Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bon Appetit Desserts: Angel Food Cake with Strawberry-Blueberry Sauce

Surprise! I am back with a new installment of my adventures with the Bon Appetit Desserts cookbook. To be honest, I just got really tired of waiting for it to cool off. So, I told my frugal self, to turn the air conditioner on and do some baking!

It seems to be the trend thus far, in this cook book, to have a batter that whips up quickly. I think that you can whip this up one morning and then stare at it all day long, dreaming of how it tastes and then you can server it after dinner. Or, how about for dinner? Or, you can be like me and eat the piece that you used for your photo, straight away. I sure enjoy my decision making skills when they involve baked goodies.

I had never worked with, nor tasted amaretto before. It is quite smooth and sweet. I definitely could taste that almond! When I made the Chiffon Cake, I learned, that my new angel food cake pan tube, did not fit over a narrow bottle. Thus, I just turned the pan onto a cooling rack and all worked out well. I did the same for this cake. If you find yourself in the same predicament, you now know what to do, in order to solve this small issue.

Angel Food Cake with Strawberry-Blueberry Sauce
Makes 10 to 12 servings

2      12-ounce containers strawberries, hulled
1      12-ounce container blueberries
1/3   cup sugar
1      Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4   cup amaretto

1-1/4      cups sifted cake flour (sifted, then measured)
2      teaspoons vanilla
2      teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2   teaspoon almond extract
14    large egg whites, room temperature
1-1/2      teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2   teaspoon salt
1-2/3      cups sugar

whole strawberries (optional)

SAUCE: Place half of strawberries in a medium bowl. Crush with a fork or potato masher. Slice remaining strawberries and add to a bowl. Add half of blueberries to same bowl. Place remaining blueberries in medium saucepan and crush; add sugar and lemon juice. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and juices become syrupy, about 4 minutes. Cool. Add to strawberry mixture. Stir in amaretto. Let stand 20 minutes.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

CAKE: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 300ºF. Sift sifted flour into medium bowl. Combine vanilla, lemon juice, and almond extract in small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in large bowl at medium speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and salt and beat until soft peaks form. Add sugar 1/3 cup at a time and continue to beat until whites are still but not dry. Fold in vanilla mixture. Sift flour over in 4 batches, gently folding in each addition.

Spoon batter into ungreased 10-inch-diameter angel food cake pan with removable bottom. Bake until top of cake is golden brown and springy to touch, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Immediately invert center tube of cake pan over a narrow bottle and cool cake completely. Using a sharp knife, cut around sides of pan and center tube to loosen cake. Holding center tube, lift cake from pan sides. Cut cake free from pan bottom. Turn cake onto plate.

DO AHEAD: Cake can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.

Using serrated knife, cut cake into wedges. Place on plates. Spoon berry sauce over. Garnish each with whole strawberry, if desired, and serve.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Book in Review: Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre!

How did I not read you earlier in my life! I am glad that we have met and I enjoy you immensely!

I had no idea what this book was about. For years I had wanted to read it, but thought that it might be too hard for me to read, that I wouldn't understand it. Could I have been more wrong? Probably, but I was immediately drawn in to this book. Of course, I had known Charlotte Bronte's name and that of her sisters as well, but while reading 'Jane Eyre' I was highly intrigued by Charlotte Bronte's life. How sad I found it to be! To lose all of your family and then to die, once finally married, and taking with you your unborn child! Ahh! This book is filled with so many great quotes, ideas, and thoughts. I loved it from the start. I love that Jane never wants, nor tries to be anything but herself. She could not allow herself to be, in the depths of her soul made to be as others were. I will not write about the plot, for I feel that you should discover it all on your own, as I did. Enjoy!

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars, I loved it!!

In other news, it has been way too hot to bake... 100 degrees outside, hotter inside my apartment. So, the Bon Appetit dessert recipes will commence when it is a bit cooler. Until then!