Little Angel Food Cakes, with Jam
My dad has been on a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet for almost as long as I can remember, and I think one of the reasons I initially started baking was so that I could make him things he could eat (mostly) guilt-free. Along the way, I've adapted cheesecake, banana bread, pies, and chocolate cakes to be sans cholesterol and fat.
One of the easiest and tastiest things I make for him are angel food cakes -- in miniature, because isn't it more fun to eat little cakes? While my mother and I happily devoured our buttery strawberry shortcakes with piles of whipped cream, he snacked on these tiny, puffy stacks of cake layered with strawberry jam and sliced strawberries. I did a reprise the next day and substituted kiwis for the strawberries, while keeping the strawberry jam, and I think they tasted even better. Of course, you could use any combination of jam (blackberry would be wonderful) and fruit you'd like.
Dad's Favorite Angel Food Cakes, with Jam and Fruit
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup sifted cake flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Set oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350°F.
Sift together confectioners sugar, flour, and salt.
Beat whites in mixer until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat at medium speed until they form soft peaks. Add granulated sugar gradually, beating, and continue beating just until whites are thickened and form soft, droopy peaks. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts.
Gently fold in the dry ingredients and blend thoroughly (try to maintain the airiness of the whites.
Gently pour batter evenly into lightly greased loaf pans or mini tart pans and bake until top is light golden, cake retracts a bit from pan and springs back when touched lightly, and a tester comes out clean.
Let cool completely, then, using a serrated knife, slice carefully into three parts. Layer each with a generous helping of jam and sliced strawberries or kiwis. When cake is assembled, sprinkle the top with powdered sugar, and garnish with a slice of fruit.