Can a home-made cake be fat-free and flavourful? The cocoa angel food cake proves it is possible, capped off with a fluffy seven-minute-style icing (I used the same frosting as on the chocolate-malt-buttercream cupcakes).
I enjoy a challenge when it comes to baking. As with the oaty-almond crisps (dairy- and gluten-free), I like to find recipes which suit the dietary requirements without resorting to “fake” baked goods. Thus, I decided to try my hand at baking an appropriately significant cake for a friend’s landmark birthday, one which required a low-fat dessert.
On my island, we have a “free store”, called the “redirectory”. Essentially, the “redirectory” – sounds much more high fallutin’ than “free store – is like a thrift shop or second-hand store without any costs. The Gulf Islands do not have municipal garbage pick-up, so people try to recycle, compost, and donate useful items as much as possible, more than in places where there is weekly or daily garbage (and it provides income to the entrepreneurs who haul garbage, off-island, at $5 a large sack). The theory is that people will donate items in good condition, other than clothes (the one church-run thrift store does that), and those who need something will take it, saving used goods from garbage dumps.
So I found an angel food cake pan more than a year ago at the “redirectory”. I put off making angel food cake, with all the other cakes vying for attention – not to mention the sheer number of eggs and care needed for making angel food cakes. However, I have made sponge cakes and génoise cakes before, and I decided that I should give it a try.
I also had found an antique angel-food-cake slicer, at a vintage shop on a trip to Vachon Island, Washington, last September. It is an elegant implement, used for angel food or chiffon cakes exclusively, though it is somewhat reminiscent of afro-picks from the 1970s, as a guest pointed out. What other implement can have such disparate associations and represent fundamentally oppositional eras? There is the prim-and-proper ladies’ tea – think of the 1920s-1950s heydey of angel food cakes and the newcomer, the chiffon cake. In the 1920s, the angel food’s richer sister, the chiffon cake, had its official coming out as a sassy debutante. For these two desserts, I picture: white gloves, white bread sandwiches, white cake, and white ladies, on the one hand. On the other, the Afro-pick connotes, for me, big-curly hair, free-love, sex, and drugs and rock-and-roll – from the Summer of Love through the disco era of the 1970s.
For the cake review – and the recipe… Continue reading