Monday, March 10, 2008

Spiced angel food cake with a coconut topping...

It has almost been a year since the last time we made an angel food cake - they are definitely a weakness of mine with their light, airy and delicate texture. Tonight I needed a special dessert, so I thought this Ginger Angel Food Cake with Coconut Frosting sounded like a cake we would enjoy.

The proportions of this cake are pretty similar to most, except this version contains a half cup of cornstarch. This added some stability to the batter and made folding the beaten whites and flour mixture together a bit easier. I did think it gave the baked cake a bit more sturdy texture - however, I wouldn't call it heavy by any means. Once you begin adding sugar to the beaten egg whites, you are looking for stiff, but not dry peaks - they should still be moist and glossy to get the best volume and texture.

While the original recipe only called for ginger as the lone spice, I added a touch of cardamom as I love the warmth and fragrance it brings. It is pretty powerful, so a little goes a long way. I would think about using a bit more ginger though - while present, it was a little too faint for both of us.

I don't usually like frosting on angel food cakes as it usually competes with the cake's lightness - however, give me a classic, fluffy 7-minute frosting and it is very hard to resist. The frosting recipe makes a very generous amount and I added every delicious bit of it as you can tell. Two layers of coconut flavor are also added - a splash of extract is added with the vanilla while the cake is topped with toasted coconut flakes for a crunchy contrast to the soft, silky pillows of icing.

Since these types of cake use a mess of egg whites (15 including the whites needed for the frosting!) you will be left with a mountain of yolks. Don't throw them out though! You can easily freeze them - just add a pinch of salt to them for savory uses or a pinch of sugar for sweet.

Open up our freezer and one ingredient you will always find is bacon. With its salty and smoky flavors, most uses tend to go towards savory dishes. That does not mean that bacon can't bend into the sweet realm! Have you ever baked bacon in the oven with a sprinkling of brown sugar? No, you say? Decadent and a little naughty, I agree, but it is one of the best and mess-free ways to add a fun element to breakfast!

While we didn't go there this evening, our dinner tonight did take bacon into the sweet life by making these Bacon Maple Waffles. Rather than using granulated sugar, pure sticky maple syrup is used instead as the sweetener, adding a rich background. The crisp crumbles of bacon are added directly to the batter and the mixture is added by half cups to the wells of the waffle maker. You don't always have to, but when I add the batter, I like to coax it to the edges of each well so it completely fills out each little divot. If your maker doesn't have a timer, just look for the wasps of steam to stop and you'll know when they are done.

Crisp golden shells with a soft interior, we served these sweet/salty waffles drizzled with maple syrup that we warmed up on the stove. If you don't have the deep-pocketed Belgian machine, you could use the smaller "American-style" maker and just use about 1/3 cup of batter per section instead.


  1. Joe, what a GORGEOUS cake! I can't wait to make this one - thanks!

  2. I am drooling Joe. Wow. I love angel food cake AND waffles. :)

    So tell me more about this brown sugar and bacon thing. Haha.

  3. I love everything about this post! If there was a scoop of ice cream on those waffles it would have it all!

  4. Angel Food Cake is on the top of my very long list of favorite desserts. I've never had one with frosting before...this makes me drool!

  5. I'm normally not a fan of angel food cake, but yours would be too pretty to resist!

  6. Elisabeth - Thanks!

    Kandi - It is simply bacon sprinkled with brown sugar and coarse black pepper. Bake in the oven (350 to 400 degrees) until crisp!

    Brilynn - I so wish we would have thought of that!

    Sharon - I like how it was not too heavy for the light cake. A good match!

    Kayla - Thank you!

  7. that is one GORGEOUS cake! wow! nicely done as always, joe!

  8. I definitely want to try the cake. It sounds wonderful and I had no idea you could use that much cornstarch in a recipe. I've only used it for sauces and gravies.

  9. Ashley - Thanks!

    Tree - We've actually used a large amount in cookies too!