Friday, July 2, 2010

Ace's Angel Food Dessert

Last summer, my Dad created this dessert.  He's always had a "thing" for pound cake covered in strawberries.   In an effort to lighten that up, he traded the pound cake for angel food cake, added a few bells and whistles, and we've never looked back.  This is our go-to dessert at spring and summer family gatherings.

This post is light on words and heavy on pictures because it was the easiest way to explain how to assemble this recipe.  You'll note some very masculine-looking hands in the photos:  they're my Dad's.  I did a photo shoot with him as the star.  He was in heaven!  In case you were wondering, my Dad's nickname is Ace.  Hence, the title of this recipe.   

Enough chit chat.  On with the recipe...

What you'll need:
  • One 8 oz angel food cake loaf.  (If you can't find a loaf, go with the regular ring-style cake)  Pop the cake in the freezer for at least 12 hours before you are ready to make the dessert.  The cake will be a bit more firm, which will help you slice through the cake more easily.    
  • 3 lbs of strawberries, hulled and sliced into quarters.  Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the sliced strawberries and stir them up.  This will allow some "juice" to form.  Set the berries aside while you assemble the cake. 
  • Optional:  1 small container of blueberries (sorry, I don't know the size).  These add a bit of color. 
  • Lemon curd.  You'll find this in the jelly aisle of the grocery store.  If you've never tasted lemon curd before, it's a creamy and tart lemon custard.  It's absolutely delicious.  In this particular recipe, it enhances the brightness of the strawberries, rather than tasting overly lemony.  This ingredient is the key to this recipe.  DON'T SKIP IT.  
  • Strawberry preserves.  My Dad prefers Smucker's Simply Fruit.    
  • Cool Whip Light.  For dolloping on top.  
  • An electric knife.  The electric knife will help you cut through the angel food cake without smooshing it.  (That's a technical term.  Smoosh.) If you don't have an electric knife, just go with a very sharp, serrated knife. 

Here's what you do:

  • Slice the cake lengthwise into three layers.  If using a regular serrated knife, use a very light touch and let the teeth of the knife do the work.  
  • Spread 1/4 cup of the lemon curd on top of the bottom layer.  Make sure you spread it all the way to the sides.
  • Place the middle layer on top of the lemon curd-covered bottom layer. 
  • Spread 1/4 cup of the strawberry preserves on the middle layer, all the way to the sides. 
  • Place the top layer of the cake on top of the strawberry preserve-covered middle layer.

  • Cut the cake into 8 servings.  

  • Take a moment to admire the pretty layers.  Aren't they cute?

  • Top each slice with strawberries, blueberries, and a dollop of Cool Whip Light.  
  • Enjoy.

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