Sunday, May 11, 2014

Daffodil Cake (Angel Food Cake)-- and my baking "blooper"

I made this cake last spring. Twice.  In one day. This is round #2.

This is round #1.  Epic baking fail. I wanted to cry. But, I didn't. I immediately started over. I knew what I did wrong, and I will admit what it was, because I love you guys. I don't want you to make my same mistakes.  Plus, no matter how hard I tried-- I was not happy with my finished pictures.  So, I never published this recipe. After careful debate with myself,  I decided it would be worth poking fun at myself--to show that I do have cooking/baking failures. I just don't share them with you. Until now.  So, please keep on reading to learn what not to do, and what you should do. Thank you.

So, what is a Daffodil Cake? It's part angel food cake, and part "chiffon" cake (with egg yolks and orange flavor mixed in).  If made correctly, according to Cook's Country Magazine (April 2010), "Like the flower it's named for, this orange-kissed angel food cake is scented and sweet, with golden yellow and pale orange hues."  That sounds like a lovely spring cake! The only angel food cakes I've ever made, comes from a box of cake mix.  I wanted to make my own, from scratch.

So, we begin by processing sugar and cake flour to be fine and "powdery".  My food processor works great for this-- however I will forewarn you that billows of fine flour and sugar will look like smoke  coming out of the top!

Well, that was easy.

I have a confession to make, but it worked for me. I substituted the equivalent of six egg whites for liquid egg whites. I figured I'd use the  six whole eggs for the yolks, and have six egg whites leftover. I read the back of the carton, and measured what they said equaled one egg white, times six.   I'm not saying YOU should do this, but I  was willing to take a chance (not knowing the disaster I was headed towards, with other things.) Of course, I could have frozen the leftover six egg whites, but I was trying to be thrifty/practical.  Does that make sense? Sugar, cream of tartar and vanilla is added to the fluffy egg whites. (A detailed/printable recipe card will be at the bottom of this post.)

So, now we slowly fold in the flour/sugar mixture.

 Lookin' good. I reserve 3 cups of this batter for the "Daffodil" batter and set it aside.

So, here is where I totally blew it.  What did I do? Ready? I greased the pan.  I know, I know... the directions said "don't grease the pan". But, somehow, my brain didn't listen. I get it now. The cake needs to stick while it bakes. Period.  So, let's continue on, shall we?

So the reserved angel food cake batter has six egg yolks  and orange extract added in, and it's poured on top.

 I smooth the batter, then swirl a knife through it, to combine.

For Round #1 (aka, baking fail) I baked the cake until toothpick inserted into center of cake came out clean with no crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes.  Mistake #2:  I should have used a very long skewer or even a spaghetti length noodle.  Inserting a short toothpick was totally deceitful, or I would have realized the cake was still not quite baked.

I knew I was in trouble, when I inverted the angel food cake pan onto it's built-in legs (instead of inverting it on a wine bottle, for example).

Whoomp!  The cake slide down, and I knew something wasn't right. My husband sympathized with me, but he said nothing. He's a very smart man. Colorful metaphors were spinning in my head.  I tossed the whole unbaked, fallen mess into the garbage. I hate wasting ingredients. But I needed redemption...

This time, I did not grease the angel food cake pan and I stuck a long skewer deep into the cake. When I inverted the pan, the cake did not fall out.  Once it was cooled, the removable bottom easily removed the cake.  Success! Redemption!

For the glaze, I used cream cheese, thawed orange juice concentrate and confectioners sugar.

The glaze should have set after 30 minutes, but it was still a bit on the wet side. At this point, I was done.

I had envisioned setting up my shot with a vase of daffodils in the background. That didn't happen, and I was losing my natural lighting.  (To be honest, I think I was mentally done with this recipe.)

I wanted to know if the cake was worth making it twice, in one day.

TASTING NOTES:  The angel food cake was, indeed, very tender. It didn't have that rubbery texture that some store bought versions do. The orange daffodil part of the cake-- hmmmm. Good, but I was a tad bit underwhelmed.  The glaze was good, but it just didn't set up.  Bottom line, I learned some valuable baking lessons here.  #1: Read the directions, and follow them! #2: Never, ever, grease an angel food pan
I have mixed reviews, but I don't blame Cook's Country.  I take responsibility. Making angel food cake isn't that difficult, actually. But it sure uses a lot of eggs!  Would I make this recipe again? Maybe, but the angel food cake recipe, by itself is one I would definitely make again. I love angel food cake as the base for strawberry shortcake. Yum!

So, there you have it.  My baking imperfections and I humbly share it for the food blogging world to see.

Here's the printable recipe card:

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Stacey Snacks said...

Though I am a much better baker than I used to be, I stick w/ simple recipes......or I go to the bakery!

I have had 2 flops lately, sticky buns that actually STUCK to the pan, I could not get them out...they are sitting in a bowl, so ugly, but they still taste yummy!

baker_bear said...

Ughhhhh!!! I made that mistake once and it left an indelible memory! I actually stopped making Angel Food cakes for a while afterwards I was soooo mad at myself! I too hate wasting ingredients and dumping the equivalent of a dozen eggs in the garbage is no fun so I really sympathize with you.
If you were to make this recipe again would you increase or change the flavoring agents in the daffodil portion of the cake?

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

Whoo-wee, the recipe does use a lot of eggs! I was chuckling and feeling your pain at the same time as I read this post, Debby. Every time I turn a hot chiffon cake upside down on the neck of a wine bottle I expect it to fall out of the pan. Hasn't happened yet. I used to have a pan with those little "feet" but it got lost somewhere along the way. I'll have to look for another one. I wash my cake pan in soap and hot water right before I use it to make sure there is no grease on it. Even a tiny bit will make the cake fall. Your cake does look delicious and I love the cream cheese frosting.

cherie said...

oy - what killer! The other day I baked a whole tray of rolls on waxed paper thinking it was parchment - seriously? Sigh

Velva said...

You rock! I am not sure I would have even attempted it, but yours looks stunning.

Ugh- that the first one did not quite turn out but you have certainly redeemed yourself with next attempt. Love it.


Barbara Bakes said...

I think we all have days like that in the kitchen that we don't share. It was fun to learn what not to do when make angel food. It's been too long since I've made one.

Penny said...

Great post Debby. We all have those days when nothing works out. Those daffodils waiting for a picture perfect shot, oh yes I know. You are among friends here who understand that cooking is more than serving a meal. It is about sharing, photography and a connection with all of us. Thanks for making it real. We all have made mistakes too. By the way, great save! The cake looks delicious.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Thanks for sharing these fun details, Deb. Who among us has not made similar or worse mistakes? A wonderful post and yes 'm, you have taught us well. Please continue! You husband and son are the two most fortunate fellows that I've ever heard about. I love this space!!

Joanne said...

Go you for baring your soul to the world! I'm sorry this wasn't worth the extra efforts. Guess you can't win em all!