Oof. It's too hot to cook or bake.
Well, that is to say it was too hot. Thankfully the heatwave that plagued my little corner of the world has passed, and more temperature weather is here.
I recently picked up a copy of She Cooks, She Scores: The Steamy Stories Behind the Recipes by Chicago-based Chef Jennifer F. Stoker. Besides offering a sometimes-hilarious peek into one woman's romantic interludes and the meals inspired by them, there were a lot of handy recipes perfect for, "I'm hungry but it's too hot/humid to cook" moments.
One recipe in particular that grabbed me was Grilled Fruit Over Angel Food Cake with Sangria Sauce. Sounds like the perfect antidote to steamy sun-drenched days. The recipe is below. I'm looking forward to trying my hand at some of Chef Stoker's other dishes, like Asparagus Guacamole (wut?), Sweet Potato and Sausage Gratin with Savory Maple Glaze, Watermelon and Jicama Coleslaw (oh twist my arm why don'tcha - she serves it with fried coconut shrimp), and Thai Coconut Chicken Soup.
If it's too humid or hot to make angel food cake, don't feel too guilty about buying one from a local bakery.
Grilled Fruit Over Angel Food Cake with Sangria Sauce
From She Cooks, She Scores by Jennifer F. Stoker
Makes Six Servings
1 pineapple, top and bottom removed, skin removed, cut lengthwise into strips, 1/2-inch wide.
2 peaches, halved and pitted
1 mango, peeled, cut lengthwise, 1/2-inch wide
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1/2 cup chopped kiwi
1/2 cup blueberries
1 angel food cake, whole
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup peach schnapps
1/2 cup champagne or white wine*
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1 cup grape juice
1 lime, squeezed
Preheat grill to 375 degrees.
In a small bowl, add olive oil and squeeze lemon into oil. Mix together until incorporated. Brush mango, pineapple, and peaches with lemon oil and set aside.
To make sangria sauce: heat water and sugar in a medium saucepan on medium-high. Dissolve sugar and add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a medium simmer until sauce reduces to 1 cup. Cool completely; sauce will thicken as it cools.
Grill or saute fruit until golden brown on all sides. Let cool. Cut up in bite-size pieces and put in bowl along with rest of fruit. Mix together.
Cut angel food cake into individual pieces. Sprinkle fruit mixture over each piece of angel food cake and drizzle sangria sauce over top.
*I used Thirsty Owl's Snow Owl wine, just like I would for regular ol' Sangria. Because the sauce gets cooked, I wouldn't open a new bottle of sparkling wine for this, but a split/mini bottle would do the trick!
Angel Food Cake
Makes one cake
1 1/2 cups egg whites (from about 10-12 large eggs)
1 1/2 cups sifted Confectioners sugar
1 cup sifted flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar
In an extra-large mixing bowl, allow the egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Whisk together Confectioners sugar and flour in a separate bowl, being sure to remove all lumps.
Adjust the baking rack to the lowest position in the oven, and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add the cream of tartar and vanilla to egg whites. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add in granulated sugar, about two tablespoons at a time, beating until soft peaks form.
Add about one-fourth of the flour mixture over beaten egg whites, fold in gently. Repeat, folding in remaining flour mixture by fourths. Pour into an ungreased 10-inch tube or bundt pan. Gently cut through batter with a butter knife to remove any large air pockets.
Bake on the lowest rack for 40 to 45 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert the cake and allow to cook through inverted pan. Loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and remove from the pan completely. Allow to cook and dust with Confectioners sugar.