This week saw bakers go head to head with a sandwich sponge, angel food cake and a chocolate showstopper.
As Victoria Sandwich is near enough the only thing we bake, and we use exactly the same recipe to create our cupcakes, I thought I'd use this opportunity to try my hand at baking proper- and try something completely new.
My favourite accompaniment to a Starbucks coffee is the lemon and poppy seed muffin, so I was really enthusiastic about giving the Angel Food Cake a go.
I used the motivation that it was my birthday to get Mr J to drive me around various places to buy ingredients that weren't in the house, and to try and find the infamous angel food cake tin. As it was we settled for a bundt tin as there was literally not hide nor hair of the tin (do you think I am a bit late to this craze?!).
And after the boys went down for their nap, I went to work.
I used the Mary Berry recipe (obviously!), but I did throw in some poppy seeds to attempt to compare to Starbucks!
I love that when you take it down to six photos it looks like the easiest thing in the world to create.
And look... I didn't just make cake... I made Lemon Curd as well!
I am left feeling vaguely proud of myself.
I realised, after I measured all the ingredients that we don't have an electric whisk (I have a vague memory of Mr J mentioning it was broken).
So my whipped cream wasn't all it should have been.
And using our cheese grater to zest lemons was a bit of a task.
And we don't have a wooden spoon (what?!)
And everyone said not to grease the tin.
The cake broke as I got it out of the tin (at least the rubbish whipped cream covered that up!).
And I now think I was meant to have some form of metal spatula to support me in this bit of the task.
It is delicious.
And I might be biased.
But Mr J loves it too.
And usually it's the children who love my cupcakes (and he eats them in secret).
But he's happily singing its praises.
It's completely different to my sponge cake.
It's really light and airy, and I love the poppy seeds (even if I don't know what it would've been like without them.
So, I do think this might be adapted to muffins, so I can make my own coffee and cake!
I found the recipe worked for me, so I've copied it below for you (as directly lifted), my only addition was 2 tbsps of poppy seeds. I probably could've done with more whipped cream, but I'm not entirely sure whether I didn't just mess this bit up.
For the cake:
125g/4½oz plain flour
300g/10½oz caster sugar
10 large free-range egg whites
2 large lemons, grated zest only
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp salt
For the lemon curd (this recipe makes more lemon curd than you need):
10 large free-range egg yolks
400g/14oz caster sugar
4 large lemons, juice only (approximately 200ml/7fl oz)
2 large lemons, grated zest only
175g/6oz unsalted butter, cubed
2 passion fruit
For the topping:
300ml/10fl oz whipping cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 (fan 160C) and arrange an oven shelf in the bottom third of the oven. Sift the flour and 100g/3½oz of the caster sugar together in a bowl and set aside.
- Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric hand whisk or mixer on a high speed for one minute until frothy. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, cream of tartar and salt and continue whisking for 2-3 minutes, or until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed from the bowl. Increase the speed and add the remaining 200g/7oz of caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time to form firm, but not stiff peaks.
- Sprinkle over one-third of the flour mixture and fold gently to combine. Repeat with the remaining two-thirds of the flour mixture folding gently to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
- Transfer the batter to a 25cm/10in angel food cake pan. Gently run a knife through the centre of the batter to remove any pockets of air. Cook for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and immediately turn upside down onto the tin’s cooling legs, or place over the neck of a wine bottle. Leave to cool for at least one hour.
- Run a knife around the inner and outer edges of cake to remove it from the pan. Invert onto a plate. Carefully use a palette knife to separate the cake from the base of the pan. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
- For the lemon curd, mix the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest together in a large pan. Cook over a low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, making sure to stir the sides and base of the pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Pass through a sieve into a large jug. Fill two 350g/12oz glass jars with the lemon curd and seal with lids. Cover the remaining curd with cling film and leave to cool.
- For the topping, whisk the cream and vanilla extract in a bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Spoon the topping over the angel food cake and, using a palette knife, coat the top and sides of the cake, smoothing as you go.
- Cut the passion fruit in half and scoop out the seeds. Stir the passion fruit into the reserved, cooled lemon curd and drizzle over the angel food cake before serving. You may want to use just one of the jars of lemon curd to serve with the cake and save the other to eat separately.