Angel cake is a dream dessert for health-conscious eaters. Made from egg whites but no yolks, this lofty delight doesn't even require fat. The vividly colourful fruit sauce makes the cake worthy of a festive occasion.
FOR THE CAKE
12 large egg whites, at room temperature
1¼ teaspoons cream of tartar
1¼ cups (275g) caster sugar
grated zest of 3 lemons
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup (140g) plain flour
FOR THE SAUCE
500g frozen strawberries (about 1⅔ boxes), thawed
½ cup (125ml) orange juice
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To make the sauce, combine the strawberries and orange juice in a large bowl. Cover and chill.
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar in a large bowl using an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, and continue beating until thick, soft peaks form. Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla essence.
Gently fold the flour into the egg white mixture, adding it one-quarter at a time and folding just until incorporated. Spoon into an ungreased 24-cm angel cake tin or tube tin.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 50 minutes or until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed with your fingertips. Invert the cake, in the tin, onto a wire rack to cool. Run a palette knife around the edges and centre of the tin and invert the cake onto a plate. Serve with the strawberry sauce.
Some more ideas…
• Make the sauce with other berries. Both raspberries and blueberries, or a mixture of berries, are good choices. • Add 60 g (⅓ cup) chocolate chips or grated dark plain chocolate to the cake mixture. You'll get plenty of chocolate flavour, but with less fat than with a chocolate cake.
When you just have to have a cake, an angel cake is a great choice. It's low in sodium and has no fat or cholesterol; its only vice is the sugar content. However, since it is served with a fruit sauce rather than being iced, you have a very healthy dessert.