HEAVENLY ANGEL CAKE WITH LITTLE DEVIL FROSTING

For my son Brady's 10th birthday weI travelled to Washington, D.C. He had been dreaming about the flight simulators at the Air & Space Museum. Clearly exceeding his expectations, and such fun, he stood in line three times to enjoy the experience. The first thing he shares with people about our trip to Washington, D.C, however, is not the thrill of piloting the simulator, but his dinner at the recently shuttered Citronelle. Michel Richard was cooking that evening and immediately noticed Brady--probably because their twinkling eyes and dimples are so similar. Chef Richard invited us down to the kitchen to watch his team cook while our meal was being prepared. Before we left he asked Brady what he liked to cook most in the world. Brady thought for a nano second and blurted out, "Heavenly Angel Cake with Little Devil Frosting." Mr. Richard asked Brady to email him the recipe. We did.

Nota bene: When baking with a dark colored pan, be sure to take 5-10 minutes off the baking time. The frosting can be made a few hours ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until ready to frost, which should be immediately before serving. Because the frosting is a whipped cream base, store the cake in the refrigerator once assembled. This cake is every bit as good with plain whipped cream and sliced strawberries sprinkled with a bit of sugar to get their juices flowing.

Heavenly Angel Cake with Little Devil Frosting

Ingredients

CAKE

  • 1  1/2 cup castor sugar

  • 1 cup cake flour

  • 1  1/2 cup egg whites (about a dozen)

  • 2 tablespoons cold water

  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  • 2 drops almond extract

FROSTING

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/2 cup sugar

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 

2. Sift ½ cup of the sugar with the flour three times.

3. Put egg whites, water, cream of tartar, salt, vanilla, lemon zest and almond extract in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until barely stiff enough to hold a peak. Be careful not to over mix. The batter needs to remain moist to add in dry ingredients.

4. With the electric mixer on low speed, gradually add the remaining one cup of sugar, two tablespoons at a time, working quickly.

5. Remove mixer from stand and gently fold in flour mixture.

6. With a large spatula, gently put heaps of cake mix into a 10- inch tube pan.

7. Tap sides of pan lightly to break up large air bubbles. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.

8. Immediately invert the pan to cool the cake and prevent it from collapsing.

9. Cool completely and then run a butter knife gently around the edges and the center. Invert again to release the cake. 

10. Just before serving, frost with Little Devil Frosting and cut into slices using a serrated bread knife. 

TO MAKE THE FROSTING

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until just incorporated.

2. Chill for 20-30 minutes.

3. When ready to frost the angel cake, pour cream batter into the bowl of an electric mixer, and with the whisk attachment, beat on medium speed until hard peaks form. 

4. Use an off set spatula to spread over angel cake.

MAKES 1 CAKE