Angel food cake is a light, fluffy, and dreamy dessert that is perfect for a summertime treat or to be served after a big dinner. This cake is made up of egg whites, cream of tartar, sugar, and vanilla extract, which results in a cake that is low in fat and calories. Despite its simple ingredients and preparation, many still wonder what to put on top of this heavenly dessert. The lightness and sweetness of the cake scream for something with a bit of a tang to balance it out. While the options are endless, some popular choices include whipped cream, fresh fruit, caramel or chocolate sauce, or even a simple glaze. This article will delve into some of the best toppings for angel food cake and provide you with some inspiration for your next dessert.
The Classic: Fresh Berries and Whipped Cream
Angel food cake is a delicious dessert that is light, fluffy, and perfect for any occasion. One of the best things about angel food cake is that it can be paired with a variety of toppings to suit any taste. In this article, we will explore one of the classic toppings for angel food cake: fresh berries and whipped cream.
Why Fresh Berries?
Fresh berries are an excellent choice for topping an angel food cake because they add a burst of flavor and color to the dessert. Not only do they taste great, but they also provide numerous health benefits due to their high levels of antioxidants and other nutrients.
Choosing Your Berries
When choosing berries for your topping, it’s essential to consider which types are in season. Strawberries are a popular choice during the summer months when they’re at their peak freshness. Blueberries and raspberries also make excellent options throughout the year.
Preparing Your Berries
Before adding your berries to your angel food cake, you’ll need to prepare them properly. Rinse them under cold water and pat dry with paper towels gently. You can slice strawberries if you want smaller pieces or leave them whole if you prefer larger chunks.
Making Whipped Cream
Whipped cream is another classic topping for angel food cakes that pairs perfectly with fresh berries. To make whipped cream from scratch, start by chilling a metal bowl in the freezer for 15-20 minutes before use.
Once chilled, add heavy whipping cream along with sugar or another sweetener (if desired) into the cold bowl then whip using an electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form (around 2-3 minutes).
Assembling Your Dessert
To assemble your dessert using this classic combination as toppings:
1) Slice off any browned edges from your angel food cake.
2) Place slices onto plates.
3) Add a dollop of whipped cream onto the cake.
4) Add a handful of fresh berries on top of the whipped cream.
5) Drizzle with honey or caramel sauce if desired.
Going Nutty: Caramelized Almonds and Chocolate Sauce
Why Caramelized Almonds?
Caramelized almonds are a great option for topping an angel food cake because they add a sweet crunch to the light and fluffy texture of the cake. The caramelization process involves coating the almonds in sugar and heating them until they turn golden brown, creating an irresistible toasted flavor.
Making Caramelized Almonds
To make caramelized almonds:
1) Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
2) Spread sliced or chopped almonds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
3) Sprinkle sugar evenly over the top of the nuts.
4) Bake in preheated oven until golden brown (around 10-12 minutes).
5) Let cool completely before using as a topping.
Why Chocolate Sauce?
Chocolate sauce is another excellent choice for topping an angel food cake because it adds richness and depth to the dessert’s flavor profile. The smooth velvety texture of chocolate sauce complements perfectly with crunchy caramelised almond pieces on top.
Making Chocolate Sauce
To make chocolate sauce:
1) Melt dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate using either double boiler method or microwave one.
2) Once melted, stir in heavy cream into melted chocoalte gently until well combined.
3) Add sugar according to taste preference if needed then whisk again until smooth consistency achieved
To assemble your dessert using this nutty combination as toppings:
2) Drizzle chocolate sauce over the top of the cake.
3) Add a handful of caramelized almonds on top of the chocolate sauce.
4) Drizzle more chocolate sauce on top of the almonds.
Feeling Fruity: Pineapple and Coconut Topping
Pineapple is an excellent choice for topping an angel food cake because it provides a sweet and tangy flavor that complements the cake’s airy texture. Pineapples are also rich in vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system.
Choosing Your Pineapple
When choosing pineapples:
1) Look out for pineapples that have bright green leaves at the crown.
2) Make sure they’re heavy and have no soft spots or bruises.
3) Smell the bottom of the pineapple; if it smells sweet, it’s ripe!
Preparing Your Pineapple
To prepare your pineapple:
1) Cut off both ends of the pineapple using a sharp knife.
2) Stand the pineapple upright on one end then carefully slice off its skin from top to bottom in thin strips while cutting deep enough to remove all eyes.
3) Cut thinly sliced pieces of fruit lengthwise from around core then dice these slices into small chunks
Coconut is another tropical ingredient that pairs well with angel food cake due to its creamy texture and nutty flavor profile. Coconut helps balance out tartness from pineapples while providing natural sweetness.
