The Art of Effortless (cake) Decorating
Frosting, decorating and adorning is a learned skill and at the same time it can be far more effortless than a perfect entremets. Casual elegance is my M.O. Living and breathing something that is beautiful but NEVER too good to eat.
Angel food cake can be visually mundane as it is required to be baked in a specific tube pan, allowing the batter to climb the sides, resulting in a fluffy sweet sponge, always golden brown. The light and airy sponge does not want to be masked by a thick sweet frosting nor split into multiple layers.
As angel food cake is classically dairy free (made with egg whites only) this had me meditating on a dairy free whip to top. I went with dollops of a flavorful meringue, not a full heavy frosting, toasted it gently and pairing with glossy plum compote and fresh raspberries.
I love dollops and schmears and I hope that this video makes approaching a perfectly imperfect masterpiece all the more enticing to try yourself. (Be sure to check the end of the article for a step by step!)
Start with a fresh and cooled angel food cake, a lime with a microplane zester, cornflowers, fresh raspberries (1 pint) and 3 fresh plums, compote ingredients (below), blowtorch, and meringue ingredients (below).
Slice all of the plums into 1/4 inch slices. Combine 2 of the plums with 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar, 2 tsp of lime juice and 2 tablespoons of water. Bring plums to a simmer for 15 minutes to soften.
Make a batch of meringue: Place two egg whites in a clean stainless steel mixer. Begin whipping on medium speed and once the meringue foams, begin adding 85 grams of sugar slowly, a tablespoon at a time. Once the meringe has reached glossy medium-stiff peaks, stream in 35 grams of honey.
Cut a wedge out of the cake, approximately 4-5 inches wide of the exterior circumference of the cake.
Save this slice for a neighbor.
Using two large kitchen spoons, begin placing dollops of meringue on top of the cake. Use the bag of the spoon to create divots and dollops.
Microplane lime zest directly on top of meringue.
Pile raspberries into the center of the cake, spilling out where the cut piece is.
Wedge fresh plums into the meringue dollops.
Sprinkle with cornflowers and toast the meringue gently with a blowtorch.
Add plum compote along the fresh plums, being careful to not completely soak the meringue, and at the same time letting any liquid drip down the sides of the cake.