Dessert – Lemon Layered Angel Food cake
Made with egg whites, this is surely one of the best ways to use up lots of egg whites without resorting to a pavlova or meringues, however it does rely on a few technical details, namely an oven that cooks at a reliable temperature and care when whisking the egg whites to a good meringue. Still, with the guidelines set out below, there should be no reason you can’t turn out a memorable cake that doubles up nicely as a great dessert.
Layered with a cream made from lemon butter, you can use a jar of good homemade stuff or buy a jar of lemon curd in the supermarket. It’s a great alternative to a special occasion chocolate cake and well worth the effort.
Makes a 22cm cake, enough for at least 8 people
90 g plain flour; 175 g caster sugar; 7 egg whites at room temperature; ½ tsp cream of tartar; ½ tsp vanilla extract; 2 punnets strawberries, to serve
Lemon Cream: 300 ml thickened cream; 1 cup lemon curd (butter)
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Use a 20cm bundt tin or a ring tin and make sure it is spotlessly clean. Cut a circle of baking paper to fit the base of the tin, then tear out a circle from the centre to help it fit the ring pan. Line the base of the tin with the paper but leave the sides ungreased to help the cake rise.
Sift the flour and 90g of the sugar four times into a large bowl, to incorporate as much air as possible. Set aside.
Using electric beaters, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and a pinch of salt in a large clean bowl until soft peaks form.
Gradually add the remaining sugar, one spoonful at a time and beat for at least three minutes after each addition until the meringue is thick and glossy. You will need to beat the meringue for a good fifteen minutes, there’s no point stinting on this step, but it’s well worth taking the time to create a great, well risen and fluffy result.
Add the vanilla and sift half the flour and sugar mixture over the meringue then gently fold in with a metal spoon. Repeat with the remaining flour and sugar mix.
Spoon the cake mixture into the ungreased pan. Gently spread the mixture evenly. Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when it’s inserted into the centre of the cake.
Gently loosen around the sides of the tin with a spatula and turn the cake out to cool on a wire rack.
Lemon Cream: Whisk the cream until it’s thick then stir the lemon butter through it until well combined.
To assemble, carefully slice through the cake into two even halves. Spread half the cream over the bottom half of the cake and top with the other half before spreading the remaining half of the cream over the top of the cake. Wash, hull and cut the strawberries in half, then use them to line the sides and top of the cake.
$12.50 for eight servings