I made this cake to both celebrate Dan’s birthday and experiment with my new Beekman’s Heirloom cookbook, which is one of the best Christmas presents I’ve gotten in a long time. A year from now, it is extremely possible that half of the pages will be smothered in chocolate, egg remnants and spilled vanilla, but that is the mark of a good cookbook. To stray from tradition, and bring a bit of summer into our lives, I opted for the Creamsicle Angel Food Cake. I’d never made Angel Food Cake before and suffice to say I didn’t think about how I was going to whip the egg whites into shape until after I started; we don’t have an electric hand mixer, so I definitely got a nice arm workout that morning. The recipe was fairly straightforward and the worst part about make it was not being able to sample the batter. Normally, I’m all for a spoonful or two, but with twelve egg whites, I couldn’t pull the trigger. While the cake was baking, I tried a variation of the recommended topping. Instead of macerating oranges, I decided to make an orange marmalade with cointreau. It was a bit more work, but it was worth the extra effort. The marmalade paired with the cake and made each bite extra indulgent.
To make the marmalade: Bring 2 c. water, ½ c. sugar and ¼ c. Cointreau (or other orange flavored liqueur) to a steady simmer. While syrup is heating, peel and slice two navel oranges. Once syrup is warm and combined, add oranges. Let simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Serve either warm or at room temp.