I really don’t need much of an excuse to bake, so scrolling through constant streams of pictures of gorgeous bakes on Instagram always gives me endless ideas for new bakes. One thing that I haven’t tried before is a Chiffon/Cloud or Angel Food Cake, both made in a tin similar to a bundt tin but with straight sides. My favourite baker of these delightfully light cakes is Kraving K Patisserie, their cakes look amazing and are so elegantly decorated but as they are based in Sydney, Australia I’m never going to get to try them out first hand so my quest began! Firstly I needed the correct tin – easily sorted – I purchased a quite inexpensive one online, but then my new business started to take off and I got lots of orders, then birthdays and had no time to make one, and really forgot all about my new unused tin for a few weeks. Inspiration came this weekend however in the form of dried edible flower petals that I bought from Uncle Roy’s Comestibles.
They are a really delicate way to decorate cakes, much more natural than sprinkles and easily available unlike fresh flowers. I felt they would go well on a light delicate cake too. We love lemon cakes in our house so my plan was hatched! I chose Angel Food Cake rather than a Chiffon as there is no fat in an Angel Food Cake, Chiffon cake uses whole eggs and oil but Angel Food Cake only uses the egg whites and the recipe I found used the yolks for lemon curd. It was also a Mary Berry recipe which I felt I could rely on. The basic cake recipe I followed to a tee – having never made it before. The recipe details are on the BBCFood website but here are pictures of the stages. I was incredibly organised and measured everything out into bowls before I started – very unlike me but I wanted to be sure I had it all to hand, the key to a fatless sponge is being able to retain the air in the sponge and in this recipe it only comes from the air in the egg white.
This done you need to firstly loosen the eggs whites for a minute or two until they slightly frothy on top.
then add the lemon juice, zest, cream of tartar and salt and whisk to a soft peak. The cream of tartar and lemon juice help stabilise the meringue mixture.
Next add two thirds of the sugar one tablespoon at a time to make a glossy mixture that soft peaks.
Finally add the flour and remaining sugar mixture. This needs a light touch so I sifted mine in 3 parts onto the mixture and used a metal tablespoon to gently fold in all the flour.
It needs to be throughly combined without knocking too much air out.
The tin absolutely must not be greased – everything I have read says out will affect the way the cakes rises. So carefully spoon the mixture into the tin as evenly as you can.
Then with a pallet knife cut through the mixture to remove any big air bubbles.
Smooth out the top and place in the oven for 45minutes.
Test the cake with a skewer to make sure its cooked through and then comes the next unusual cake method! it needs to cool upside down! The tin may come with a a cooling stand attachment and I think mine did but not knowing what it was it has got lost over the last few weeks! the next recommendation if you don’t have a stand is to turn is upside down on a wine bottle – which I tried but it wasn’t stable enough and I burnt my arm in the process! so finally I balanced it on a cooling tray , which kind of worked. The reason it needs to cool upside down is that it is so light inside that the weight of the crust whilst cooling could make the cake sink and cooling completely upside down stops that happening. My cake ended up slightly uneven which could be down to the cooling method as it was slightly on a slant. I will have to have another search for the stand attachment.
It should be left for at least an hour like this until it is completely cool. Whilst it was cooling I made the lemon curd using the 10 egg yolks that the recipe leaves you with and as much as I love Mary Berry the recipe didn’t thicken as I felt it should so I added cornflour – here is my versions. You will need 2 x 300g jam jars that have been sterilised ready.
10 large free-range egg yolks
400g caster sugar
4 large lemons, juice only (approximately 200ml)
2 large lemons, grated zest only
175g unsalted butter, cubed
Place the egg yolks, caster sugar lemon juice & zest into a large saucepan.
Whisk all the ingredients together, then over a very gently heat stir constantly using a wooden spoon until the mixture starts to thicken, this will take around 5-10 minutes. It should coat the back of a wooden spoon when its ready,
if it doesn’t do this dissolve cornflour in 1 tablespoon of water and whisk into the mixture off the heat. return to the heat and bring just to the boil again. Take off the heat and stir in the butter.
Finally transfer to a jug then pour into the jars and seal. Once cooled pop into the fridge. The lemon curd should last for a couple of weeks in the fridge.
When the cake has cooled completely it can be removed from the tin by carefully running a knife around the edges and the base then the inner funnel. I also brushed around the edges of the cake to remove any loose crumbs before i added my frosting.
Marys cake just suggests whipped cream as a covering but I wanted to use something that would pillow over the edges so I made a whipped cream cheese frosting.
100g cream cheese
200g icing sugar
1/2 tsp meringue powder
2/3 tblsps water.
Beat the butter and icing sugar together until starting to go light and fluffy, sprinkle in the meringue powder and add a couple of tablespoons of water. whack well, add the cream cheese and whack further. Add more water to achieve a loose light consistency.
Use a pallet knife to smooth the frosting over the top of the cake, easing it gently to the edges and allow it to slightly run down the sides. Put a spoonful of lemon curd in a piping bag and snip a small piece off the end. Drizzle over the edges of the cake and finish with a sprinkle of edible flowers.