Even a chunky cherub knows angel food cake can help lighten the pudge.
The puffy, cloudlike confection is low in calories and fat and contains absolutely no cholesterol. A prudent choice for anyone watching their waistline, the dessert’s the only downside is the cake requires separating and whipping egg whites until they form peaks.
True, the whipping can be a bit of a chore, but the flavor difference is far superior to a boxed mix. And since you’re using a mixer to beat the whites, it’s not likely you’ll break a sweat.
Perfect for Valentine’s Day, a brunch or shower, The Star’s
are small but still glamorous, especially when drizzled with a bright lemony glaze. A typical slice of angel food cake from a mix contains about 128 calories, according to the USDA’s Nutrient Data Laboratory (ndb.nal.usda.gov/). At just 41 calories per “bite,” a serving of three cakes can satisfy a craving for something sweet.
Now who’s feeling downright devilish?
Superfine sugar is available in the baking aisle of most supermarkets. Finer than granulated sugar, it dissolves quickly, a trait that makes it perfect for meringues. If you don’t have superfine sugar, you can grind granulated sugar in a food processor.
Cake flour is fine-textured soft wheat flour with a high starch content that makes light, white and tender baked goods. Usually packaged in 2-pound boxes, look for Softasilk or Swans Down brands in the baking aisle. Do not substitute all-purpose flour.
For portion control, you will need mini muffin pans. To add air, you’ll also need a sifter. Both are widely available in supermarkets.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift 1/4 cup sugar and flour together two times; set aside.
Place egg whites, salt and cream of tartar in mixing bowl. Beat with mixer on high speed until egg whites form medium peaks. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup sugar over egg whites and beat until thick and shiny. Add vanilla and lemon zest and beat just until blended.
Sprinkle flour mixture over egg whites in 3 batches and fold in gently with rubber spatula. Spoon batter into ungreased mini muffin tins. Fill the cups almost full. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until cakes are golden brown.
Allow to cool in the muffin pans, then gently use a butter knife to remove to a wire rack placed over a cookie sheet.
Whisk together lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar until blended. Lightly dip tops of angel cakes in glaze then place on wire rack, glaze side up. Sprinkle lightly with additional lemon zest, if desired.Per bite: 41 calories (none from fat), trace fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 9 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram protein, 34 milligrams sodium, no dietary fiber. Recipe developed exclusively for The Star by professional home economists Kathryn Moore and Roxanne Wyss.