While spending a long weekend recently in Chicago, I had a giant angel food cupcake from Fox and Obel that was simple and perfect in every way. It was tall--about 2 1/2 inches *above* the line of the giant cupcake paper. It's top was golden, with a sparkle--almost as if it had a glaze, and the center was brilliant white. The flavor and texture were pure. Angel food is my single talent and passion, so of course I came right home to try it out. These puffed up lovely in the oven, but as soon as they came out of the oven, they shriveled and shrunk in their papers...no need to hit you over the head with a metaphor on this one.
When I make my AF cakes normally (as cakes), I turn them over onto a beer bottle and let them cool completely like that. But I couldn't figure out a way to do this with cupcakes in papers.
P.S. I'm well aware that angel food is the Sound of Music in the cake world...so you don't appreciate angel food cake, please don't bother with the snarky remarks...I've heard them all but was completely exonerated by the cupcake described above.
IMHO, there is nothing good to eat on Southside. (Ducking will be required, I realize, because someone always pipes up for Marios La Fiesta...the only time I ever ate there I was ragingly pregnant and crazy).
So take yourself over to Shattuck, for beef with noodles in the Imperial Tea House in the back of the Epicurious complex. Or (depending on your budget and desire for atmosphere) Laiason, at the corner of Hearst and Shattuck. Many would probably refer you to Gregoire on Cedar, but I think it's been inconsistent lately.
I have this fantastic recipie from my childhood for a "Burnt Sugar Cake" - basically a butter cake flavored with burnt sugar syrup. It's great and the cake is very manageable to make. My problem is that neither of the recipies I have for the frosting work. Both fail every *&#(!&# time.
The one I'm most drawn to is an egg-white frosting where you whip the egg whites and then drizzle hot carmelized syrup into it. Not too hard to imagine what goes wrong there...the hot syrup just instantly cools and you end up with sharp, toast-crumb sized flecks of cooled caramel in glossy egg mixture -- a lot like a bit-o-honey candy bar. It hardens like that too...sort of like taffy. Not very practical to spread on a cake.
The other one is a pedestrian and over-the-top sweet cooked brown-sugar/heavy cream thing that you end up pouring over the cake and it hardens instantly like a dipped ice-cream cone. (My husband loves this, by the way, but I despise it. It even makes my mouth break out in a sugar burn it's so sweet. Ugh.)
So does anyone out there have a recipe for a frosting that they think would work well with this cake? Please! it's such a great cake....but I'm in danger of never making it again, because it's really not appropriate to be served naked.