I found this darling shortcake basket pan on sale recently at a local shop and I couldn't pass it up. First off, I absolutely love Nordic Ware designs (I use this petit fours pan for bridal showers); second, I absolutely love that their products are made in the USA when so many industries have moved overseas and I will always buy as local as possible; and third, as soon as I saw it the idea for this recipe sprang into my head. I had to have it!
If you don't have an adorable basket weave mini cake pan you can use mini angel food molds or you can double the recipe and make a full size angel food cake.
Flower Berry Angel Food Baskets
Raspberry Angel Food Cake - adapted from Ina Garten
6 large egg whites, room temperature (reserve yolks for lemon curd)
1 cup superfine sugar, divided
2/3 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon raspberry extract
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 rounded teaspoon salt
6 egg yolks
6 tablespoons cold butter, in pea-sized cubes
1/2 cup sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp lemon zest
8-12 medium ripe strawberries, sliced
8-12 large ripe blackberries
Notes before you start: if you don't have superfine sugar simply process regular sugar in a food processor for a minute or two until fine. If you've been reading this blog regularly you know I love d'arbo raspberry syrup. But for this recipe it doesn't pack enough of a punch and so it's better to use an extract. You can use another flavor such as vanilla or another extract if you prefer. You will need to sift the flour together multiple times. Yes, you really need to do this. And finally, if you haven't worked with egg whites much you should be aware that they need to be free from all grease in order to whip properly. Be sure your bowl and beaters are scrupulously clean before you begin. A little leftover bit from the last time you made cookies or a buttercream frosting could render your white limp and lifeless.
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Sift cake flour and a quarter of the sugar together three times. Set aside.
Combine egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in a large bowl or stand mixer. Beat until medium-firm peaks begin to form. Add raspberry extract and, working in batches, lightly sprinkle three-quarters of the sugar over the egg whites as you continue beating. Mixture will turn very thick and sticky, almost like marshmallow cream. Turn off mixer/egg beaters.
Sift the flour and sugar mixture over the egg whites, again working in batches, and using a rubber spatula fold the flour into the egg whites. Do this very slowly in small batches. If it seems tedious, you're doing it right!
Bake for 25 minutes or until cake is golden brown, slightly springy to the touch, and comes away from the edge of pan when gently pulled. Let cool in pan before turning out onto a cooling rack. Do not panic if there are holes in your cake! This is angel food, people, and it's holey. (Heh... heh... no pun intended. I promise).
While these are baking (or cooling) you can make the lemon curd. Begin by setting up a bain marie of water to start simmering on the stove.
Combine together the egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice. Beat until incorporated and place bowl over simmering water. Now whisk the living daylights out of it. You may want to use a hand mixer, but be forewarned: switch back to a whisk when you begin to add the butter or the tiny cubes will shoot out of the bowl like mini rocket launchers, taking big splotches of curd with them.
Okay, for now we're still just beating the heck out of the yolks, sugar, and lemon juice over simmering water. When the yolks turn pale and just start to form a ribbon switch to your hand-held whisk and begin adding the butter, one tiny pea-sized cube after another, until you want to curse the day I was born because your arm is so darn tired. Once the butter is incorporated you can switch back to your hand mixer but for goodness sake be careful when you start it so you don't send curd flying all over the stove.
Now... just mix. Yup. Mix and whisk and twirl that curd around the bowl for about 7-10 minutes or until the mixture begins to turn a darker (brighter) yellow again and begins to look like, well, melted lemon curd. When you're about half-way through turn off the heat on the water but leave the bowl over the steaming pot. When you think you're in the home stretch of thickness add the lemon zest. Remove from heat, scrape down the sides, and let chill in the fridge about ten minutes. Which is about how much time you'll need to clean the egg yolk splatter off your stove.
Spoon the curd evenly into the angel food cake and top with sliced strawberries. Fan out in a circle to form petals and top with a blackberry to create a flower effect. Serve immediately as these beauties do not hold well and should be eaten before the berries wilt and the cake dries out.
This is a bloghop! Join the fun by linking up any berry recipe posted during the month of April below. You must link back to this post. The twitter hashtag is #berrylove. This bloghop is co-hosted by some amazing bloggers including:
A Little Bit of Everything ~ Roxana ~ @RoxanaGreenGirl
Baker Street ~ Anuradha ~ @bakerstreet29
Baking and Cooking, A Tale of Two Loves ~ Becky Higgins
BigFatBaker ~ Erin ~ @BigFatBaker
Bon a croquer ~ Valerie ~ @Valouth
Easily Good Eats ~ Three CookiesElephant Eats ~ Amy
Georgiecakes ~ Georgie ~ @georgiecakes
Hobby And More ~ Richa ~ @betit19
Java Cupcake ~ Betsy ~ @JavaCupcake
Mis Pensamientos ~ Junia ~ @juniakk
No One Likes Crumbley Cookies ~ TR ~ @TRCrumbley
Oh Cake ~ Jessica ~ @jesshose
Queen's Notebook ~ Elizabeth ~ @Mango_Queen
Rico sin Azucar ~ Helena ~ @ricosinazucar
Simply Reem ~ Reem ~ @simplyreem
Soni's Food for Thought ~ Soni ~ @sonisfood
Teaspoon of Spice ~ Deanna ~ @tspbasil
That Skinny Chick Can Bake ~ Liz ~ @Thatskinnychick
The Art of Cooking Real Food ~ Laura ~@TAofCRF
The Wimpy Vegetarian ~ Susan ~ @wimpyvegetarian
Vegan Yack Attack! ~ Jackie ~ @veganyackattack
Vegetarian Mamma ~ Cindy ~ @VegetarianMamma