toasted walnuts and set aside until needed later
  4. To the creamed butter/sugar add the eggs one at a time, ensuring each is fully incorporated before moving onto the next
  5. When all the eggs have been mixed in, add the vanilla and soured cream and mix until just incorprated
  6. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Whisk well the break down any lumps
  7. On low speed add the flour mixture to your wet mixture gradually, I usually do it 1/4 cup at a time, waiting for each to be fully incorporated before adding the next
  8. Continue adding the flour until it is all used and just combined into the mixture. Lightly fold using a spatula to make sure the batter is completely mixed
  9. Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan and spread/level with a knife spatula. Sprinkle on 1 cup of the streusel mixture evenly.
  10. Spoon the remainder of the batter on top and spread evenly. Finish with a final layer of the remaining streusel mixture on top
  11. Bake in preheated even for 50- 60mins, until a cake tester comes out clean
  12. Let cool on a wire rack for 30mins. After this carefully remove the cake from the baking tin, streusel-side up, and set aside to cool further
  13. While the cake cools, in a jug combine the icing sugar and maple syrup. Stir until a smooth pourable is achieved. If the mixture is still a bit stiff add a few drops of milk to make it runny. Drizzle the glaze over to top of the cake to your desired amount  and leave to fully cool before slicing and serving
  14.  This coffee cake will keep at it’s best in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Avoid storing the cake in the refrigerator as this will dry it out.