Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Strawberry Angel Food Birthday Cake with Whipped Cream


Oh surprises. They get harder and harder the longer one is married (in my opinion) because not only is most everything shared, you know each other's patterns inside and out. Any slight deviation is cause for suspicion - minus the fact I'm absolutely horrible at lying. I'm great at keeping secrets, just don't ask me too many questions because I have no poker face.

Layered Angel Food Cake in the Works

Fortunately, I had my sister in town to help (otherwise everything seems to take twice as long with a baby) and my husband had to work in the weekend so he was gone in the mornings. We devised a plan to make his favorite cake, an angel food cake. The plan was to make it on Sunday, deliver it to a friend's house who would then bring it to the surprise birthday party location, all while my husband would be at work and have no idea.
Strawberry Face
 
Well, of course things didn't quite go as planned and we had to make the cake Saturday morning, clean-up the kitchen and air out the delicious angel food cake smell, deliver the cake to the accomplice's house right before hubby was coming home, and then pick up candles (which would explain why we weren't home when he got home from work but we didn't say we went to pick up candles, we went to buy fabric at a store that also had birthday candles...no need to fib, no need for a poker face).

Sunday went fairly smoothly but by the end of the afternoon, he had an inkling something was going on. Why didn't we want to go out later in the afternoon? Why were we so cold we had to go eat right now? Why was I texting so much? Oh boy. Thankfully sweet hubby ended the questions there and let us continue our "plan." He ended up being "surprised" and we all enjoyed cake in honor of his birthday.


Happy birthday hubs! To many more years!

Angel Food Cake recipe from Better Homes and Gardens 75th Anniversary Edition.
(Tips from Better Homes and Gardens on making the perfect angel food cake)

Ingredients for cake:
  • 10 egg whites from large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 cup sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
Ingredients for whipped cream:
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • mandarin oranges, save drained syrup to make simple syrup (optional)
  • sliced strawberries
  1. In a large mixing bowl allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, sift powdered sugar and flour together three times; set aside.
  2. Add cream of tartar and vanilla to egg whites. Beat with an electric mixer on medium until soft peaks form. Gradually add granulated sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.
  3. Sift one-fourth of powdered sugar mixture over beaten egg whites; fold in gently. Repeat, folding in the remaining powdered sugar mixture by fourths. Pour into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Gently cut through the batter with a knife or narrow metal spatula to eliminate any large air bubbles. Wash mixing bowl and chill in refrigerator with beater in preparation for whipping cream.
  4. Bake on lowest rack in a 350F oven for 40 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert cake; cool thoroughly in pan (glass bottles work well for this). While cake is cooling, in chilled bowl, beat whipping cream and sugar with an electric mixer on medium until soft peaks form. With the leftover juices from the mandarin oranges, we simmered it down to a simple syrup and folded it into the whipped cream.
  5. Once cake is cooled, loosen from pan; remove cake and place on serving stand (our beautiful cake stand is packed away so it ended up sitting slightly awkwardly in a pie plate). Slice cake in half horizontally.
  6. With a third of the whipped cream, fold in mandarin oranges and spread on top bottom layer of cake for the middle filling.
  7. Place top half cake on top of bottom half. With the rest of the whipped cream, spread evenly over top and sides of cake.
  8. Arrange sliced strawberries on top and sides (will stick best if pat dry before placing on cake but we didn't have time to do so...fortunately they stuck anyway!).

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