Angel food cake with lemon curd

IMG_1130ALook at this cake, not having a smooth side, imperfection decoration, simply because I don’t have the patient to decorate the cake or making it smooth. It is just beyond me! I think the way this cake looks will tells you it is home made.

Most people will have an answer said this is chiffon cake base, eventually it is not chiffon but angel food cake base. There are three basic cake commonly use as base. Sponge cake, chiffon, angel food cake. Three of them content light airy interior.

Sponge cake, made with butter, sugar, flour, eggs. It contain whole eggs Their leavening comes only from beaten egg whites (no baking powder or soda), and they have little or no butter. Is very common with eggy,  yellowish, crumble texture, light as well. It is a versatile cake that you could add any flavour.

Chiffon cake, made with eggs, sugar, flour, water and vegetable oil but no butter. It is very light, slightly dry if you just eating the cake itself. Chiffon cakes are light like sponge cakes, but the egg whites are not beaten separately. Chiffon cakes also generally contain oil so they are more tender and moist than sponge cake.

Is an obsession throughout South-east Asia, in Japan there are whole bakeries devoted to it. Chinese schoolchildren eat it as a snack. In the Philippines the ability to turn out airy chiffon is the test of a good home cook. Yet few in Britain know about it, despite our collective love of cake. I remembered when I was a kids, I had green pandan (pandanus amaryllifolius or screwpine leave) chiffon cake, it is very soft, spongy, dry. Often it made me choke when I eating it too quickly, simply because it is tasty. Most housewife in Asia would perfecting this chiffon cake recipe and by making them as light as possible, adding flavouring in it.

Angel food cake, made with egg whites, sugar and flour. It is even lighter than chiffon cake, Angel food cakes have no fat or leavening (such as baking powder). They are leavened with beaten egg whites and they have a high proportion of egg white to flour.

The following recipe was adopted from Mary Berry that made it at Master class of the Great British Baked-Off. I think this cake make a good center piece on your dinner party. You will need a special mould for this cake 25cm angel food cake pan or chiffon pan

Cake ingredients

  • 125g plain flour
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 10 large free-range egg whites
  • 2 large lemon, grated zest only
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp salt

Lemon curd ingredients (this makes more lemon curd than you need for this cake)

  • 10 large free-range egg yolks
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 4 large lemons, juice only (±200ml)
  • 2 large lemons, grated zest only
  • 175g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 passion fruit

Topping

  • 300ml whipping cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Note: Do not be tempted to grease the tin – it will prevent the cake from rising properly. If you want to cut back on fat or have a dairy intolerance, this is a great cake to make. The cake itself doesn’t contain any butter and you can easily swap the toppings for a fruit syrup or jam if you want to make it completely dairy-free. The egg yolks are used up in a job lot of lemon curd, but you could always buy in a good jar lemon curd and save your yolks for another use.

 

 

 

 

Spaghetti with olives & anchovies

IMG_0206AThe authenticity of this dish is about your elbow grease to make the sauce from pestle and mortar, it reminds me about my Mother using pestle and mortar for special sauce making, and takes hours to get the fine consistency, but now with machinery it had become easy. The thing that I love to use authentic method simply because you will see the wonderful transformation and the beautiful scent while you are working on it, I call this the good relationship between the cook and the ingredients.

This look alike pesto sauce for is very easy and it is no cooking involved, taste like I had been transport to coasts of Italy because it content anchovy. Anchovy has a delicate and tasty flesh, when fresh, its back is a lovely blue-green colour and its sides silvery grey, but when it is not so fresh its back turns deep blue or black. You can eat it raw when is really fresh. Mine I get it out from a can, all the flavour has locked in with olive oil and lemon juice.

The best kind of pasta to go with this is spaghetti and made from spelt, the reason to use spelt spaghetti is the earthiness texture is perfect with the pungency of the olive-sharp anchovies. In fact, it has a smoky, subtle strength that doesn’t overwhelm less feisty sauces, indeed it is ancient wheat, either. Some regular wholegrain pastas work well, I had run out mine so I stick with regular spaghetti, it got to be spaghetti I insist because the sauce will cling to every strand of spaghetti.

You can easily serves two greedy people in this recipe here is what you need

  • 200g Spelt spaghetti or wholegrain pasta
  • salt for pasta water, to taste
  • 10 pitted green olives
  • 10 anchovy fillet (from can or jar), drained
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • small bunch of parsley
  • zest and juice of ½ unwaxed lemon
  • 60ml olive oil
  • pepper (only if you like some extra heat)
  1. Put a pan of water onto boil for the pasta. When the pan comes to the boil, salt the water generously, or to taste, and add the pasta and cook until al denta.
  2. Make the sauce put the olives, anchovies, garlic, pine nut, parsley, lemon zest and juice and olive oil in a small bowl and blitz with the stick blender (mini food processor). Don’t worry about the odd unmashed pine nut or olive, they rather beautiful and appealing.
  3. After the pasta had been in their hot bath, just before you drain the pasta remove a cupful of the starchy cooking water and immediately add two tablespoons of it to the bowl of the sauce, then give it another brief blitz to combine those last ingredients.
  4. Tip the drained pasta back into its pan, then pour and scrape the sauce on top and toss to mix, adding more of the cooking liquid if you feel need the sauce to be loosen.
  5. Season to taste you may want pepper or more lemon juice, but I can’t see salt being necessary then toss again and turn out into a warm serving dish or divide between two plates or bowls.

I just adored the green of the parsley that gives fresh grassy taste, the lemon has contras with the anchovies otherwise it might be too salty. It looks healthy instantly! Why not give it a go!

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Actived Baking Soda

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I had done silly mistake yesterday while I was baking a lemon cake, I used equal quantity of plain flour, sugar, butter, lemon zest and 2 eggs to make a batter then I sort of wanted to ease the job by add the lemon juice into the batter after I had mixed everything together in the bowl. Then I can play with Tiggy (cat) while the cake is in the oven.

When the cake turn out, it sunk in the middle and it tasted like baking powder water. The reason is acid of the lemon making the raising agent work even quicker by the time I pour the batter and putting the cake into the oven, the raising agent had nearly disappear, that is why the cake only raising halfway and collapse in the middle. Then I have to offer a whole loaf cake to the bin. Now I learned a lesson of try not to ease the job when is not necessary.

Cleaning Toilet

Don’t keep flushing bleach down the drain, use natural ingredients to clean your toilets, it will have just the same effect and you can rest assured you are not polluting the environment.

Mix together one cup (250g) of borax with either lemon juice or distilled white vinegar to make a fairly thick paste.Use this to clean the bowl and in all those hard to get places and leave it to do its work for about 15 minutes. Use a scouring sponge to remove any stubborn marks and then simply flush the toilet to reveal a fresh clean bowl.