Chow Town

Desserts perfectly sized for two people

This angel food cake, topped with blueberries picked and frozen last summer, is the perfect size for one person.
This angel food cake, topped with blueberries picked and frozen last summer, is the perfect size for one person.

For the most part, there’s just the two of us.

So when it comes to menu planning, my girlfriend and I tend to skip the dessert because many homemade recipes make far more than we want.

A layer cake in 9-inch round pans, for example, would last us quite a while. We used to freeze portions of the cake to enjoy later, but too much went to waste.

When she got me America’s Test Kitchen’s “The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook” a little over a year ago, we were thrilled to find a whole dessert section scaled down for two.

The first recipe we tried was a Fluffy Yellow Layer Cake. At 6 inches in diameter, that size was just perfect. Two decent-sized slices for us to enjoy the day I made the cake and another two slices the next day.

This Christmas, my girlfriend gave me more small-sized bakeware, including 2-cup tube pans, so we could try the other dessert recipes.

We had bags of frozen blueberries we had picked last summer, so we decided to put the tube pans to use and make angel food cakes.

The result were two spongy cakes with a thin crust the perfect size for dessert for two. Best yet, there were no leftovers.

I’m looking forward to trying the other dessert recipes in the cookbook.

Angel Food Cake

Makes 2 servings

6 tablespoons cake flour

1/2 cup sugar (divided)

Pinch of salt

3 large egg whites, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fresh fruit, powdered sugar and whipped cream (optional)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk flour,  1/4 cup sugar and salt together in bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and beat egg whites to soft, billowy mounds, about another minute. Gradually add remaining  1/4 cup of sugar and beat until glossy, soft peaks form. Whisk in vanilla by hand.

Sift flour mixture over egg whites in two additions, folding gently with a rubber spatula after each addition. Divide the batter evenly between the two 2-cup tube pans and smooth the tops. Wipe away any drops of batter off the sides of the pans. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake about 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and any cracks in the cake appear dry.

Invert the cake pans over upside-down kitchen funnels or over empty beer bottles with chopstick set inside. Let cakes cool in the pan for about an hour. To remove, run a thin knife around the edges of the cakes to loosen and then gently tap pans upside down on the counter.

Top with fresh fruit, powdered sugar or whipped cream.

Note: If your tube pans do not have removable bottoms, line them with parchment paper.

Nutritional facts: 300 calories; 0 grams of fat and saturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 67 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of protein, 0 grams of fiber and 160 milligrams of sodium.

Source: America’s Test Kitchen’s “The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook”

Robert A. Cronkleton: 816-234-4261, @cronkb