It’s almost love day and a light and fluffy Angels Food inspired cupcake seemed like the right choice for this week. Whether you’re single or taken, I hope that everyone enjoys lots of chocolate, many boozy beverages and fun times with those that you love. No matter my relationship status I find this week to be so much fun because of the creativity that I see more and more each year in marketing the day of love. Sparkles, sprinkles, bubbles, glitter galore. My kind of holiday.
Angels Food was a challenge for me. Egg separation was an adventure but a satisfying one, pulling the white away from the yolk, six times over. No errors! I tried to really focus on the texture of these cupcakes, allowing a simple buttercream frosting to support the strong almond flavors in the cupcakes. The strawberry garnish supplies a burst of juice and double whammy, brings out the flavors of this week’s sparkling even better!
Recipe (makes 12)-
- 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 egg whites, room temperature
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons warm water
- 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, coconut, almond or orange extract (I used almond)
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 6 oz. butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Fresh berries, or your choice fruit (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 350. Use a food processor to pulse sugar until extremely fine. This should take two minutes max. Sift together the cake flour, salt and sugar into a bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg whites, cream of tartar and water until mixture is smooth. Slowly add sugar mixture until medium peaks form. Divide batter into cupcake liners, filling each half full. Bake cupcakes 20 minutes and cool. While cupcakes cool, combine frosting ingredients and beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes and garnish with whatever fruit you desire!
Valentines week calls for a special Champagne. I haven’t experimented with a lot of flavored sparkling wines, but the dominant almond flavors in the cupcakes inspired me to pick up a bottle of Almond Creek from my neighborhood Trader Joe’s. One of my resolutions this year was to refine my budget, and stick to it! Even though there’s nothing wrong with splurging on a bottle of sparkling wine every now and again, there are so many tasty options out there that are less than ten bucks. As long as you avoid any frizzante sparkling wines under five bucks (most likely injected with chemicals as the only source of bubbles), be open to sparklers of all prices.
Disclaimer, I don’t even really like almond as a flavor. I can’t snack on the nuts unless they’re flavored, and almond flavors in dessert pastries seem cloying to me. Maybe it was the lightness of the cupcakes, the lack of actual nuts, or my undying love for Champagne, but it worked this week! This choice of bubbles was creamy, effervescent and not too sweet. I think it would also go really well with a dynamic salad or dark chocolate.
Hope everyone has a wonderful week!