When that sizzling summer sun reaches through the window, grabs you by your “No Bitchin’ in the Kitchen” apron, and shouts, “Hot stuff coming at you,” arm yourself with a Popsicle sword and a pint of ice cream. Tell everyone to get out because tonight, you’re serving ice cream and fruit as the main course, and the base is an angel food cake cloud.
Back when I was a wild, carefree graduate student, spending my wild and carefree nights, reading hundreds and thousands of page-turning literary theory, (the average sentence length was 5,000 words), I would treat myself to angel food cake and ice cream for dinner. Then, when Nate came into my life, he would say things like, “Do you think you have time for a hike?” And I’d look at him and say, “I have time for a bowl of ice cream and a hunk of angel food cake for dinner. My treat.” And he’d say, “That’s not dinner.” And I’d say, “Neither is a Crunchwrap Supreme from Taco Bell, washed down with whatever ‘stage three’ is of your homemade beer concoction that you have brewing in your apartment.” Nate would also suggest a salad. “Summertime salads are often crisp and refreshing,” he’d say.
Don’t get me wrong. Salads are lovely, delicious things to have on hand at dinner time, but sometimes, you just need cake for dinner. So, on the hottest day of the year in the Greater Seattle area so far (It’s like 70 degrees!), I’ve decided to pull out all of the kitchen utensils and whip up an angel food cake—one that I just know will rise to great heights, fall hard, and get stuck to the bottom of a tube pan. However, I also know a bevy of berries can hide a lot of mistakes.
In any case, I slapped together an angel food cake, by piecing together a couple of internet recipes: Angel Food Cake in a Loaf Pan (for the batter) and Angel Food Cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction (for the baking temperature/time/pouring into a tube pan).
Here are some results and pro-tips:
–The characteristic, super high “lift” of an angel food cake is noticeably lower in my version. In fact, when the cake cooled, and I pried it from the tube pan, I ran around the house shouting, “I did it! I freaking did it!” And Nate said, “Is it supposed to be that flat?” And I said, “When I make it, yes.” It’s like the angels in the angel food cake got caught in a fishing net and swam down in an attempt to escape through the bottom of the pan—much like in the culminating scene in Finding Nemo, where Nemo and his dad shout, “Swim down!” to the fish, and they do, and they break free. But in this case, all of the angels/Nemos just sank to the bottom.
–Cool the angel food cake upside down on a wire rack for about an hour. I’m not sure why, but all of the recipes I read online say the same thing. I guess it’s so that the angels and clown fish can maybe swim back up to the top.
–Cover any pieces that might be “unattractive” with lots of berries and whipped cream. Maybe place a salad in front as a centerpiece or distraction.
In Other News: I have a story out in Anser Journal. This one is NOT scary or dark. It’s about a woman who uses her grocery cart to create chance encounters between people, hoping that romance will ensue. It’s called “The Go-Between.”
I have a drink review posted in The Daily Drunk. It’s also NOT scary or dark, and it is called “Downton Abbey Late-to-the-Party-Old-Timey-Cider Review.”
Your Turn: What’s your favorite warm weather treat?