18 January 2013

Angel Cake... Surely it can't actually be that angelic?

Just after adding the flour
to the beaten egg whites
Straight to the point. It is! As it is mostly egg whites and much less sugar than other recipes I've tried from the book so far. (To give you an idea you can compare this cake with the frosting - just the frosting - of the Caramel Cupcakes. The whole Angel Cake needs two fifths of the sugar used in the caramel frosting alone!)

It is a miracle.

The egg whites bulk up the cake and this is done by whisking til they stand in soft peaks. For this reason this recipe is potentially 'technically challenging' if you have no previous experience in creating what is always described with the words 'soft peaks'. It basically means til the eggs are opaque; past the clear phase and ALLLLLL the way past the frothy stage. See left-- the K beater may help some poor sod get a better idea of what I'm harping on about.

As you make this cake, lovely aromas of almond and lemon shoot straight up your nose. However by the time the cake is cooked it does smell 'eggy' (as one might expect when it has 10 egg whites in it). What a shame. 

As it looked so lovely and smelt so lovely (pre-cooking) I was expecting great things... Actually, the texture was like brioche, not a light fluffy cake like I expected (though not unpleasant) and (as mentioned above) the smell a little off-putting. Feedback from the office (the tasting panel for this recipe) was summed up when a colleague proclaimed "It's like nothing I've ever tasted." It's not a bad thing, simply different.

I reckon this would taste yummy as the base for a lemon drizzle cake, or I imagine with cream (though I don't eat cream myself). It's a little dry and needs a little flavour boost from somewhere. 

ALMOST went down the middle of the mould,
but as a skillful baker (cough)
I managed to avoid this minor disaster.
Note the texture.
Beautifully golden after 30mins,
 not the reccommended 50mins
...and 20 degrees lower than stated.
My oven is just too damn efficient.
I always get a little nervous when taking a whole cake in to work, as I can't try it first! I mean don't get me wrong I have faith in both the recipe and my skills, but you can just never be sure with baking when a cake's turn terrible. I seem to have escaped any embarrassment this time though. Phew.
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