Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Angel Food Cupcakes

Summertime.  The time of year when berries are in season and I crave light, airy desserts.  This month's theme of What's Baking was Baking with Fresh Fruits which made me very excited.  I am always looking to expand my repertoire, especially for dishes I can bring to a party or BBQ so I took this challenge as an opportunity to do just that.  When I think of fresh fruit and the summer, I immediately think of one of my favorite treats - angel food cake with whipped cream and berries.  Seriously....a moist, light cake with fluffy whipped cream and super ripe berries.  There is nothing better.  And to make it handheld and easier to eat?  Yum!  Excuse me while I go eat another cupcake before typing the next paragraph.

This recipe that I found online produced a perfectly moist cake.  And to make it a little more fruity I added fresh berries into the batter so there's even more of a berry punch in each bite.  I'll admit, I only put berries into half the batch I made just in case it didn't come out as I intended, but next time I'll be adding berries to all my cupcakes.

This was not only a great way to use the berries I've received in my CSA box but they are also the perfect addition to any summer party (they can even be made red, white and blue for 4th of July!)  And remember how I said I was trying to find something I could bring to a party?  Well, I didn't actually have any parties to attend before this blog post had to go live, so I hope my neighbors are hungry!

Angel Food Cupcakes (slightly adapted from Cooking Classy)

3/4 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
6 egg whites, room temperature
2 1/2 tbsp warm water
1/2 tsp + splash vanilla extract, divided
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
strawberries and/or blueberries
1 pint heavy cream

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line muffin tins with cupcake liners (my batter yielded 18 cupcakes)
- In the food processor, pulse granulated sugar until it is super fine (a minute or two)
- In a mixing bowl, sift together half the sugar, all of the flour and salt.
- In the mixing bowl of your electric mixer (a large mixing bowl if you're using a handheld mixer) whisk together the egg whites, water, 1/2 tsp of vanilla and cream of tartar at a low speed until well combined.  Turn mixer up to a medium speed and slowly add the remaining sugar until medium peaks form.
- Sift a thin layer of the flour mixture over the egg white mixture and using a rubber spatula, fold it into the egg mixture to incorporate it.  Repeat with the rest of the flour mixture, using small batches (I did about 10 additions).
- Divide batter into the liners, filling them 3/4 of the way (you should have some batter left over at this point).  Slice the strawberries or halve the blueberries and insert the berries throughout the batter in the liners (pushing the berries into the cups).  Use the rest of the batter to cover the berries, filling the liners almost to the top.
- Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cool completely on wire racks.
- While the cupcakes cool, whip the heavy cream and a splash of vanilla into a fluffy consistency.  Once the cupcakes are cool, spread the whipped cream on top (I used a silicone decorating tool). Then top with additional berries (sliced strawberries or whole blueberries).