Thursday, August 31, 2017

Cakes of the World - Angel Food Cake

Angel Food Cake is popular in America and also one of my husband's favourite cakes. It got it's name because of it's light fluffy texture which makes it seem like it's food angels would eat. It gets it's texture because it's made with egg whites (lots of egg whites) and no butter. I had to buy a special tube pan to make it in.

Ingredients:

  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 12 egg whites
  • ⅓ cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour 

First off, you need to blend the sugar so it's finer. This is the first time I've ever had to do this for a recipe.


Sift together the flour, cornflour, salt and half of your fine sugar.


Now you need to prepare your egg whites. There are lots of ways to separate an egg so just do it however you feel comfortable.


Add vanilla, cream of tartar and the warm water to the egg whites and whisk until they are combined. Next, transfer the egg mix to a mixer because there's going to be a lot of whisking.


Whisk gradually adding the remaining fine sugar until the egg mix can form medium peaks.


Now gently fold in the flour mixture a bit at a time until it's all mixed in.


Pour the batter into the tube pan. Don't grease the tube pan so that the cake batter can rise by climbing up the pan sides. (Sounds a little creepy to be honest!)


Bake at 176C for 35 minutes. When you take it out of the oven invert the cake in the pan onto a plate and leave to cool completely still in the pan. When it's cool run a knife around the cake and take off the pan.



Mmm, this cake is unlike anything I've eaten before. Sooo light and spongy in texture with a nice subtle vanilla cake flavour. The slightly crispy edges are the best. You can eat it plain or add some berries with whipped cream but be sure to eat it with a fork like the Americans do!


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Cakes of the World - Babka

I don't know why it's taken me so long to think of this but finally....CAKE! Cakes from around the world starting with babka. This recipe is chocolate babka made by East European Jewish people. Seems a good place to start!

Ingredients:

150ml milk
140g butter
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
40g sugar
7g yeast
2 eggs

For the filling:

60g butter
80g brown sugar
100g dark chocolate
2 tbls cocoa powder
1 tbls cinnamon


Melt 40g of the butter in a pan along with the 150ml of milk.


Put the flour, salt, yeast and sugar in a bowl and mix to blend everything.

Make a well in the dry mix and add the melted butter/milk along with one of the eggs.

Mix well with a wooden spoon.

Melt the remaining butter (100g) and gradually add it to the mixture a tablespoon at a time, making sure it's mixed in well before adding more. This takes a LOT of stirring.

It makes a wet dough but apparently that's how it's meant to be. Cover the dough and leave to rise at room temperature for about an hour. Then chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

While that's happening you can get on with the filling.  Break up the chocolate.


Melt the chocolate together with 60g of butter and 80g of brown sugar.

Stir in the cocoa powder and cinnamon then stir well until the filling is glossy.

Leave the filling to cool until you need it.

Roll the dough out into a rectangle. You'll have to add more flour to make it less sticky so you can work with it. Then spread the filling over the top of it.

Roll up the dough like a swiss roll and pinch the edges together. Cut the roll in half from one end to the other leaving about 4cm at one end. Then plait the two pieces of dough over each other until you have a long twist. Place in a greased loaf tin.

Marvel at the incredible mess you've made!

Cover in clingfilm and leave somewhere warm for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 180C.

Brush the top of the loaf with the other beaten egg and bake for an hour. Cover with foil halfway through cooking to stop it burning. Cool in tin when done for 10 minutes then turn out.


This cake seemed a lot of effort to make but I'm happy with how it turned out. It's quite bread-like in consistency but moist like a cake with a lovely taste coming from the chocolate cinnamon filling. It looks pretty with the swirls running through it too. It's better eaten still warm from baking. Yum!