LUCY BURDETTE: You've probably heard me mention a hundred times my favorite bakery in Guilford CT called Four and Twenty Blackbirds. Everything they make is exquisite, but one of my favorite treats is an orange flavored angel cake with a lemon glaze.
For your Mother's Day pleasure, I wanted to try to replicate something like that, but including almond flavor and an orange glaze. As you'll see, though there is plenty of sugar in the recipe, there is not one whisker of fat!
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup finely ground almonds
2 tsp grated orange rind
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
For the glaze:
3 Tbsp fresh orange juice
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Grate the rind of a well-washed orange until you get 2 teaspoons, more or less. (I used a Honeybell.) Then squeeze the orange, using a second if needed, to make 1/2 cup. (You will use 1/3 of this for the cake, and the remainder for the glaze.)
In large bowl, place the egg whites with the cream of tartar and beat them with an electric mixer until they hold soft peaks. (You can test this by slowly withdrawing the beaters from the eggs. Soft peaks should stand up with the slightest droop at the top.) Next, gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar, beating until whites are stiff but not dry.
In another large bowl, place separated yolks. Beat them with unwashed beaters until thick. Add remaining sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating until the yolks are very thick and ivory colored.
To the beaten yolks, add the grated orange rind and the orange juice and almond flavoring, beating until just blended.
Beat in flour and ground almonds at a very low speed. Add the beaten egg whites to this mixture, and fold them in with a rubber spatula--gently.
Turn the cake batter into ungreased 10" tube pan. Cut through batter several times with a knife to break up any air bubbles and then smooth the top.
Bake at 325F for about fifty minutes. The top will appear golden and the cake should spring back when lightly touched.
Invert on wire rack to cool. Loosen cake from sides of pan with spatula. Set on serving plate.
Whisk together the orange juice, powdered sugar, and vanilla until very smooth. Drizzle this over the cooled cake. My glaze did not sit prettily on the outside of the cake, but it gave the sponge an extra delicious pocket of flavor!
Serve on a pretty plate and watch them swoon!
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