In my previous post, I said that I was going to skip baking something from episode 1 of The Great British Bake Off, as I really wanted to attempt the technical challenge. As I didn’t have a proper Angel Food Cake pan, and didn’t really fancy parting with almost £20 for one just for this one bake, it seemed like I’d have to sit this one out. However, someone tweeted a link to this blog post all about baking Angel Food Cake in a Bundt tin. One minor problem with this, is that I didn’t have a Bundt tin either, but I’ve seen them while out shopping, so I knew I might be able to get my hands on one a little easier and cheaper. As it happens, I went shopping the same evening to my local Morrisons, who had a silicone version for only £5. It also doubles as a jelly mould, and who doesnt like a nice bit of jelly?
To tell you the truth, I’m not a big fan of silicone bakeware. I have a giant cupcake mould made of this stuff, and it makes great cakes, but I find that the sponge sticks to it much more so than when I’ve used my metal cake tins. However, for £5 I was willing to give this Bundt mould a try. One thing I did notice, is that it appeared to be quite a bit smaller than the Angel Food Cake tins that I have seen, and certainly smaller than the ones they were using on the bake off. As such, I modified the recipe (Mary Berry’s from BBC Food, which I believe the GBBO bakers used) to use slightly less ingredients. I also omitted the lemon zest.
The first step in making the cake mixture is to separate the eggs. I used 8 medium sized ones. The egg whites need to be whisked together at a reasonably high speed until they go frothy. I’ve never whisked egg whites in my mixer, so this was an interesting prospect. My Kenwood mixer has quite a wide bowl compared to the high-walled glass jugs they have on the bake off. I half expected to pebble-dash the walls of my kitchen with big globs of egg. Luckily, it all stayed in one place!
The whisking continued for a few more minutes, with the lemon juice, cream of tartar and salt being added.
The sugar went in next, one spoonful at a time. I must confess – I messed up at this point. I hadn’t read the recipe properly, which is such a schoolboy error. I was meant to have combined a third of the sugar with the flour separately and only added the remaining two-thirds of the sugar to the egg whites. I mistakenly added all the sugar at this stage. I wasn’t about to waste 8 eggs, so I carried on regardless!
Next came the gradual folding in of the flour (which should have been flour and sugar). This part was surprisingly simple. The bake off contestants tend to make folding egg whites look like a perilous task. One of this years bakers even had to bin their mixture and start again at this point.
The mixture is then transferred to the Bundt mould. Even with the reduced ingredients, there was probably still too much mixture for this size mould. I gently spread it around the mould and ran a knife through the middle to remove any air pockets. It seemed a little too full, but I didn’t want to risk ruining it by trying to remove any mixture. I took a chance and left it.
You can probably notice from the picture that my mould looks a little floury. There was some debate on Twitter regarding whether or not you should grease the tin when making Angel Food Cake.
Edd Kimber screamed No!
No dont grease the tin! #gbbo
— Edd Kimber (@TheBoyWhoBakes) August 20, 2013
James Morton said Yes!
Always grease the tin. Then dust with flour and bash away excess #GBBO
— James Morton (@bakingjames) August 20, 2013
…but Mary Berry said not to in the recipe and on the show? I was confused. Thankfully, Stephanie Muzzall at Riverside Baking clears it up nicely in the blog post I mentioned earlier. It seems they were all correct. As I was using a silicone mould, I decided to grease and flour the mould, treating it as non-stick.
The cake went into the oven at 160 degrees for about 35 minutes. Mary’s recipe calls for 45-50 minutes, but given that this isn’t as large, and isn’t a metal tin, I didn’t think it would need quite as long to cook. I checked it with a skewer inserted into a couple of points, and it seemed like it was cooked to me. I turned it upside down (or is that the right way up? lets not go there!…) onto a cooling rack and left it there for about an hour or so. As I said earlier, I’ve never had much luck getting cakes out of my other silicone bakeware, so I wasnt holding out much hope for this one. However, I lifted the mould off, and it came off cleanly without any effort or needing to coax it out with any utensils!Not a single chunk of cake was left attached to the inside of the mould. I guess the greasing/flouring of the mould did the trick.
The bakers used their left over egg yolks to make a lemon and passion fruit curd and topped the cake with it and some whipped cream, which is what Mary’s recipe states. As my Bundt mould left the cake looking quite decorative as it was, I decided to just dust it with a little icing sugar. To be quite honest, I’m not sure how you would cover this in whipped cream without making an absolute mess! I used my left over egg yolks to make some custard instead.
Considering I’d messed this up a little along the way, I’m really pleased with how this turned out for my first ever attempt at making Angel Food Cake. It probably should have risen more, but that’s likely due to me overfilling the mould. The texture of the cake is really different to what I’m used to. Its very light and fluffy, and it tastes delicious. I’ll definitely be making this one again. Next time, I will use the lemon zest though, as the juice alone was lost in this cake. You really couldn’t tell it was in there.