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Angel Food Cake with a Cherry Red Wine Sauce

10 Aug

I love Angel Food Cake! It’s one of my all time favorites and you can’t beat the light, fluffy, yet sweet, cake! This is just one version of my Angel Food Cake, you can make any type of sauce for it, this one, I used Cherries that I had left over in my fridge. Now that my Strawberries are ripening in my garden, I think I might use those for a sauce next! Enjoy!

every day in april cake

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1¼ Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ Cups sugar, divided
  • 1 ½ Cups egg whites (usually about a dozen eggs)
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons cream of tarter (sooo important, if you don’t have it, don’t make it!)
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons vanilla (if you are using imitation, use 2 teaspoons) or ½ teaspoon almond extract

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1lb or about 20 cherries cut in half
  • ½ – ¾ cup of sugar (to sweetness taste)
  • 1½ cups of red wine (I used a Pinot Noir that I had left over, but any red wine that you prefer will do)
  • 2  Tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 – 2½ Teaspoons of cumin (or less, to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla

Cake:

Mix flour and only ½ cup of sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Place egg whites in mixing bowl.

NOTE:  make sure that there are NO traces of egg yolks. If there is egg yolk in the mix, it will not work! My secret to separating eggs is cracking the egg and then pouring it gently into my hands. I transfer the egg gently back and forth between my hands letting the whites slip through my fingers while still holding the yolk, over a bowl, making sure that the yolk does not crack. I place the yolk in a separate bowl to save for later {you can make a pudding with the left over egg yolks}. If you are just beginning to learn how to separate eggs, be careful to not get egg shells into the mix by separating the eggs one at a time in a different bowl, once successful with one, transfer into your mixing bowl. Do this for all 12 eggs until you have mastered cracking and separating the eggs.

Whisk, beat your egg whites until you feel like your arm will fall off or that your mixer will burn up! Ha! Unless you are using a KitchenAid mixer, in that case keep your mixer on speed 6 and whip for about 30-60 seconds or until frothy.

Add cream of tarter, salt and vanilla. Turn to speed 8 or high on hand-held mixer and whip until whites are almost at a “stiff peak” but not dry.

stiff peak

Example of a “stiff peak”

Turn the speed down to low or level 2 and gradually add remaining 1 cup of sugar and mix for another minute.

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Add sugar slowly, 1/4 cup at a time

Once sugar is mixed in, stop and scrape bowl.

Remove bowl from mixer and spoon flour-sugar mixture, one-fourth at a time, over egg whites, FOLDING gently with a spatula, until just blended.

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spooning flour/sugar mixture by fourths at a time

NOTE: Do not mix, folding is the key! When you fold the mixture you allow the air to stay into the mixture which creates the light, fluffy aspect of the cake. If you mix, your cake will not turn out right!

Folding the mixture is the key!

Folding the mixture is the key!

Once it is just blended, pour batter into ungreased tube pan {typically a normal angel food cake pan}. With a knife, gently cut through the batter to remove any large air bubbles. Not too much though!

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Gently cutting through mixture to get rid of large air bubbles

Bake cake at 375° for about 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cracks are very dry. I tend to like my cake a bit more brown on top, so I watch mine after the 35 minutes until It’s ready. Up to you!

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Golden brown and dry cracks!

Once done, IMMEDIATELY invert cake onto funnel or whatever else you can find. Some newer pans have metal pegs that stick out just for this reason. Check your pan! Mine does not, so I just inverted it on a cooking rack. I’ve seen some people invert their pans on wine bottles or a soft drink bottle!

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Inverting immediately on a cooling rack

Once cooled completely, remove from pan.

TIP: I place a plate over my cake pan and flip it upside down. So the top of the cake is facing down on the plate. I then take the plate I want to serve it on and flip it over again, so that the top of the cake faces up! 

Cherry Sauce:

Add your sugar and cut cherries in a sauce pan on the stove on medium heat. Stirring often, let sugar melt and cherries well coated.

While your sugar is melting, take about ¼ cup of your red wine and pour into a separate bowl and whisk in your corn starch and set aside.

Pour the remaining red wine into Cherry/sugar mixture on stove and bring to boil. Stirring often! Once to boil, turn heat down. Stir in your cumin and vanilla and simmer for 10 minutes. Red wine should reduce {thus, calling it a reduction sauce}.

Stir in your corn starch and red wine mixture you set aside before.

Simmer again for another 5-10 minutes. STIRRING OFTEN! We don’t want to burn the sauce! Sauce should be bubbling and thickening. Remove from heat and allow to cool to serving temperature. OR… once cooled enough place in an airtight container and refrigerate it until it’s time to serve. You can serve it cool, or warm it up again for a nice warm sauce.

I melted some white chocolate and poured in over the cake before I smothered it with the cherry sauce!

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Enjoy!

Happy Baking!

Have any questions or comments?! Email me!

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A true life fairytale

30 Jul

The day of my wedding, 8 years ago, I was anxiously
awaiting for that notorious last question… you know the one:

“Do you really
want to go through with
this?”

…well, when I never was asked that question from anyone around me
that day, I decided I would ask myself this famous question. It
was a huge decision I was about to make and I wanted to make
sure I was being honest to myself.

“April, are you ready to do
this? Do you think you are too young? Am I just
being naive? Are you just chasing a childhood
fantasy? Is it just something I was doing because that’s what
society makes you believe is the next step in a relationship? Do
you really want to spend the rest of your life with
this guy?”

