PIT - Baklava-inspired Angel Food Cake with Crème Anglaise
Updated: Jul 19, 2021
You've probably noticed I'm a fan of puns when coming up with these recipes - well, Pit's dish is no exception! I made some angel food cake for this angelic hero of Palutena's army.
The Kid Icarus series is unique for its Greek-inspired world and lore - many of the major characters are based on the various gods and monsters from Greek mythology. Honouring the franchise's Greek theme, I infused this cake with the flavours of baklava, a dessert traditionally enjoyed in Greece. Much like baklava, this angel food cake is layered with a sweet and syrupy walnut filling.
The cake is served atop a vanilla custard sauce similar to a crème anglaise - this is a nod to the famous "floor ice cream" gag from Kid Icarus Uprising! After all, ice cream is essentially just frozen custard, so a creamy vanilla custard sauce is a more appetizing approximation of ice cream melted on the floor! (sadly my crème anglaise didn't turn out the best on the day of the photo shoot - it was darker in colour and too runny, so you'll have to forgive the not-so-perfect look of the sauce in the photos!)
Angel Food Cake:
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp corn starch
7 egg whites
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
½ tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp salt
½ cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp honey
½ cup chopped walnuts or pistachios
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
½ cup whipping cream
¾ cup whole milk
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean
3 egg yolks
For angel food cake:
Preheat oven to 325°. Set out a loaf pan - make sure its regular, and not non-stick, and do not line or grease it.
Whisk powdered sugar, flour, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.
Add egg whites, vanilla, almond extract, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium until foamy, about 1 minute.
Slowly add the granulated sugar, one tablespoon at a time while the mixer runs. Turn mixer speed to high and beat until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes.
Turn off mixture and add one third of the dry ingredients to the egg white mixture. Incorporate, folding gently with a rubber spatula, taking care not to deflate the air whipped into the egg whites. Repeat with remaining flour mixture, ensuring no lumps of flour remain.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, until the cake is no longer jiggly or sticky.
As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, immediately turn it upside down (the cake needs to cool upside down so it doesn’t deflate). Let it cool for at least one hour.
Once cool, run a knife around the edges of the pan and let cake fall onto a cutting board.
For baklava filling:
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Mix in brown sugar and honey until dissolved. Stir in lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt.
Remove from heat and add walnuts, toss to coat.
For crème anglaise:
In a saucepan, off the heat, whisk together cream, milk, vanilla, and sugar.
Simmer over medium-low heat until mixture just begins to bubble, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks in a small bowl. Gradually stream about ¼ of the hot cream mixture into the bowl to temper the eggs (this prevents them from curdling).
Pour the tempered egg mixture into the saucepan and return to heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
Once the custard reaches the desired consistency, remove from the heat and refrigerate until ready to use.
Slice cake into half inch slices. Spread a layer of walnut filling on top, and sandwich with another slice of cake. Top with more walnut filling, and serve with vanilla sauce.
TOP TIER TIPS
Angel food cake is traditionally made in a special circular pan with a tube in the middle, which creates a ring-shaped cake, similar to a bundt pan. This recipe uses a loaf pan - don't worry, it will still work, as long as its a regular, ungreased pan (not non-stick). The batter needs to stick to the sides - angel food cake rises by "climbing" the sides of the pan.