Angel Food Cake with Black Raspberries Recipe

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, June 23, 1912: Went to Sunday School this morning. Tweet came home with me. Ma and Pa had gone away and we had the place to ourselves. Miss Carrie was over after dinner.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Sounds like a fun Sunday with visits from two friends—Helen “Tweet” Wesner and Carrie Stout.

I wonder if Grandma made any deserts to serve her friends. Black raspberries would have been  in season.

Maybe Grandma made something like Angel Food Cake with Black Raspberries.

Angel Food Cake with Black Raspberries

Cake

12 egg whites

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar plus an additional 3/4  cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Separate egg whites and bring the egg whites to room temperature. Meanwhile stir together the flour and 3/4 cup of sugar in a medium bowl.

After egg whites have reached room temperature, put the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt into a large bowl.  Beat until foamy. Slowly add the 3/4 cup of sugar (about 2 tablespoons at a time) while beating. Continue beating until the mixture holds stiff straight peaks. Gently stir in the vanilla and almond extract.

[Note: In Grandma's day, they would have beaten the eggs by hand. I feel tired just thinking about it.]

Sprinkle a small amount of the flour and sugar mixture (about 2 tablespoons) onto the whipped egg mixture; and then fold it in. Continue sprinkling and folding the flour and sugar mixture until it all is folded in.

Gently spoon the batter into an ungreased 10 X 4 tube pan (angel food cake pan). Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake is lightly browned and the top springs back when lightly touched.

Invert pan until cool (at least 1 hour) and then remove cake from pan.

Black Raspberries

Crush a few black raspberries , stir in several tablespoons of sugar, and add enough water to make the consistency of medium sauce. Refrigerate for at least one hour to give the sugar in the sauce enough time to lose its granularity. Serve over the cake. Sprinkle which whole black raspberries.

An aside—When I was a child I loved the black raspberries that grew in the hedgerows. These days I never can find them in stores.

Two years ago my husband and I planted several black raspberry plants, and this is the first summer that we have lots of berries.

The black raspberries are awesome—even better than I’d remembered them.

18 Responses

  1. This brought a smile to my face, remembering the angel food cake I baked for the 4-H fair. I made it from scratch with 12 egg whites, and won a blue ribbon. Nowadays I use a mix, but I wonder if the ‘scratch’ one didn’t taste better!

  2. Thanks for bringing back wonderful memories of the thrill of getting blue ribbons at 4-H fairs.

  3. I’m definitely making this. I have massive rows of blackberries, all in flower, on my property. I wish they were the wild blackberries, or black raspberries, but the Himalayan blackberries, though delicious, choke out all the native species.
    I need to make this. I don’t know if I’ll beat by hand, but I may do it, eventually. :) Hmmmm… my thimbleberries might be ready earlier…

    • I had never heard of Himalayan blackberries until I read your comment. I then “googled” them to learn more about them. They sure sound like they can be problematic in some areas.

      • There are two types. I’ll have to take some pics when they’re ready to pick. I could have a whole girls scout troop here and not pick them all.

  4. On the way home today the first black caps were ripe… Your recipe surely looks delicious.

    Your Grandmother surely had a sense of humor with the nick-names she handed out to people.

  5. Just keep your bushes pruned way back and you’ll have all the raspberries you can eat. I miss the ones we had.

  6. One of the things l love most about diaries, such as Helena’s, is that there is a real flavor of daily living, what they did, who they saw, where they went, or who came over. Unaffected slice of life is to me the cake and ice cream — so your take on this day was spot on..

    • Diaries wonderfully portray the daily happenings and concerns–as well as the spice provided by the occasional exceptions to the normal daily routines.

  7. Thanks for the recipe – will have to try it. Maybe the 4th of July – hopefully I can find blackberries. Will try the farmers market, not the one in Lewisburg since I work Wed, (not sure if the one in Lewisburg was open while you still lived around here) but Williamsport finally has one on Saturdays. ~Patty

    • The Lewisburg Auction has been around for a long time. When I was a child we went every Wednesday evening.

      It’s wonderful that Williamsport again has a farmers’ market. I can remember when there was a Market House in Williamsport where farmers sold their products, but it closed many years ago.

  8. hi Sheryl. I’ve never tried making an angel food cake before – thanks for the recipe! Funny how “tweet” means something new today because of social media! :)

  9. Blackberries are my favourite berry. I still have some in the freezer from one year we had lots of them, but they are very variable. I love all your recipes. Wonder what they did with the plums after making this one. They didn’t waste them, I bet!

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