In A Heavenly Christmas, Eve learns that angels can eat as much as they want without gaining weight, so at Max’s diner, she orders two kinds of pie and a slice of angel food cake. This recipe makes an angel food cake that’s light, fluffy, and well, heavenly.
Heavenly Angel Food Cake with Vanilla Bean Crème Anglaise
Yield: 1 cake (16 servings)
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2½ hours
Angel Food Cake:
12 large egg whites, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
1½ cups white sugar, divided
1 cup cake flour
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup sugar
½ vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
4 large egg yolks, whisked
¼ cup powdered confectioner’s sugar
3 cups fresh berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries)
½ cup white sugar
1. To prepare angel food cake: preheat oven to 325°F. Combine egg whites, vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl; using a wire whip attachment, beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add cream of tartar; beat on high speed until glossy stiff peaks form.
2. Remove bowl from mixer stand. Using a soft spatula, fold ¾ cup sugar into beaten egg whites, ¼ cup at a time.
3. In a separate bowl, sift cake flour and ¾ cup sugar together; gradually fold into egg mixture. Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan.
4. Bake for 45 minutes, or until cake top springs back when touched. Immediately invert pan; cool for 1½ hours. Loosen edges around the cake with a knife to remove from pan.
5. To prepare crème anglaise: combine heavy cream, sugar, vanilla bean and scraped seeds in a medium saucepan; heat to a simmer. Remove from heat.
6. Slowly whisk 1 cup hot cream mixture into egg yolks, ¼ cup at a time. Gradually add egg yolk mixture into saucepan, whisking constantly. Stir over low heat with a wooden spoon until custard thickens, about 5 minutes. Strain sauce into bowl, cover and chill. (Custard can be made 1 day ahead.)
7. To assemble dessert: sift powdered sugar generously over top and sides of angel food cake. Dredge berries in sugar and arrange over top of cake.
8. To serve: using a serrated knife, slice cake; top each slice of angel food cake and berries with 2 tablespoons crème anglaise.