My reply
was a bit different then what I had anticipated.

“Yes…. I think that 21 is a
bit young to get married. Annnd who am I kidding? I’ve
always been a bit naïve, especially about love. I really am
chasing a fantasy! But, what’s wrong with that? The only thing
I feel, is that I am owning my decision to get married. I am not
putting that idea of pressure from society on MY life
decision. I shall hold myself accountable for my own promises.
I don’t dare take this day
lightly.”

I didn’t have
to convince myself that what I was doing was the right thing.
I wanted nothing more than to go through with it and
after that, I didn’t think twice. I’ve learned that marriage,
your relationship, it should be a fantasy. It
should be everything you dreamt of and more. I know
for me, deep down, it is everything I ever dreamt of
and more. But, don’t get me wrong, it’s not an easy fantasy. It is
no secret that marriage is not easy and it’s not always sex, roses,
breakfast in bed and a partner who will gladly clean up your puke
when you’ve drank too much. It can be very shy of a “fairytale”
more often than not. It’s the challenge you accepted when you said
those “I do’s”. A challenge, indeed! My heart stood still the
moment I read my vows to my husband 8 years ago today. The
unknowing of what our future would hold was exciting and I was
ready to face whatever with him by my side. I have to say, I’m
pretty lucky. Don’t be jealous… well okay, you should be 😉 Happy
Anniversary to my man! A man who I loved then and continue to love
the man you have become. Every day with you is an adventure. Thanks
for taking the ride at 170° with me. full

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls-copycat

26 Jun

 

Hey guys!
Check out my new section of my blog by clicking here!

You can learn how to make these bad boys and don’t worry….
There is more where this came from…

get-attachment

Here’s my version of a combination of a few recipes claiming to be Cinnabon™ Cinnamon Rolls. It’s close. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups of flour

Filling:

  • 1½ cup packed brown sugar {I use dark brown}
  •  3 ½ tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened {not melted}

Icing/Topping:

  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Warm up milk so that when you touch it, it feels like a warm bath, not scolding. If you have never dissolved yeast in milk before, please read about it here. Set aside somewhere out of a draft, like the microwave. Yeast should start to bubble and rise after a few minutes. If it doesn’t refer to the link above. But, while the yeast is doing its thing…

In your Kitchen Aid mixer, add Flour, sugar and salt. Mix on slow speed until well mixed. Take out 1 cup of flour mixture and set aside.

Using your “paddle”attachment, mix in butter and eggs slowly. Mix on speed “2” or low for 2 minutes.

Switch out and use your “dough hook” attachment.

Slowly add your bubbly yeast while continuing to mix. SLOWLY. Try not to let the yeast “puddle” in the mixture. Mix on “2” or low for another 2 minutes. Add remaining flour mixture that you set aside adding 1/2 cup at a time. Let the mixer “knead” the dough for another 4-6 minutes. Once dough reaches the top of the hook turn off.

Oil a large bowl and place dough in it. Cover with a towel and set aside out of any drafts. I place mine in a un-heated oven to protect it from the cold. Let rise for 1 hour or more. Usually until the dough has doubled in size.

While your dough is rising, you can work on your filling.

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and mix until well combined. Set aside.

Once dough has doubled in size, punch down the dough.

Oil the bottom of a two cookie sheets and place dough in the middle of one and put the other aside. With your clean hands, press the dough all around the cookie sheet {staying with the rectangle shape}. Once you have a rectangle shape of the whole cookie sheet get a spoon and spread on your softened butter over the surface of the dough. *Make sure your butter is softened, not melted*

Once you have spread your butter over the dough, get your brown sugar and cinnamon mixture and sprinkle over the top of the butter. Spreading evenly.

Roll your dough starting from one side, making a tight roll.

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Once rolled slice the rolled dough in 9-12 pieces {depending on how big you want your rolls}

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Place each roll onto the other oiled cookie sheet you had set aside.

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Once all rolls are on your oiled cookie sheet, place towel over them and set somewhere out of a draft to let the rolls rise for about an hour or more, again.

Note: Place rolls closer together on pan, about one inch apart for more of a soft edged cinnamon roll. Spread rolls out more if you like a crusty cinnamon roll.

Rolls after 2nd rise, doubled in size!

Rolls after 2nd rise, doubled in size!

Rolls should double in size and be ready to bake!

Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until brown

While your rolls are baking, get your icing ready!

Icing: Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla and salt and beat more. Then lastly beat in the powdered sugar slowly. Beat until fluffy and spread on warm rolls. OR – place in an airtight container and use later, simply by warming up your cinnamon roll and spooning on a scoop of refrigerated icing on top and let melt.

Note: Yields 9-12 rolls per recipe. I double my recipe, because I love them that much.

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Freezing Option: Yes, you can prepare these bad-boys and freeze them for later. After you have sliced your cinnamon rolls, place them in a gallon Ziploc bag, you can usually fit 9 in one bag. Suck out as much air as you can and seal bag. Lay rolls flat in the freezer for about 2 hours before you move them elsewhere in the freezer, if needed. To eat, bring rolls out of the freezer and place them out on an oiled cookie sheet. After placing rolls on cookie sheet, cover them with a clean towel and let thaw and rise for about an hour or more, until doubled. Then bake as usual!

ENJOY!!!

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