Carrot Angel Food Cake ~ #BakeTogether Guest Post

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by Abby Dodge on May 7, 2012

There are a few members of the #baketogether family that are blog-less. But, as we know, us #baketogether folks are an inclusive bunch so for those folks that haven’t succumbed to my blog – nagging (yet), I add a small pix and a brief description of their entry to my post so they can join in. In April, I reached out to Jennifer (one such blog-less gal) and asked if she’d be willing to do a guest post and tell us about her multicolored Buttermilk Glazed Carrot Angel Food Cake in more depth. I’m delighted she took time out of her very busy work and family schedule to share her inspiring version of angel food cake. Here’s the original recipe.

And.. ps.. Jennifer is very humble and modest about her knowledge and kitchen abilities – her candies are remarkable! She’s the person I turn to with all sorts of confection questions. In fact, she helped me test and re-test many of the candy recipes in new Joy of Cooking. I also had the pleasure of joining in her NYC Chocolate Crawl a few years back – what an afternoon!  Here’s her wonderful Caramel Feature in Fine Cooking. You’ll need to join or, at least, do the 14 day free trial to read this but it’s worth it. I promise. If you are on Twitter, you can follow Jennifer’s feed at @jnerissa

Here’s Jennifer…. I know you’ll like her as much as I do.

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Hello everyone, I’m Jennifer. Abby asked me if I would do a guest post about the April Angel food cake #Baketogether. She’s been trying to get me to start a blog of my own. Baby steps, Abby, baby steps.

Disclaimer: I am not a professionally trained chef. I am what you would call a pathologically obsessed amateur. I did run my own chocolate business for a few years when my children were born, and I wrote an article for Fine Cooking magazine on caramels a few years back. Those are my only real claims to culinary fame. Mostly I just like to play around in the kitchen.

In April I played around with Abby’s angelfood cake recipe. I decided I wanted something visually stunning. The snow white color of the cake cried out to me for a color contrast. I settled on carrots – a carrot angel food cake. I even managed to find yellow and red carrots, in addition to the usual orange.I started with 12 oz of (about 3 large) carrots, and shredded them to make 1 ½ cups tightly packed. I followed Abby’s recipe, minus the tangerine zest, and gently folded the carrots into the batter after the flour.

Well, I did make one other slight change to it as well. I used extra large eggs instead of large. I discovered the benefit of extra large eggs in sponge/genoise/angel food type cakes years ago when I moved to Germany. All of my cakes were suddenly taller, fluffier, and lighter. It took me a year to figure out that German large eggs are equivalent to North American extra large, but I digress. Because of the moisture and weight of the carrots you may find that the angel food cake takes a little longer to bake, and it will not rise as high. This is OK. It will still look pretty and be delicious.

Here it is.. Oven -ready.

I replaced the caramel sauce in Abby’s original recipe with a buttermilk glaze. This glaze is a crucial component of my favourite carrot cake recipe, one given to me by a friend years ago. It’s originally designed to be poured over traditional carrot cake, and I highly recommend trying it. Really, try it.

To make the glaze:
¾ cups sugar
½ tsp. baking soda
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup butter
1 T. golden syrup
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a much larger saucepan than you think you will need. Bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Because of the baking soda, the mixture will foam considerably. This is normal. Do not
be alarmed, just carry on and it will subside. Remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

If you are using this for ordinary carrot cake, pour the hot mixture evenly over just-out-of-the-oven cake. If you are using this for the carrot angel food cake you will not be able to do this, because angel food has to cool completely upside down in the pan. Instead you will to using the glaze to coat the outside. Using a pastry brush, brush the hot glaze evenly over the surface of the cooled, unmolded cake. You will have glaze left over. Save it. You will use this to plate the dessert.

Because carrot cake just isn’t carrot cake without cream cheese frosting, I added it as a third component in the dessert. For the frosting you will need one package of cream cheese, at room temperature, and a second batch of buttermilk glaze, also cooled to room temperature. Beat the glaze into the cream cheese until they are light and fluffy and well combined.

You are now ready to plate the dessert. Pour a Tablespoon or so of the reserved glaze onto the plate. Cut a generous slice of cake and arrange it over the glaze. Decorate with an extra large buttermilk cream cheese frosting rose. I love making these roses. They look difficult and spectacular, but are in fact, one of the fastest and easiest decorations you can make. It’s a pastry chef secret, and I shall now impart it to you. In order to make one you do need one special piece of equipment, but it is worth the investment. Buy a large star or flower tip. I use a Wilton 2D. Because of its size, it requires a large coupler instead of a standard one, or, if you are lazy like me, a bit of packing tape. I slide my tip into the pastry bag and tape it well all around the edges. It works for me, at least. Fill your pastry bag with frosting. Holding the tip perpendicular to the cake, starting at the center of the flower, squeeze, while moving the bag in a tight spiral pattern, from inside to out. When the flower is the desired size, stop. It really is that simple. Honest.

Like many cakes, this one tastes best the day after you bake it. The flavors have a chance to mellow and blend. I recommend baking and glazing the cake one day, and plating, frosting, and serving it the next.

There you have it, my #Baketogether angel food carrot cake with buttermilk glaze. Enjoy!