My father-in-law loves angel food cake. I made it for him once this winter when we had our parents over for a post-wedding celebration meal and it was a big hit. I decided to give it another try for his birthday, this time with a lighter honey lemon sauce instead of the traditional chocolate and cream. It was a huge hit! The perfect light dessert after a very rich birthday dinner.
Angel food cake can be a little intimidating to make. All those egg whites and hanging the cake upside down! Crazy talk. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it though. I use the America’s Test Kitchen recipe and method. They haven’t steered me wrong yet.
Angel Food Cake
3/4 cup Swan’s Down Cake Flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
12 egg whites (save those yolks for ice cream!)
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees and line the bottom of a 16 cup capacity angel food cake pan with parchment paper (don’t grease the pan! the cake needs to be able to cling to the side while rising and baking).
Whip the egg whites until the are foamy, then beat in the cream of tartar and salt until the egg whites form soft peaks. Next, mix in 3/4 cup of the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until the egg whites are nice and glossy. Mix in the lemon juice and extracts.
Sift together the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and the cake flour. Gently, using a spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg whites in six batches.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan and rap it on the counter a time or two to settle. Use your spatula to make sure that the batter is evenly distributed and then pop it in the oven for about 50 minutes (rotating halfway through) or until a toothpick comes our clean and it is nice and golden brown.
Recipe from Giada
Mix together one cup plain yogurt, 1/4 cup honey, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Super simple. Wonderfully delicious.
Posted by Erin on May 2, 2012
Last night I set out for the Central West End bookstore Left Bank Books with three of my favorite gals, Kara, Natalie, and Laura to attend Joy‘s book signing. It. Was. Awesome.
I totally nerded out and didn’t ask her any questions during the Q&A, but one of my favorite asked questions was whether she does dishes as she goes or all at the end. She lets them pile in the sink. I wish I was able to do that. I just can’t handle it. I’m a dishes as I go kind of girl. Dishes in the sink make me want to loose my mind.
It was also really fun to hear Joy talk about feeding her friends, family, and neighbors with all of the leftover food from her cooking and baking adventures. I just love that. Kara recently wrote about our community of friends here in Dogtown and how we are trying to live life together and care for our neighborhood. What better way to get to know our neighbors than through cookies!?
I was so nervous that I was going to do something completely awkward or weird when I went up to talk to Joy and get my books signed, but, I’m happy to report, that I acted like a normal human being. Joy was simply a delight and at least acted like we weren’t crazy.
By the way, Joy’s browned butter chocolate chip cookies I made yesterday were a huge hit at the neighborhood association meeting that the Mr. went to last night. Hooray!
Posted by Erin on March 23, 2012
I was first intoduced the ides of blogs by my friend, Laura, who is a master quilter and was a little ahead of me in the blogging game. One day waaay back in 2009 she sent me a link. It took me to Joy the Baker’s Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes and her delightful letter to her future husband and children about pancakes had me hooked. I revisited her site almost daily, waiting for the next recipe to be posted. Years later, I’ve discovered Google Reader and (try to) keep up with tons of blogs that cover everything from baking to architecture to farming. It’s like my own personalized newspaper waiting for me on my computer every morning.
The first recipe of Joy’s that I remember making was her Tres Leches Cake. It was for Siete de Mayo – the first Cinco de Mayo party I hosted with Mr. ThirdRow. I was baking to impress and Joy’s recipe didn’t let me down. I’ve been a faithful reader ever since and was super stoked when her cookbook was released just a few weeks ago. Even though we are on a tight budget these days, her book went into my Amazon cart right away!
Last night I made her Browned Butter Chocolate Chip cookies for our Neighborhood Association Meeting that the Mr. is going to tonight. Man, they are delicious. I think I literally said out-loud while baking “Where has browned butter been all my life?” I mean, really, drinkably delicious. I’ll admit I was skeptical of the recipe at first, melted butter in cookie batter? Really, Joy? But, I should never have doubted. They are crispy and chewy all at the same time. The only thing that kept me from eating more than my fair share was the idea of showing up to the association meeting empty-handed.
I have sad news for you, I’m not giving you the recipe. That’s right. I’m not posting it. You should go buy her book. Really, it’s great and these cookies are that good!
P.S. The cookies called for molasses and I hadn’t planned ahead. So, I subbed in Karo Dark Corn Syrup. I also used milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet because well…I’m a milk chocolate kind of girl.
P.P.S. I’m headed to Joy’s St. Louis book signing tonight! I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.
Posted by Erin on March 22, 2012
With the spring season comes one of my favorite things – eating dinner outside on the patio. Dinners that are nice and light and perfect for summer. Fresh meals that go swimmingly with a glass of crisp white wine and lingering conversation while we watch the sunset in our backyard. I love those dinners.
One of my favorite easy, go to meals for nights like that is a fresh salad, full of mixed greens (Aldi has a box of artisan lettuce this week for less than $2) and garnished with crisp bacon pieces, avocado, and a runny poached egg. We’ve been making this salad for a while and, even thought it’s been yummy, the eggs have left much to be desired. My pot of boiling water was often full of gross stringy egg white bits and my poached eggs usually ended up being fried eggs over easy because I gave up on poaching. It was too hard, too messy.
My whole world changed last night. I decided to give poaching another try and I consulted my America’s Test Kitchen cookbook to see if they had a foolproof method. They do! The instructions were simple and easy to follow. If you don’t own this kitchen staple you should probably buy it. It’s a winner.
Fill a skillet nearly to the top with water and set over high heat to bring it to a boil. While heating, add in 2 Tablespoons of white wine vinegar and a healthy pinch of kosher salt. While you are waiting for the water to boil, prepare your eggs.
Crack your eggs gently into a teacup. You can put up to two eggs in each teacup – I made two eggs, each in their own cup. They suggest a minimum of two eggs and a maximum of 8 eggs, depending on the size of your skillet.
When the water reaches a boil, turn the heat down so that the water is simmering. Gently lower the edges of each teacup into the simmering water and let the eggs slide out as you remove the teacups. Remove the pan from the heat and cover. Set aside for 3-5 minutes (depending on how many eggs you are poaching – I let my eggs sit for 4 minutes and they were great! Next time I will probably only leave them in for about 3 minutes as I wanted them just a bit softer). Remove eggs carefully with a slotted spoon, serve, and enjoy!
Posted by Erin on March 22, 2012