Thursday, April 19, 2012


I didn't post yesterday, because it was Hubs' birthday! I was so wrapped up in menu planning... and had to get to the finishing touches on our master bathroom renovation...I spent the morning painting the walls as our carpenter was coming in the afternoon to install the lighting and hang the mirror. I felt like I was in a revolving door yesterday exchanging my cooking apron for my painting smock several times during the day! I can't even tell you how happy I am that the job is done at last and I am loving the final result! (will post photos)...

I had offered Hubs the choice to go out for his birthday dinner or have a special dinner at home that I would cook for him - and he chose...dinner at home, with a request for Greek! Some of you may have read my post Greek Revival where I featured a Greek dinner including Greek inspired Steelhead Trout. Last night's dinner included Greek lamb and chicken Souvlaki (kebabs), rosemary and lemon roasted potatoes, Greek salad, beans and carrots and of course pita bread with hummus and tzatziki dips. I plan to do another feature on Greek food later in the spring when Vancouver celebrates Greek Days at the end of June. So please come back and check out some more great Greek recipes, including those from last night's dinner!

Now for dessert...

Today I am going to share the recipe for Hubs' birthday cake. If you have never made an Angel Food Cake from scratch, then you don't know what you are missing!!! I have been guilty of buying those packaged Angel Food cake mixes for years and have to admit, up until yesterday, I had never made one from scratch...
Our foodie friends from Victoria spent the weekend with us last weekend and brought some local culinary treats like fresh pea shoots, natural bacon, kiwis and organic free-range eggs. I had just bought two dozen in my last grocery shop, so I now had 3 dozen eggs in the fridge! An Angel Food Cake requires 10-12 fresh egg whites, so this seemed like a great opportunity to use one dozen, at least. But what to do with the remaining egg yolks...?

I was craving something tart, as the last cake I made Almond Meringue Dream Cake, featured sweet strawberries in the cake and on the side...a quick check into the fridge fruit drawer yielded several fresh lemons!

Plan A: lemon curd

A good lemon curd requires fresh lemon juice and several egg yolks, so I was on my way to using my ingredients wisely. The leftover egg yolks would be frozen in ice cube trays and stored in a freezer bag for future use. And what about the frosting? I have to be mindful when I make cakes, because of the whole cholesterol thing for Hubs - but in making an Angel Food Cake, I was eliminating much of the cholesterol, right? But then adding it right back into the lemon curd...hmmm...Well it is his birthday and it is OK to treat yourself now and again!

* Note to self: Add another tab at the top of blog to include "Guilty Pleasures"...

I decided to make a decadent frosting using whipping cream, lemon curd and mascarpone cheese. Hubs will love it even though he will only indulge in a very small piece of birthday cake, whipping cream and all...I will let myself enjoy a small piece as well (due to my previous health issues) and the remaining cake will go to the boys: Mr. S and Mr. J...who will gladly devour it and lick the plate to boot!

P.S. This is seriously good cake!

Angel Food Cake with Lemon Curd and Mascarpone

For the cake:
1 cup sifted cake flour
1 3/4 cups pure cane sugar (ground fine in coffee grinder or food processor)
12 egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the lemon curd:
1 cup pure cane sugar
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice, about 4 lemons ( lemons yield more juice when they are at room temperature)
3 eggs
5 egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes

For the filling and frosting:
2 cups chilled whipping cream
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 454g tub mascarpone, chilled (Italian cream cheese)

For lemon curd: Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk constantly until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove bowl from over water. Add butter; whisk until melted. Transfer 1 cup curd to a small bowl for spreading on layers. Reserve remaining curd for frosting and filling. Press wax paper directly onto surface of both curds. Chill for several hours or overnight. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep chilled.)
     For cake: Position rack at bottom of oven and preheat to 375F. Sift flour and 1/2 the sugar with salt and set remaining sugar aside. In bowl of electric mixer combine egg whites, water, vanilla and cream of tartar on low speed. Beat at medium-high speed until foamy, about 2-3 minutes. Slowly add reserved sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and repeat until sugar is incorporated and soft peaks form. Sift flour mixture over top of egg white mixture, dusting just until covered. Gently fold into egg mixture using a spatula; repeat until flour mixture is incorporated. Carefully spoon into an ungreased tube pan (taking care not to deflate batter - you want volume.) Bake 35-40 minutes, or until cake tests done (when inserted half way between the inner and outer wall of the cake pan, the skewer should come out dry).
*All tube pan cakes should remain in pan until thoroughly cool. Invert tube pan over neck of a bottle, taking care to balance it evenly. Let it remain there until cool. Loosen edges of cake using sharp knife and invert onto cake plate; cut horizontally, twice to create 3 layers.
For the Filling and Frosting: Beat whipping cream and sugar in large bowl until soft peaks form. Set aside. In another bowl, beat mascarpone until light and fluffy; add to remaining lemon curd; whisk until blended. Fold in whipped cream.
Place bottom cake layer onto decorative cake plate. Spread with 1/3 of the (1cup) of lemon curd, then with about 3/4 cup of lemon-mascarpone filling; repeat with second and third layers, ending with a layer of lemon curd on top layer. Spread remaining filling over sides and top of cake (reserve about 3/4 cup filling to pipe a decorative deign on cake top, if desired.) Cover with cake dome and refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

Happy Birthday Hubs!!
xoxo M

1 comment:

  1. What a fantastic cake and supper you made, Marlies! I can not wait to see the reveal of your master bathroom pics.
    Happy Birthday to your husband!