When I was of grade school age, school didn’t begin till after Labor Day, but since Sydney was small school started before that long weekend that proclaimed Summer had officially ended. As I watch all the children with their new lunch boxes and uniforms waiting for the bus I can’t help but go back in time to Sydney’s first day of kindergarten. I was not ready for her to begin venturing out to school, and even now as she begins her second year in college I still have a pain in my heart as she goes back to her campus, however breakfast is not the difficulty it was those first few weeks so long ago. I wanted, like most parents, to send my little one off to school with a good breakfast, but between having to be out the door by 6:55 AM, getting lunch packed, and being completely put together a” normal” breakfast sometimes seemed impossible. Then one morning Sydney woke up earlier than she needed to and bounced down the stairs to catch me eating a piece of Strawberry Angel Food Cake and asked why she couldn’t have a piece.
I thought why not, I placed some strawberries in a little bowl with a dollop of crème frâiche, voila! The fastest, yet healthy breakfast was discovered! Okay I realize most parents would question my choice, and believe me I never had so many grade school parents calling me to vent their frustration. One very annoyed parent actually requested I inform her son cake is not a suitable breakfast. With as much restraint I could mustard up I explained Angel Food Cake basically consists of egg whites (per protein), plus the strawberries with crème frâiche added fruit and the milk group. She slowly settled down, but explained her household did not have crème frâiche as staple. I asked her if she had sour cream or buttermilk she could substitute the crème frâiche with sour cream or with buttermilk assemble homemade crème frâiche over a weekend in minutes. The parent politely said “goodbye” and later I learned from the grade school gossip squad there was another child enjoying Angel Food Cake for breakfast.
I am not advocating Angel food Cake every morning, but once or twice a week is fine. Yes I did check with my pediatrician and nutritionist, whom happens to be a friend of mine, in fact since I was baking my own and adding naturally strawberry flavoring she praised my innovation. The credit actually belongs to Sydney’s detective work.
Strawberry Angel Food Cake: this is a link to the recipe.
Combine 1/4 cup of sugar with the flour and food coloring and sift together 4 times. Set aside.
Place the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, beat on medium-high speed until the eggs make medium-firm peaks, about 4 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add some of the remaining 1 1/2 cups of sugar by slowly sprinkling it over the beaten egg whites as the mixer remains on medium speed. Whisk for a few minutes until thick and shiny.
Whisk in the vanilla bean, strawberry extract, strawberry powder, and lemon zest. Continue to whisk until very thick, about 1-1/2 to 2 more minutes, slowly add the last 1/2-cup of sugar, continue to whisk till very shiny and thick. Sift about ¼ of the flour mixture over the egg whites and turn the standing mixer on stir or fold. Continue adding the flour by fourths by sifting and folding until it’s all incorporated.
Pour the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, smooth the top, and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes, until it springs back to the touch. Remove the cake from the oven, quickly grab your narrow necked bottle, insert the bottle into the tube pan’s hole, gently, with quickness invert the in entire cake and pan.
Set the bottle on a flat surface and cool for 2 hours.
Cooling and Un-molding the Strawberry Angel Food Cake:
After the cake inside the pan hanging upside down has cooled for a full 2 hours, remove the bottle from the hole of the tube, place the pan on a flat surface, using a straight metal frosting spatula run it careful between the cake and the inside of the wide part of the tube pan, with a small straight frosting spatula run in between the neck hole and the cake, invert carefully, pulling the pan away from the tube. Take the larger spatula place it between the core of the bottom of the tube pan and the cake, loosen the core and remove. Now invert the cake onto a cake plate or store in an airtight cake container.
There are a plethora of subjects during the school year that add stress to and your child/children’s lives, at least breakfast can be fun and delicious!