This months Bake Together with the always fabulous Abby Dodge
is angel food cake. This cake is inspired by the flavors of Thailand using thai basil, coconut, lemongrass and lime. I used Abby’s cake recipe as the base and added my own touches. For the cake I infused the sugar with lemon grass, and add the lime zest and thai basil to the batter, the cake has lovely green flecks from the basil and lime and a subtle lemongrass flavor. The whipped cream is also inspired by many of the same flavors, in the food processor I ground confectioners sugar and coconut flakes and let the sugar infuse with the coconut, I then sifted it before adding to the whipped cream so it would be smooth and creamy (you don’t have to sift if you want a little texture) and whipped in some coconut cream and a little lime zest. I put the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator the night before making the cake, when you open the can use the thick coconut cream on the top don’t mix it with the liquid beneath.
1 cup (4 ounces)cake flour
1 1/4 cup (5 ounces) confectioners’sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
11 large (1 1/3 cups) egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1 1/2 tsp lime zest
2 tsp tender inner stalk of lemongrass (chopped)
4 stalks thai basil, leaves removed and very finely chopped
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Add 1 cup sugar to food processor with the lemongrass, process until fully combined and there are no large pieces of the lemongrass. Sift before adding to the egg whites.
- Sift flour, confectioners sugar and salt three times and set aside.
- Using either a stand or hand held mixer fitted with whisk attachment beat egg whites on med/low until they become foamy. Add the cream of tartar and increase speed to medium speed. Beat until the egg whites form soft peaks, now sift (to remove any pieces of the lemongrass) and add the infused sugar a tbs at a time, add the lime zest and increase speed to med/high and beat until the whites are thick and shiny and form medium firm peaks (Be careful not to over beat)
- Sift 1/4 of the flour mixture over the beaten whites. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the whites. Repeat with remaining flour mixture, one quarter at a time. With the last installment of flour add the chopped basil.
- Using the spatula to gently coax the batter, pour evenly into the prepared pan. Smooth the top. Bake until the cake is light golden brown and the cake is springy when touched, about 40 minutes. Immediately invert the pan onto the counter if the pan has feet or if it doesn’t, invert the pan sliding the center tube onto the neck of the bottle. Let cool completely.
- To remove the cake, rotate the pan, gently tapping the bottom edge of the cake pan on the counter as you turn it until the cake loosens from the pan. If necessary, run a long, thin knife between the cake and the pan and around the inside of the tube to loosen the cake. Slip the cake from the pan and gently lift it up from the center of the pan and arrange on a flat serving plate.
Coconut Lime Whipped Cream
1/2 tsp lime zest
1/4 cup sweetened or unsweetened (your choice) coconut flakes
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/2 cups very cold heavy cream
3 tbs full fat cold coconut cream (skimmed from the can of milk)
Chilled bowl and beaters
- While the cake is cooling infuse the sugar with the coconut. Add 1/2 cup confectioners sugar to bowl of food processor, and 1/4 cup coconut flakes and pulse until combined and very fine. Place in covered container and let sit until you are ready to whip the cream.
- Sift the confectioners sugar to removed any pieces of coconut. In mixing bowl pour the very cold heavy cream into a chilled bowl, Using either hand held mixer or stand mixer whip until it starts to thicken, add the cold coconut milk (NOTE: Scoop the cream from the top don’t mix it up), lime zest and infused confectioners sugar (taste to test for sweetness you may not need to use all of the infused sugar) and whip until billowy and soft peaks form. Serve with the cake.
Making fish sticks is simple and really so much better than buying commercially prepared frozen ones from the supermarket. They take almost no time to prepare. I know its easier to buy pre-made foods, but why not make your own, you have control over the amount of salt and know exactly what is in them. Ketchup is always great for dipping but I made an aioli that is slightly more sophisticated, don’t get me wrong, I love ketchup but sometimes you just need or want something a little different. You can make the fish sticks and freeze them all you need to do is heat them in the oven and you have a quick and delicious meal in a snap.
2 large Cloves garlic (Give the garlic a quick crush to release the flavor) Don’t pulverize
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon (or 2 tsp dried)
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup +2 tbs garlic infused olive oil
1/2 cup minus 2 tbs vegetable oil (canola)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon Lime zest (the zest of one whole lime)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
black pepper (3 turns of the pepper mill)
- To make the garlic olive oil. You will need a small sauce pan add the 2 peeled garlic cloves to the olive oil and simmer on very low heat until garlic is soft be very careful not to let the garlic get brown turn off the flame after just a few minutes and let the garlic sit in the oil until it softens.. Let cool before making the aioli. I like to make this infused oil ahead of time, sitting overnight gives a more profound garlic flavor.
- Add to blender the 2 egg yolks, the cooled cooked garlic cloves, lime juice, lime zest,tarragon salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
- With blender running slowly add the vegetable oil and garlic infused olive oil. The aioli will be thick and creamy and a lovely light green. Adjust seasoning and citrus to your taste.
Panko Crusted Fish Sticks:
1 pound Firm to semi firm fish (I use cod or wild chilean sea bass)
1 cup Panko
2 large eggs beaten
salt and pepper to taste
Oil for deep frying
- Heat your oil I like to deep fry the fish sticks, approximately 4 inches of oil in a heavy fry pan.
- Cut your fish into pieces, dip in egg and then in panko.
- Carefully drop your fish sticks into hot oil and fry until golden brown, Remove and place on paper towel to absorb any extra oil. Add additional salt if you like directly after they come out of the oil
- Serve with the aioli or whatever dipping sauce you like.