lemon poppy angel food cake

Finally!  A blog-worthy treat!  It has been one dry, sweetless period – and not for lack of effort.  Decided to go back to Lauri Chattman and her Cake Keeper Cakes for a shot at success.  I picked this angel food because I knew our friend Mike would like something lemony and that Jodi would appreciate something on the lighter side.  Almost too light in color (I think I underbaked), very white with white glaze – I can’t say that I was super excited to try it.  But…it was good!  Really good.  Light, fluffy, light in lemon flavor – and not too sweet – it was a hit.  It has a fun consistency – and so light Rob said he could easily eat the whole cake.  We devoured our half of the cake (I left half at home thank goodness).  This cake is not rich, or gooey but that can be a good thing!  Next time I’d add more lemon zest (I upped it in the recipe) – for an even sharper lemon flavor.  Oh, the glaze is good – but totally not necessary – esp if you are really trying to keep things light.  A sprinkling of 10x might be enough.

Oh, pull out your whites and let them sit to room temp.  Much better.

lemon poppy angel food cake (from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauri Chattman):

1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar (divided)
12 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract (I just squeezed in lemon juice – prob a tablespoon, but if you have the lemon extract, go for it)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

glaze –

6 ounces softened cream cheese
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
pinch salt

skim milk or milk — add if too thick

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Have an angel food pan with a removable bottom ready.  Do not grease, or flour, or prep in any way.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, 3/4’s cup of the sugar.  Set aside.

Place the egg whites in the mixer and on medium speed – mix with whisk attachment until a bit frothy.  Then add the salt and the cream of tartar.

Continue to beat on medium speed until the egg whites begin to turn white.  With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and mix until the whites are shiny and hold soft floppy peaks (I love her way of describing this!)  This will take a few minutes.

With a spatuala, gently fold in the zest, poppy seeds and lemon and vanilla extracts.

Slowly and gently fold the dry ingredients into the whites.  I sprinkled them in – or you can sift the dry in – in 3 batches or so.

Pour batter into tube pan and smooth the top.

Bake until the cake is golden brown on the and springs back when you touch it.  About 50 minutes or so.

If your pan has feet, remove from oven and invert on a heat proof surface.  Don’t worry, the cake will not fall out!  If your pan doesn’t have feet, invert 4 heatproof drinking glasses on the counter and rest the inverted pan on top of the glasses.

Allow air to circulate around the cake while it cools.  Allow it to cool at least one hour – or up to 6 hours.

To remove cake, run a sharp knife aorund the edges being careful to leave the golden crust intact (you see, mine was white and a little undercooked).  Invert pan and then run a knife under the removable bottom of the pan.  Drizzle the glaze over the cake and let stand 30 min or so to set

For the glaze – combine the ingredients (save for the milk) in a food processor and then thin with milk if needed.

Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or wrap in plastic and store at room temp for up to 3 days.


coconut tart with chocolate smear (non dairy, flourless and also butter-less))

Rob loved this.  Loved it.  A lot.  He ate slice after slice as it sat on our counter throughout the weekend.  He thought it tasted very rich and creamy despite the lack of butter or cream.  Ali and family too thought delicious – like a Mounds bar.  I’m not a coconut fan, so honestly very hard for me to judge but even to me, it tasted pretty good.  The yummy recipe comes from Mark Bittman’s new cookbook, Food That Matters and wow – what a terrific book!  Thank you mom.  This was very easy to make – a good one to throw together with your kids (or on your own) and serve to guests as well.

The recipe makes one small 9 inch tart.  Feel free to double the recipe and make two if you are baking for a crowd.  Enjoy-

Mark Bittman suggests topping the whole tart with fresh raspberries or cut up strawberries if you want to change it up.

coconut tart with chocolate smear (very slightly adapted from Mark Bittman’s Food That Matters):

2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut (I used sweetened – all I had in the house)
1/2 cup sugar (if using sweetened coconut add only 1/4 cup sugar)
2 eggs – separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup coconut milk (light is OK too)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, mix, together the coconut, sugar, egg whites, vanilla and salt.  Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch tart pan.

Bake until the coconut shell is firm and nicely toasted (nice golden color) about 13-20 minutes – keeping in mind that you will not bake it again.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the chocolate, egg yolks, coconut milk and sugar and place over low heat.  Whisk and cook almost constantly until the chocolate is completely melted and steaming.  Be careful – do not let the mixture boil and separate.

When the tart shell comes out of the oven, spread the chocolate mixture into it.  Let the tart sit and cool – and become firm before cutting and serving.  The tart will keep covered and refrigerated for a day or two (although we kept ours on the counter and it held up pretty well).  Enjoy-