It was recently brought to my attention that Winnie the Pooh, the lovable, simple, somewhat overweight bear and I share some similar qualities or quirks. A friend of mine recently read an article by the Canadian Medical Association, no lie, there is actually an article outlining the different disorders the Winnie-the-Pooh story book characters may suffer from now and in the future. (Question: As they are fictional and never grow up how can they possibly develop additional disorders?)
And tonight because of that fixation I baked up this light and simple but tasty Angel Food Cake.
The recipe is from The Barefoot Contessa’s Family Style cookbook and her version is made with lemon. I used orange zest instead of the lemon as that is what I had available. This cake makes up light and moist and is great topped with a glaze, or whipped cream and a few berries.
A couple of tips before going ahead and grabbing your bundt pan….you will need superfine or fruit sugar for this recipe. Superfine sugar, fruit sugar and quick dissolving sugar are all exactly the same. It is just granulated sugar processed finer. It is more expensive and occasionally difficult to find so pull out your food processor, add in the required amount of sugar and process it for about 60 seconds. You have now saved yourself about $3.00.
The recipe calls for Cake flour (same as Cake & Pastry flour BUT different from Self-Rising flour) and says “1 1/3 cups sifted cake flour”, which means you sift your flour BEFORE measuring out the required amount. And yes, it will make a difference. If you measure out the 1 1/3 cups and sift it then measure out 1 1/3 cups there will be flour left over. This step helps to keep you cake light and fluffy.
I used pasteurized eggs whites found in the dairy section as I just don’t know what to do with the dozen or so egg yolks I would have left over after separating all those eggs.
Always make sure you have your ingredients ready to go and double-check you have everything. That way you will not find out once you have started you do not have or cannot find the Cream of Tartar. I did make the recipe without the Cream of Tartar tonight but normally I use it. Cream of Tartar is a stabilizer and it helps to keep your whipped egg whites thick and stiff once whipped to that point.
So back to Winnie, Piglet, Owl, Tigger, Kanga, Rabbit, Christopher Robin and my issues. Winnie suffers from Impulsivity with Obsessive Fixations on Honey. He will grab it whenever he can and is prepared to take risks to acquire it. I can relate. Whenever I see a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting my mouth actually salivates. It is like I will never, ever, ever have another piece of cake so I must eat as much as possible when the opportunity strikes. It doesn’t matter that I see it every day…I cannot help myself. So obviously this obsessive behaviour is contributing to Winnie’s obesity and my widening back-end. Do you remember when he was so fat he got stuck trying to get out of, I think it was, Piglet’s or Rabbit’s, door!
I‘m not sure I have reached the risk taking stage yet of searching out sugar but I would imagine if the last Smarties box on earth required me to risk a limb I might just go for it. And Winnie also suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder which is displayed by his repetitive counting. Is that like humming continually without realizing you’re doing it or ordering another cupcake book just because it is out there!
The character I found most interesting was Christopher Robin. The CMA has diagnosed him with possible Schizophrenia as his imagination often manifests itself through auditory hallucinations-all of the characters are formed in his mind. He may outgrow this as he is only a child.
My comment to them is….Christopher Robin is not real. He is just as imaginary as Winnie, Tigger and the rest. Enough said.
Orange Angel Food Cake- Especially delightful on a Blustery Day
Preheat oven to 350F. Light spray a bundt pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2 cups superfine sugar, divided
1 1/3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups egg whites, room temperature (approx. 10-12 eggs)
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
Combine 1/2 cup of sugar with flour and sift together (Ina says 4x but I did it 1x).
In the bowl of an electric mixer place egg whites, salt and cream of tartar. Using whisk attachment beat on high until the eggs make medium-firm peaks. With the mixer on medium speed add in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of sugar by sprinkling it over the beaten egg whites. Whisk with mixer for several minutes until mixture is thick and shiny. Whisk in the vanilla and orange zest and continue to whisk until very thick, about 1 minute more. Remove bowl from mixer.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the cake springs back when touched lightly.
Remove and let cool. Use small rubber spatula to loosen cake from center and sides and invent onto cake plate or cooling rack.
Now sit down and enjoy a piece of this and celebrate whatever quirks make you the unique individual you are.