Though it takes some time to accumulate the necessary egg whites in my freezer, once I've got a good reserve I always turn to angel food cake. This cake can be made a few days in advance of your next party, and it freezes extraordinarily well, so you've really got no excuse for not making one post-haste.
Though I doubted their usefulness in my high school physics class, formulas turned out to be eminently useful in the kitchen. Here's my cake formula, it's something I've used without fail for years now. I love how customizable it is, any flavor you dream can fit into its confines. Enjoy!
Any scientist worth her salt will tell you that the two most important factors in any experiment are consistency and reproducibility. Considering that every time we bake we are essentially conducting a science experiment, why wouldn’t we hold the same standards in the kitchen?
Let me save you from the terrifying moments when you realize, mid-cake, that you're missing an ingredient. A little chemistry goes a long way when it comes to kitchen hacks!
This is the cake built on mistakes. When you run out of certain ingredients in the kitchen, it's always helpful to know the chemistry behind what you're missing. Do you need to mimic fat? Acid? Leavening? In this case, I took every major substitution I know and used them to build a cake.
The cold sweat that drips down your neck when you realize you're missing an ingredient, and the cake batter is halfway finished, is real. You have guests scheduled to arrive in mere hours, nay, minutes. Do you rush to the store and grab a bundt cake shelled in plastic? Oh no, not here. NEVER ACCEPT DEFEAT.
A cake I've long pined for, now solidly in my arsenal of treats. It took me a while to attempt this cake (for no good reason), I hesitated to tackle its structure and chemistry. Suffice it to say, there are few things as delightful as a cake soaked in milk.
A delight of layers, this cake has enough personality to please every texture nerd. I line the pan with caramelized walnuts, then pour the batter on top for baking. Once the cake is out of the oven and cool, I plaster the top with an easy chocolate mousse. Though it may look complicated, fret not- this is a cake you can throw together with minutes on the clock and look like a winner when the buzzer sounds.
- 2 cups Crushed/Chopped Walnuts
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup Bourbon
- 1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
- 1/3 cup Tapioca Starch
- 1/3 cup White RIce Flour
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 3/4 teaspoon Salt
- 3/4 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
- 3 Eggs
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 3/4 cup Coconut Milk
- 3/4 cup Safflower Oil
- Zest of two Oranges
- In a large saute pan, heat the walnuts with brown sugar and bourbon over medium flame. When everything is sticky and melted, remove from the stove and pour into the bottom of a lined 9-inch springform cake pan.
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (everything up until Eggs on the list).
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar until slightly thickened and lighter in color. Whisk in the oil, milk, and orange zest.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing to combine.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan, over the caramelized walnuts.
- Bake the cake for 40-50 minutes, until browned on top and springy to the touch.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
I swear by this genius chocolate mousse posted on Food52, originated by Hervé This. Make a batch with orange juice from your remaining skinned oranges, and slather it on top of the cake before serving.
Yogurt adds a tang and spring to this cake that is most welcome, especially as we soldier through the winter. Feel free to substitute oranges or grapefruits for the lemons, the cake is splendid with any variety of citrus. An extra dusting of sugar on top before baking will reward you with a shimmering crust to present at the table. Winter baking need not be entirely cinnamon and cloves and apples and nuts. Lighten your load, bake a bright cake, remind yourself that Spring is on its way
What sensible person lives without a seasonal cake recipe stashed up their sleeve? Not this gentleman, that's for damn sure. I make this cake no matter the weather, with fruit foraged from the bottom of my refrigerator. Pear and Almond? Divine.