Ready for a slice of heaven? We are no stranger to decadent and rich cakes. But what about a cake recipe where butter, fat, and egg yolks run away in fright? No matter how healthfully we try to eat, most of us sometimes craves something sweet and more so during tough times. A bowl of fruit on its own isn’t enough, and low-calorie or low-fat desserts don’t really satisfy. But…a delicious piece of POPPY ANGEL FOOD CAKE w/ GRAPEFRUIT CURD will definitely satisfy those cravings, but low fat doesn’t mean sugar free unless you swap the sugar for stevia. ⠀
Angel Food Cake is worth the time investment and provides a fun activity for kids to join in. It’s also makes for a great science teaching moment because angel food cake doesn’t use leavener and has to be cooled upside down on the neck of a bottle turn upside down. This one-bowl cake, which is really simple to assemble, owes its airy volume and fine, even texture to the proper whipping of the egg whites. To ensure that your egg whites form stiff peaks, use a ¼ teaspoon of white vinegar on a clean paper towel to wipe the mixing bowl and the beaters. When the cake is in the oven, some volume builds from the air you have whipped into the whites. But most of the volume is produced by steam, which evaporates from the liquid in the egg whites and passes through the air cells of the egg whites, expanding them.
It’s an adaptable dessert that can be elevated in a number of ways — served with orange segments or a handful of berries but is ABSOLUTELY WICKED with a dollop of curd beside it (diet 🚔 be damned!). The Grapefruit Curd makes it a truly exceptional dessert. This sky-high cake, is what dessert dreams are made of, so definitely give it a try.
I’m 🙏🏼 that you and your families are staying healthy and doing whatever you can to stay sane.⠀
- 1 cup cake flour (not self-raising)
- 1½ cups (310g) superfine sugar, divided (see note)
- 1½ cups, egg whites (about 10 extra large, or 12-13 large), at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
- 1¼ cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1 recipe Grapefruit Curd, recipe follows
- 12 large eggs yolks
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 2 teaspoons finely grated pink or yellow grapefruit zest
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed pink or yellow grapefruit juice
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 227g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350℉ (180℃) Have ready a spotlessly clean 10 inch angel food cake pan with a removable bottom, ungreashed and unlined. If using a nonstick pan reduce the bake time by 5 minutes. A properly baked angel food cake will have no trouble unfolding. Use a paper plate or working between 2 sheets of parchment or wax paper, sift the flour and ½ cup of the sugar together 3 times, set it nearby.
- In a very clean, grease-free bowl (see note) of an electric or stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, or a large mixing bowl by hand, beat the egg whites with the warm water until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and the salt, whip the whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar, a little at a time, while whipping constantly.
- Gently, but very quickly sprinkle ¼ cup of the flour-sugar mixture at a time over the whipped egg whites using a large rubber spatula. Fold the batter over itself, making sure you reach the bottom of the bowl, and scoop all the way around the sides and through the center. When don’t see or feel any lumps of flour, add another ¼ cup of the flour mixture. Repeat until the final ¼ cup of flour is almost incorporated, then add the poppyseeds. The batter should should still be very fluffy, light and smooth. Scape the batter into the pan, taking care not to bang the spatula on the bowl or the bowl on the counter, as this could deflate some of the air trap in whites. Smooth the top of the batter, then run a clean knife through the battering the pan to rapture any large air bubbles.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center the cake comes out clean, and the top of the cake is cracked and golden. If you tube pan has little legs, invert the and cool the cake upside down directly on the counter. If your pan does not have legs, invert the pan over a wine bottle neck through the center of the tube pan. Some pans have tubes that are to narrow to accommodate the wine bottle – these pan can be inverted into a large colander and cooled right in the bowl of the colander. The holes allow the cake to cool perfectly. Cool the cake completely, until the pan no longer feels warm.
- To untold, use a small knife to dislodge the cake inside the rim of the pan. To loosen the sides of the cake from the pan, use a rigid metal spatula, at least 4 inches long and preferable with a squared off end, scrapping firmly against the pan’s sides and slowly and carefully circling the pan. In order to ensure that you are scraping well against the sides of the pan, and not removing the crust from the sides of the cake, begin by angling the spatula about 20 º away from the cake and award the pan, pushing the cake inward a bit. it works best to advance the spatula about 1 inch, lift it out and reinsert it just behind where you pulled it out. Continue in this way around the entire cake. Run the knife between the cake and the pan bottom, then invert the cake onto a platter. Angel food cake is best served the day it is made, as it tends to lose its fluffiness, but well-covered leftovers can be stored for several days at room temperature. Serve with a generous dollop of Grapefruit Curd.
- For the Grapefruit Curd: Have a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl set aside nearby. Create a double boiler by placing a pot or large saucepan and a stainless steel or glass bowl that rests on the rim. Fill the pot with one to two inches of water and bring it to a simmer. Place the egg yolks in the bowl and whisk until frothy. Whisk in the sugar, then the grapefruit zest, grapefruit and lemon juice.
- Set the bowl over simmering water and adjust the heat to keep the water just barely simmering. Cook stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it thickly coats the back of the spoon. The mixture is done when it leaves an even thick film on the spoon and drawing your finger across the coating on the spoon, leaves a clear path, about 7-10 minutes. The curd must be kept moving or the yolks will cook unevenly, and the curd will be lumpy. Make sure the spoon sweeps across the bottom of the bowl. As soon as the curd has thickened, pour it through sieve.
- With a clean spatula or spoon, stir the butter into the hot curd few pieces at a time, blending well after each addition. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Cool the curd to lukewarm, then refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours or up to 8 hours. Its’s best served the day it’s made, but may be stored, well covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Note: To ensure that your egg whites form stiff peaks, use a ¼ teaspoon of white vinegar on a clean paper towel and wipe the mixing bowl, beaters and any spatulas you plan to use – even a speck of fat or yolk could prevent the whites from achieving the best volume.
Superfine sugar also known as castor sugar or bakers sugar, this is simply sugar that has been ground into finer crystals than regular granulated. This makes for sugar that is lighter in weight and dissolves more quickly. It’s often called for in recipes like meringue or angel food cake that are known for being light and airy. For one cup: Grind one cup and two teaspoons of white granulated sugar in a blender or food processor for 30 seconds or until fine. (Just keep an eye on it—if you process it too long you’ll end up with homemade powdered sugar instead.)