Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Identity Crisis - Zabaglione Angel Cake?

A funny thing happened while visiting my Grandma the other day.  My original mission was to uncover her Burnt Sugar Cake recipe.  I figured since it is my mom's favorite cake (and she never gets to have it), it might be fitting to make it for the fast approaching Mother's Day.  However, while I was rifling through her collection of recipes I stumbled across a very ODD cake.  It was an Angel Food recipe, but with a twist.  It contains the yolks. (you may now be shocked and amazed)

The title read "Custard Angel Food Cake", though the "custard" was actually part of the batter, instead of being poured over the top like so much Creme Anglaise.

At first I thought it was actually a simple Chiffon cake, but then I realized that while it contained yolks and whites, it was lacking in oil and baking powder which are the standard ingredients in Chiffon Cake.  It seems to be more of a basic Sponge cake, since it contains no butter or baking powder either.  (Butter would elevate it to a Victoria Sponge or a Genoise)  Hmmmmmmmm  The mystery deepens.

What did strike me as interesting was the way the yolks were treated.   With normal Sponge cake, you beat the yolks with sugar until light and fluffy, but this is a little different.  I have seen this method  before, in fact I am very familiar with this particular process as it makes one heck of a delicious dessert with berries.

The yolks in the "custard" portion of the batter are beaten with a sugar syrup, which results in what is more affectionately known as Zabaglione or Sabayone.  Hmmmmm  So it's an Italian Sponge Cake I guess... or rather and Zabaglione Angel Food cake?  Maybe....  Your guess is as good as mine.. But Whatever it's called, its phenomenally moist, but light and airy at the same time.  Awesome!

Lemon Custard Angel Food Cake

Zabaglione Angel Food

1 cup Cake Flour
1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar, divided
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup plus 1 TB Egg Yolks (about 9)
1 1/4 cup Egg Whites (about 9)
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp Cream of Tarter
1 1/2 tsp Lemon Extract (note, this is not Lemon oil)

Lemon Glaze
2/3 cup (115 g) Confectioners Sugar; sift before measuring
2 TB Fresh Lemon Juice
1 tsp Lemon Zest

First of all, sift the flour a couple of times.

Combine Sugar and water in a small saucepan and set over medium flame.

Separate the eggs. (I like to use the isolation bowl method, just in case a yolk breaks)

Now is the time to begin preheating the oven to 350 F (175 C) degrees.
Place the yolks in a bowl and beat them until they become pale.

Place a thermometer in the sugar syrup and cook to thread stage, which is 230 degrees.

Once the syrup is at temperature, begin beating the yolks again while slowly drizzling the sugar syrup into the bowl.....

Continue beating until the yolks cool and begin to thicken...

Congratulations!!!  You just made Zabaglione!  (Well, if you folded in some Moscato di'Asti or Marsala, then filled some glasses and chilled it)
But we are gonna take it a bit further.  SO... Sift the the Flour over the Zabaglione in 3 additions...

Folding until all the flour is absorbed before adding more.
Set that aside for now and let it hang out while you turn your attention to the Egg Whites.....

Place the egg whites in a clean bowl with Kosher Salt, Cream of Tarter and Lemon Extract (Not Lemon oil)

Whisk the whites until they form stiff peaks....

Now, spoon about 1/2 cup of the whites into the yolk mixture. (This will lighten it slightly and make folding easier)

Now combine the two mixtures in a VERY large bowl and fold them together gently, until you have a uniform mixture (no streaks of Egg White)

Pour, or spoon into your 10 inch tube pan,

Then cut through the batter with a "Butter" knife to remove any large bubbles.

Place in the oven for 40-50 minutes. (Methinks I need a bigger pan, maybe that Square Tube pan I used a while back. Now where did I put that thing?)

Invert immediately upon removing the pan from the oven and let cool for 60 minutes.

(You can use a bottle if the cake is higher than the supporting feet on the side of the pan)

Once cooled, cut around the outside edge to free the cake (and the center tube/bottom) from the pan.

Cut across the bottom and around the tube.

Invert onto a plate.

Time to make a quick glaze by combining Confectioners' Sugar, Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest in a small bowl.

Stir until a smooth glaze forms.

Pour over the top of the cake.... The cake will soak it up almost immediately.

Cut a big ole slice...

Serve with unsweetened whipped cream. (and a Strawberry if you like)


1 comment:

Patti T. said...

Lemon is one of my favorite flavors and this looks like a perfect spring or summertime dessert. Yum!