Homemade angel cake and orange buttercream frosting

Aptly named indeed, this cake and its accompanying frosting is so light and airy that you'll swear it'll float away if you don't eat it quickly. It's also free of any fat, and can be the base for many a light, luscious dessert.

Homemade angel cake and orange buttercream frosting

Angel cake

      What you need:

  • 350 g (1 1/2 c) egg whites (about 15 eggs)
  • 7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) cream of tartar
  • 1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
  • 350 g (1 1/2 c) sugar
  • 250 g (1 c) sifted cake flour
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 1 ml (1/4 tsp) almond extractWhat to do:

    1. Place the oven rack at the lowest possible position. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F); set out a 25 centimetre (10 inch) tube pan.

    2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt, and beat until the mixture is frothy. Gradually add the sugar, 10 millilitres (two tablespoons) at a time, beating constantly. Increase the speed to high and continue beating until the mixture forms very soft peaks.

    3. Fold the flour, 50 grams (1/4 cup) at a time, into the egg whites, then fold in the vanilla and almond extracts.

    4. Spoon the cake batter into the ungreased tube pan and gently smooth the top with a spatula. Cut the spatula through the batter once to break and release any large air bubbles.

    5. Bake the cake until the top springs back when lightly touched, 50 to 60 minutes. Invert the tube pan with the central tube over the neck of a large bottle; let the cake cool completely. Using a knife, loosen the edges of the cake from the sides of the pan, and turn out the cake onto a cake plate. Makes 12 servings

Orange buttercream frosting

Lightly flavoured with orange juice and zest, this homemade icing is tempting. Make it fresh and save money.

      What you need:

  • 75 g (1/3 c) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 500 g (16 oz) box confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 50 g (1/4 c) fresh orange juice, strained
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) grated orange zest
  • 1 to 2 drops orange food colouring (optional)What to do:

    1. In a medium bowl with an electric mixer on moderately high speed, beat the butter or margarine until it is light and fluffy.

    2. Reduce the speed to medium, and alternately add the sugar and the orange juice, a little at a time and beating constantly. Add the vanilla and orange zest, and beat until the frosting is creamy.

    3. If desired, add orange food colouring to tint the frosting. Makes enough to fill and frost one 20 or 23 centimetre (8 or 9 inch) layer cake, 24 cupcakes, or one 33 x 23 x 5-centimetre (13 x 9 x 2-inch) sheet cake.

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