I am a big fan of social media; not the squawking that takes place but community and relationship building. The other thing I enjoy about it is the creativity that is born when provoked by one small snippet that you may see floating around out there. The other day as I was enjoying my coffee and catching up, I saw a tweet from Brandi, about an angel food cake recipe. I have not really thought about angel food cake in years. I have enjoyed it on and off at dinner parties or when I want a quick dessert I may pick one up. Once Brandi planted that seed, the seed kept growing and I could not stop thinking about heavenly angel food cake.
I was suddenly taken back to a time when I was a little girl. I remember my grandmother and mom baking it. It came from a box, and there was a special pan, one with little legs that helped with cooling the freshly baked cake. I remember the flour mixture and the sweet smell as it mixed and tripled in volume until finally, it oozed over the top of the mixing bowl. I loved the caramelly warm sugar smell of the cake as it baked, and how the top slightly cracked. I would anxiously peek into the oven waiting for it to be finished while being gently reminded “not to open the oven door”. And my favorite part was when the cake came out of the pan. I would take my dirty little fingers and scoop out the crumbs that clung to the sides of the pan. Eagerly, I would nibble off the sugary sweetness.
Once I saw that tweet from Brandi and was taken back in time for that brief moment, I went to find the pan I had inherited. I hadn’t used it in years as I thought making angel cake would be labor intensive. I had time today, and we were celebrating so it would be worth it. Luckily, I had all the ingredients on hand that was needed for my recipe; eggs, cake flour, and sugar. On a whim, I added lemon zest from one of the few lingering Meyer lemons. Last minute I added vanilla bean paste as I love the little speckles of bean in baked goods. Angel food cake is like heaven, it is as light as a cloud and as sweet as eternity.
I have a feeling you will be seeing a lot of angel food cake this summer.
This month we are celebrating by sharing this cake with you. What are we celebrating you ask? Chez Us has turned 6! Six years of getting to know you, and of sharing our lives, memories and recipes. While there have been ups and downs to blogging, in the end, it is something, we enjoy doing so we keep doing it. We are blessed from the relationships that have formed near and far. We enjoy reading your comments about how a recipe changed your life. We enjoy getting emails telling us your children are now eating cauliflower because of a recipe we made for you. Or maybe we wrote about a memory that touched us, and through social media, you stumbled upon that memory that really belonged to you. Whatever the reasoning is for you being here, we thank you, and we hope to continue feeding you as long as we can continue cooking.
To thank you for your continued support we have finally updated the site. We met a wonderful woman during the MIXED event, her name is Kita, and she has many talents besides cooking. She develops websites! It was a joy to work with her, and she helped make our virtual kitchen easier for you to navigate around. A few highlights for us (and we hope you) are the sections we created of What’s In Season and Camping Grub; we plan to change this area with each season and what is available to us. As well we are highlighting a few fun areas we enjoy in the kitchen off on the right-hand side of the front page. One of the most exciting areas is our newly designed Recipe Index. It is all still a work in progress as we tweak areas, and we are getting there. Soon all recipes will be printable – yeah! Sign up for our newsletter to be in the know as we will be announcing fun things along the way. Is there something you’d like to see us do over at Chez Us? Let us know; leave a comment or drop us a note.
Angel Food Cake
** inspired by my grandmother and Alton Brown
2 cups superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cake flour
12 egg whites at room temperature
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/3 cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
zest of one lemon
Preheat oven to 350.
Sift 1 cup of the sugar with the salt and cake flour.
In a large mixing bowl add the egg whites, water, extract, and cream of tartar. Beat until foamy.
Slowly add the remaining 1 cup of sugar, beating at medium speed. Once you have medium peaks add the zest and beat for another 2 minutes at medium speed.
Sift in half of the flour mixture and gently fold into the mixture using a spatula.
Sift in the remaining flour mixture and fold until incorporated.
Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased [angel food cake|http://astore.amazon.com/chezdenietlau-20/detail/B003YKGR5U] pan
Bake for 35 minutes before testing with a toothpick. The toothpick should come out dry. If not bake for another 5 minutes.
Cool upside down on a cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from the pan.