I organized a “Tacky Sweater and Dessert Potluck” party for my co-workers recently. For that party, I decided to let my spirituality influence my decision on what to create.
I found this wonderful recipe for a Tiramisu Yule Log on Epicurious.
I had all sorts of firsts with this recipe.
- I used a piping bag to make the meringue mushrooms.
- I made a jelly roll type cake (that was interesting)
- I got to make my own ganache (and discover that letting it sit in the fridge overnight rather than putting it straight onto the cake was not a good idea)
- And of course Tiramisu and cooking with mascarpone. I had no idea how creamy and yummy that cheese is. I think I will revisit it with other recipes
As a result of having tried this recipe, I now know that there are benefits in planning desserts in advance. This is a lengthy recipe and could have been made in stages over a few days. Planning in advance… what a concept.
I also have way too much in the way of egg whites, so I think I will be playing around with other meringue recipes to make use of it.
My wonderful hubz has recently purchased a stand mixer for me. This and many other factors have contributed to my desire to become better at making baked goods.
Last week I tried my hand at my very first angel food cake. I used the recipe from my Grandmother’s cookbooks. (I cherish those books)
The main inspiration for my angel food cake decision was this really cool cake pan that I purchased a few years ago. The pan was feeling lonely and neglected, so I thought that since angel food cake is usually round and this pan was also round that it was a match made in heaven.
Not so much. My really cool pan was actually a bundt cake pan. It is a beautiful pan designed to create a cake that looks like a rose. For any cake that is not like angel food cake, this can probably would have been sufficient. Angel food cake has very specific instructions for not greasing the pan in any way. I read somewhere that it is because the batter is made with egg whites and it needs to stick to the sides of the pan to raise properly.
As a result of my ignorance, the cake did not want to be removed from the pan and the pan was extremely difficult to clean.
I served the cake to my poor unsuspecting co-workers. They seemed to enjoy it. 🙂
I created a cinnamon whipped cream to serve with the cake. I elected to keep it simple with just the cake and cream. I was not sure on what kind of fruit I would have wanted to add to the cake without putting my own personal opinion onto the selection. (I think I would have chosen Kiwi or Strawberry) I am an acknowledged oddball, so, I think people were happier without the kiwi.
Here is a link to the whipped cream recipe. I don’t think I will ever purchase whipped cream from a store again.
It is WAY too easy to make it myself.
One thing I learned in this whole fun process was that I can substitute Amaretto for almond extract. According to my googling, almond extract already has a bit of alcohol content.
Basic Angel Food Cake Recipe (10-12 servings)
I calculated this cake to 7 Smart Points per Slice (Assuming 12 servings per cake)
- 1 cup sifted Cake Flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups egg whites (10 – 12 medium sized eggs)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (I used Amaretto)
- Sift together flower and 3/4 cup of sugar until fully sifted. This will be multiple times… get sifting
- Beat yo eggs and add in the salt and cream of tartar at high speeds until it is fluffy
- Slowly add in the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar into the egg whites small portions at a time. Be sure to mix a lot each time 🙂
- Continue to beat yo eggs until you see stiff peaks.
- Add the vanilla and almond extract into your eggy goodness
- Slowly incorporate the dry mixture into your eggy eggwhites (2 tbsp at a time)
- Use a spatula or a whip
- Pour batter into an UNGREASED tube pan
- Bake in pre-headed 350 degree oven for 40 – 50 minutes or until it looks golden brown
- Flip pan over and let it cool upside down for an hour or so.
- Placing the pan on something cone shaped like a funnel or bottle or your nose can help with the cooling process.
- Cut cake out of the pan however is easiest for you. If you have used the proper pan (unlike me) this should literally be a piece of cake