Preparing Your Coconut
To prepare coconut:
1) Crack open fresh coconut shell with spoon or buy pre-shredded unsweetened coconut flakes from stores near you.
2) Separate hard outer shell by scooping out white flesh inside using sharp knife or spoon.
3) Rinse off any remaining bits under cold water then pat dry before shredding them into flakes or chunks.
Spicing Things Up: Cinnamon and Maple Syrup Drizzle
Cinnamon is an excellent choice for topping an angel food cake because it provides a warm and comforting flavor that pairs well with the lightness of the cake. Cinnamon also has numerous health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Choosing Your Cinnamon
When choosing cinnamon:
1) Look for high-quality ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks.
2) Choose organic if possible since cinnamon can be contaminated with pesticides.
3) Smell before buying; fresh ground cinnamon should have a strong aroma.
Why Maple Syrup?
Maple syrup is another great choice for topping an angel food cake because it adds natural sweetness while balancing out the spice from cinnamon. Maple syrup also contains antioxidants and other nutrients like calcium, iron, potassium, manganese.
Choosing Your Maple Syrup
When choosing maple syrup:
1) Look for 100% pure maple syrup without any additives or artificial flavors.
2) Choose darker grades of maple syrup if you want more intense flavor profiles such as Grade B or Dark Amber varieties
Making The Drizzle
To make your drizzle:
1) In small saucepan mix together 1/4 cup pure maple syrup along with 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon until well combined.
2) Place saucepan over medium-low heat then stir gently until mixture starts to simmer gently (around 5 minutes).
3) Once done remove from heat then let cool slightly before serving over angel food cakes
Boozy Bourbon: Bourbon-soaked Cherries and Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
Bourbon is an excellent choice for soaking cherries because it provides a rich, smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the fruit. The alcohol also helps preserve the cherries while infusing them with flavor.
Choosing Your Bourbon
When choosing bourbon:
1) Look for high-quality brands like Maker’s Mark or Woodford Reserve.
2) Choose bourbon that has been aged at least 4 years in charred oak barrels.
3) Consider buying small bottles if you don’t use it regularly since it can be expensive.
Making Bourbon-Soaked Cherries
To make your bourbon-soaked cherries:
1) Remove pits from fresh or frozen pitted cherries.
2) Place these into large mason jar then add enough good quality bourbon to cover all fruits completely (around 1/2 cup).
3) Seal up jar tightly and let soaked overnight in refrigerator before using as topping on angel food cakes.
Why Vanilla Bean?
Vanilla bean is another great choice for topping an angel food cake because it provides a sweet, creamy, and floral flavor profile that complements both the cake’s lightness and richness of booze-infused cherry filling.
Making Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
To make vanilla bean whipped cream:
1) In medium bowl mix heavy whipping cream along with sugar according to taste preference (if desired), one scraped vanilla bean seeds until well combined.
2) Whip using electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form (around 3-4 minutes).
3) Add bourbon-soaked cherries on top of whipped cream before serving.
What are some toppings that can be used on angel food cake?
Angel food cake is a delightful dessert on its own, but there are many ways you can enhance its flavor. Some great toppings for angel food cake are whipped cream, fresh berries, chocolate shavings, lemon curd, caramel sauce, and ice cream. You can also add a layer of fruit preserves or fruit compote to add a vibrant flavor. For a health-conscious option, sprinkle some sliced almonds or chopped pistachios over the cake, which adds a delicious crunch.
Can frosting be used on angel food cake?
While frosting does add flavor to most cakes, it is not a good choice for angel food cake. This is because frosting is dense, heavy, and can weigh down the fluffy texture of the cake. It can also overpower the delicate flavor of the cake. However, if you still want to add some frosting to your angel food cake, you can try a light whipped cream frosting or a lemon glaze that’s not too thick.
Is it necessary to add any toppings to angel food cake?
No, it’s not necessary to add toppings to angel food cake. Many people enjoy it as it is, without any added flavors. Angel food cake is already light, airy, and delicious, so you can enjoy it plain or with a simple dusting of confectioner’s sugar. It’s a great option for someone who is health-conscious, as it’s a low-fat, low-sugar dessert that’s still sweet and satisfying.
What types of fruits can be used on top of angel food cake?
Almost all kinds of fruits pair well with angel food cake, and you can choose whatever fruit you like. Some popular options are fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. You can also use sliced kiwis, peaches, mangoes, and pineapples. For a tropical twist, try adding roasted coconut flakes and sliced bananas. Fruits are a healthy, colorful, and flavorful way to enhance the taste of angel food cake.