There’s been a lot to celebrate the last few weeks with pancake day, Chinese lunar new year, Valentine’s day and my first angel food cake with its wonderful texture! Now for a quick run-down of homemade goodies to hopefully inspire you in some way.
Chinese Lunar New Year
Pineapple tarts are according to some bloggers the most delicious cookies in the world. A must-have treat for Chinese Lunar New Year, they were absolutely delightful. I followed a combination of Rasa Malaysia’s recipe for the pastry and the Dumpling Sister’s cookbook recipe for the filling without the extra flavourings because I fancied a pure pineapple taste.
A pineapple filling taste test was then conducted, where people tried my tarts with homemade fresh pineapple and tinned pineapple jam fillings, without knowing which was which. Interestingly some preferred those made with fresh pineapple which were tangier and some preferred with tinned which were sweeter. My conclusion is tinned (canned) pineapple is a perfect substitute for the fresh fruit and involves less work … unless you find opening cans very tricky. lol. And the preferred sweetness of the filling is simply a question of taste. I like tangy. My other conclusion is I should not overprocess or purée the pineapple – the texture is better leaving some little rice-size pieces. And the ball of pastry should be the same size as the filling or a little smaller. In my first prototype (see the first photo) there was too much pastry. Finally, I recommend making them on a rainy day with friends or family to help assemble these amazingly delicious little treasures. Recipe coming to the blog one day!
In the middle of Chinese new year I made my now favourite pancakes, buckwheat crêpes following my spelt crêpes recipe but replacing the spelt flour with gluten-free buckwheat flour and adding an extra half a cup or more of oatmilk (buckwheat seems to soak up liquids). Delicious plain with salted butter. Or with some English breakfast.
Couldn’t stop eating them or save any for the next day. Oh well, will make more.
It was no-one’s birthday but there was sweetened condensed milk left from making pineapple tart pastry so I had to make some yummy Beijinhos, a typical Brazilian birthday treat. You just need 10 minutes, the milk, dessicated coconut and cloves. So simple yet so delicious. Yesterday I bought some more condensed milk… you never know when you’ll get another Beijinho craving! 🙂
Blood orange season and chocolate
Celebrating the short season for this fruit there was a blood orange bundt cake experiment. The cake had a nice texture but I found the fruit tangier and more flavoursome when unbaked so made several versions of my blood orange frangipane tart. The fruit is so tangy and delicious. In one prototype I discovered shop-bought puff pastry is not very nice (buy best-quality and all butter or make it) but I also ran out of blood oranges and discovered that inviting strawberries to the tart is kind of attractive! Yay for happy kitchen accidents! And yay for some dreamy chocolate and hazelnut dacquoise mini cakes!
The recipe for these heavenly chocolate squares and happiness comes with illustrations for the simple dacquoise and chocolate mousse layers.
But let’s have a look at an amazingly fluffy and simple cake.
MATCHA AND VANILLA ANGEL FOOD CAKE RECIPE
This recipe’s a slight adaptation of Bashful Bao’s Green Tea Swirled Angel Food Cake. I reduced the quantity of vanilla extract and baking times, and changed some of the method and measurements. Next time I’ll try a little less sugar though apparently you need loads for the texture. It was my first angel cake so to be honest I was just glad it didn’t sink. And the texture was amazingly soft, as my cake-testing friend and her office workmates confirmed. They also enjoyed the ‘distinctive’ flavour of matcha green tea, which we don’t often run into here in Barcelona.
So yay! And here’s the recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F (static, non-convection oven) or 160°C/320°F (fan-assisted convection oven)
- DO NOT BUTTER your angel mould (10 inches/25cm diametre)
- 125g/1 cup cake flour
- 300g/1 and a half cups sugar, divided into 150g (3/4 of a cup) + 150g (3/4 of a cup)
- 460g/ml egg whites (about 12 large eggs or 14 medium-large eggs)
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- a quarter teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 to 1 and a half teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 and a half teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons matcha green tea powder
- Whisk the flour and 150g (3/4 of a cup) sugar in a medium bowl.
- Whisk the egg whites by hand or on your stand mixer until foamy then add the cream of tartar and salt and whisk to soft peak.
- Add the other 150g (3/4 of a cup) sugar, whisking in a little at a time. Whisk a few more minutes until stiff peaks form and the whites don’t fall out of the upside-down bowl.
- Whisk in the vanilla extract and lemon juice.
- Very gently fold in the flour and sugar mixture in about 7 goes (a quarter cup at a time) with a rubber spatula. Fold until just combined and don’t overwork or it will flatten and become heavier.
- Gently spoon half the cake batter into your ungreased angel food tin. If you want a more uneven design then arrange it in clumps.
- Now sift matcha over the remaining batter and gently fold in until just combined. Again don’t overwork.
- Spoon the matcha batter over the plain batter in the tin and swirl them together with a butter knife.
- Bake 35 to 45 mins until the cake springs back when lightly touched and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Don’t open the oven door for the first 35 minutes.
- Invert the angel tin onto a wire cooling rack covered in a sheet of baking paper. Cool completely. The cake needs to cool upside-down or it will sink!
- Apparently the cake sometimes falls down by itself onto the paper. Yay! But sometimes it doesn’t. Aw. Anyway mine didn’t and then you just carefully go around with a butter knife to loosen it up on the sides then on the removable bottom. Don’t worry if some gets stuck or it’s not completely neat.
Eating and storing this cake
This cake needs to be stored in airtight tupperware at room temperature (a friend told me she kept a slice of this out and the next day it was not in good shape). The cake is best on the same day but was still fine and delicious eaten within 3 days. It was also so light and tasty I could easily eat three or four good slices. Ahem.
So hope you’ve enjoyed this matcha and vanilla angel cake. Fast and easy to make! Fast and easy to eat! I’ll say no more. Except… woohoo! 🙂
An even healthier future
Finally I’ll just let you know some even healthier recipes are coming soon! I do think homemade cakes are healthy in moderation. 🙂 There’ll be a healthier fraisier strawberry cake and caramel slices. And French pain de mie! If you’re curious you can see my latest bakes on Instagram – liliscakesinbcn.
So farewell sweet reader and hope you’re having a lovely yummy weekend! Happy baking and eating! 🙂 x